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About us

“Projeto Mão Estendida” is a nonprofit philanthropic foundation. Everything we have done, all the work and the gifts received are the result of the love of volunteers who have given time, money, clothes, shoes and second-hand furniture.

Location

We are located in the southeast region of Brazil in Espírito Santo State, a state that has a population of 3,408,365 inhabitants (source: IBGE-2005). We help families in the city of Serra, population of 383,220 inhabitants with 70,1% families earning up to three minimum wages monthly (source: IBGE-2005). We assist these families that receive three minimum wages at most. A minimum wage in Brazil is about US$ 100,00.

Our Vision:

We would like to be role model, helping the poor families to deal with their necessities, acquiring professional skills in order to improve their life quality.
Our Mission:

Create opportunities for people that live in Serra, Espírito Santo, Brazil, in the poor districts composed by low income families. We expect these people to find professional autonomy and better life quality through social care and professional improvement.

Focusing poor families

In our country poverty is a serious issue. It is common to see children begging on the streets. After some time on the streets, these kids are likely to get involved with drugs and crime and so are their parents once they lose their jobs. We believe that by helping the poor families, giving them the means (food, clothes, professional skills, etc), we are reducing the prison’s population and avoiding children begging on the streets. We believe this is the most effective way of reducing crime, drug dealing and poverty itself in the region.

People we help

Unemployed people or low income families. These families are usually numerous, several children, and relatives living together. It is common to find 10 people living in the same house. The most common jobs among these people are bricklayers, carpenters, maids, metal, paper and waste collectors and they don’t earn enough money to feed the families.

How we help them

First we supply them the essential: food and clothes. We also provide professional training which we believe is the most important help since this training could be useful for an entire life.

We help them in two ways:

1º) Immediate Help
Once a week, a group prepares some baskets with vegetables, fruit and salad. These baskets weigh 10/12 kilos. When we receive other types of donation such as milk, sweets, etc., we include them in the baskets. We also donate more items of food to families that need most.
We accept donation of clothes, mattresses, beds, stoves and other appliances and furniture. We donate these items to most destitute families. We are structured to attend 300 families a week.

2º) Professional Training
We offer quick and short courses as we train humble people who need to put their skills into practice as soon as possible in order to obtain a complementary income to their families. We offer courses that can improve their skills or even bring them a chance of getting a better salary, e.g. manicure, hairdresser, crochet, sewing, selling techniques and other types of handcraft.

How can you participate in?

Send money
You can contribute through a bank deposit, our bank account is Banco do Brasil Agência (agency) 4210-2 Conta (account) 6.725-3 – Associação Beneficente Ágape. Our official name is Associação Beneficente Ágape and fantasy name is Projeto Mão Estendida. All the money obtained for the Project will be invested in the areas mentioned above, maybe on future programs, and payment of overheads.

Why should you trust us?
We started in 1997, and we are recognized as municipal and statal public utility, number 2218/99 and 7087/02 respectively. We have a partnership with “Arcerlor Mittal Brazil” a steel making trading, where we have been trained with other nonprofit organizations. Our accounting is opened for investigation at any time. We’ve been working according to the country’s law.

How we get financial support
We have three main sources of resource: 1) volunteer’s donations; 2) Partnership with Enterprises and Churches and 3) Material for recycling.
Until July 2006 the income participation was: 26 % volunteer’s donations, 63 % partnerships and 11 % Material for recycling.

What we intend for the future
Nowadays we supply 200 and 300 families in a structured place every Monday. We could do this in other places during all week, Monday through Friday. But we need to increase the amount of resources. In order to succeed, we need to get more partnerships, volunteers and recycled materials. If we increase our resources, we could assist around 1,500 families, about 7,500 people.
Material for recycling
We’ve got three kind of waste material: PET (PolyEthylene Terephthalate), aluminum can and white paper.
We ask each family to bring us 30 bottles of PET when they come to collect their donation. Besides, we are contributing to the environment. This operation comprehends around 12 districts in Serra City, where we’ve contributed to the cleanliness. We also have partnership with clubs and residential condominiums. We’ve got around 2.5 tons monthly helping us economically. This is the main recycle material. The aluminum can is around 100 kg per month and paper we haven’t done any deal yet.
At the moment we just get PET and cans and we sell them the way we receive, there is no physical transformation. The first thing is to buy a press, but a good press is very expensive, around US$ 7,000.00. After that, we will try to transform it into new products possible to be recycled.
We intend to transform all these materials into finished products so we need partners to help us with money and technical orientation.

How you can communicate with us
Send a e-mail to: maoestendida@terra.com.br
To Mr. Ary Bacelos.

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