Recife is a highly developed city of great wealth, for both regional and national standards; however, the city is laden with a huge social gap that has been widening over the years. A large portion of its population has no access to vital services such as healthcare, schooling and housing, nor to indispensable facilities such as sewage and running water.

Among the victims of this situation, the most vulnerable ones are the children, who are helpless in face of violence, social exclusion, poverty and familial disorders. Willing to assist these children, Mrs. Abigail Mesquita founded the organization Espaço da Criança (“Kid’s Place”) in 1991.

Espaço da Criança is a non-profit private organization and receives its support mainly from volunteers and supporting organizations. It has assisted over 1,000 children over the years, and it continues to help 100 children and their families today. In the institution, each child receives two daily meals, as well as reading, art, dance, music and tutoring classes. It also extends its activities to benefit the mothers of these children, by providing them food, guidance to important services, such as family health and legal assistance, also offering professionalization courses such as art crafting and hairdressing.

At the moment, there are a number of institutions in the NGO’s community that could provide support, such as hospitals, universities, law firms, corporate buildings, shopping malls, and others. However, the challenge is contacting them, and helping them understand how they can get involved. One solution is to engage the employees of the institutions to volunteer (i.e. doctors, nurses, lawyers, teachers, students, etc.), therefore providing an invaluable support to the NGO and children.

This TIE placement will require providing the NGO with an efficient ‘ready-to-use’ toolkit to facilitate new partners and their employees to understand how they can volunteer to help Espaço da Criança. Doing this will maximize the entity’s chances to get new partners and easily communicate to them on how they can get involved, thus receiving more resources to meet its social aim.