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Joelma, MAB activist and human rights defender in the Tapajós region in the Amazon

Joelma is an activist and human rights defender in the Tapajós region in the Amazon. - Christian Aid/Rosana Miranda

What We Do

Christian Aid in Brazil

Christian Aid started working in Brazil in the 1970s to reduce inequality, fight for land rights, and push for gender, environmental and tax justice.

Celebrating our history

Christian Aid started working in Brazil in the 1970s to promote justice and equality for all.

We worked to tackle the root causes of inequality by collaborating with a small but strategic number of social movements and faith-based partners.

We are proud of all the accomplishments of our team, local partners, donors and supporters in Brazil over the past 40 years.


Looking to the future

Christian Aid is exiting from Brazil as part of a change programme to deliver greater impact globally. Inspired by our new global strategy, Standing Together, we are deepening our interventions in fewer countries and living as good stewards within our means.

In future, our presence in Latin America and the Caribbean will be led by a regional programme which includes a few projects and partners in Brazil.

Three decades of working with social movements

This report explores how Christian Aid Brazil has operated within the changing social and political context of the country, its partnerships with social and ecumenical movements, the operational model that it developed, and how it contributed to the work of partners.

A protester is holding up their hand which is holding a white rose and a bamboo stick.

Communities demand compensation after the Brumadinho dam collapsed in 2019 killing 270 people. - Christian Aid/Rodrigo Zaim Rua Foto Coletivo

Highlights of our work in Brazil

Since 2012, Christian Aid in Brazil supported over 8,960,000 people to live with dignity. Our programme brought together experts on gender and inequalities from social movements and faith-based partners working at local, regional, and global levels. 

Equality for all in the Amazon

Christian Aid and our partners supported marginalised communities to exercise their power and influence decisions that directly affect their lives. We have helped people to secure access and control over land and natural resources.

Gender equality

Some groups have been particularly excluded in Brazil, such as women, LGBT+, indigenous people, black people and quilombolas (descendants of escaped slaves who fled to many different parts of Brazil).

Addressing gender inequalities has been an essential part of the Brazil programme. 85% of our funds were dedicated to address gender inequality.

Faith in action

We’ve actively promoted theological thinking and practical tools for churches and faith-based organisations working on key development issues such as access to water, LGBT+ rights and gender-based violence.

Please send a big hug to the people who support Christian Aid. Tell them that God will give them back twice!

- Edilson, Quilombola local leader.

Deacon Elineide Ferreira de Oliveira in her church in Ariquemes.

Deacon Elineide Ferreira de Oliveira is a coordinator of a local safe house, and on the frontline of the fight against gender-based violence in Brazil. Photo: Christian Aid/Tom Price.

Key achievements

We have a strong record in promoting and securing the economic, social, cultural and environmental rights of the Brazilian people. Examples include:

Land rights

30,528 people are protected and an area of 983,100 hectares of the Amazon and the atlantic forests are preserved due to the successful suspension of three large infrastructure projects.

‘I must say something to you: please send a big hug to the people who support Christian Aid. They do believe in God, don’t they? So, tell them that God will give them twice!’ (Edilson, Quilombola local leader)

Tax justice 

The exemption of Rural Land Tax (ITR) for the quilombolas communities by £4m. This benefitted around 1,170,000 quilombola people across the country. This was the result of innovative pro-bono support from a local law office, and the joint work of our partners, CPI and INESC.

Inclusive markets 

With Christian Aid's support, our partner MST (Landless Workers’ Movement) transformed the COPPAT – rice cooperative – into Brazil and Latin America’s biggest producer of organic rice, producing 26,455 tonnes per year of organic rice.

In 2015, the cooperative agreed with the local government of São Paulo city to provide 1k tonnes of organic rice for school meals in a contract worth £626,000 annually. 

Overcoming gender-based violence

  • 27,000 women, children and LGBT people at risk from gender-based violence were protected by faith-based organisations. ‘Without the safe house, I would be dead’ (a woman assisted by the safe house, name kept under protection).
  • 150 parishes were directly engaged with preventing gender-based violence as result of an innovative booklet on biblical teaching. It was actively used by church supporters in Scotland, and was called ‘Loving one another’.

Employment rights

About 4,000 women street vendors in the city of Sao Paulo now have the legal right to work due to our partners’ advocacy work, funded by the European Union.

Ending deforestation 

The ‘We are the Amazon’ campaign, followed by the Amazon Solidarity Appeal, engaged 134 churches and faith-based organisations worldwide. We provided 2,000 seeds of native Amazon trees to communities whose trees were destroyed by the wildfire in the Amazon.


Reports and resources

Amazon Strategy: social, climate and economic justice

Our vision is to see an Amazon region where communities challenge unjust systems to strive for social, climate and economic justice.

Christian Aid en América Latina y el Caribe estrategia (Spanish)

Hemos trabajado en América Latina y el Caribe por más de 30 años.

The real Brazil: the inequality behind the statistics

Starkly illustrates how inequality continues to blight progress in a country with a GDP now higher than that of the UK (2012).

Christian Aid Colombia country strategy 2012-17

Christian Aid has worked in Colombia since the 1980s. Our mission is to expose structural and physical violence and achieve equality for all.

The real Brazil: inequality behind statistics - executive summary

Starkly illustrates how inequality continues to blight progress in a country with a GDP now higher than that of the UK - executive summary.

Brazil programme strategy 2012-2017

Christian Aid’s strategy in Brazil, aligned with Partnership for Change, focuses on promoting resilient paths of development.

Follow our global work

The latest news, photos and programme updates from around the world. Sharing resources and knowledge with development and humanitarian practitioners.
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