Programme overview

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We aim to improve the lives of the most marginalised communities by promoting inclusive, efficient, democratic processes that operate in the best interests of all citizens of the Recife metropolitan area, irrespective of gender, age or socio-economic position.


Discover our grantee stories from Brazil.


Brazil is a global powerhouse and has one of the world’s largest economies. It is rich in natural resources; it has a growing middle class; its democracy is diverse and lively and its constitution prioritises equal rights.

While Brazil has developed significant global influence, it also – like many countries – struggles with crime and violence, disparities between rich and poor and discrimination based on race, sex and gender.


Recognising the diversity of social movements, civil society, social, economic and environmental relevance of the country in the region, the Foundation decided to create a cross-programme initiative to work in Brazil. Recife and its Metropolitan Area were elected as the starting point of our work. Five different programmes worked together to better understand the local context and developed a strategy that aligns each programme’s priorities with the issues on the ground.


The Brazil Programme is composed of the following programmes:

  • Child Abuse;
  • Environment;
  • Issues Affecting Women;
  • Housing and Homelessness; and
  • Human Rights.



The Brazil Programme’s grants address four themes: safety, urban space, mobility or participation. While some focus exclusively on Recife, others are national in scope but include Recife as a target city. We aim to provide project and core support grants to organisations in the following areas:


To improve citizens’ safety in both public and private spheres Organisations that:


  • develop and implement police and criminal justice reform strategies;
  • build broad-based public campaigns that support reform strategies, including through positive media coverage of groups who are routinely criminalised or misrepresented in public discourse; and
  • help protect women, youth and children from domestic violence, sexual and other abuse and exploitation.

Urban space

To protect space quality, especially for vulnerable communities Organisations that:


  • build community capacity to confront developers and negotiate with municipal, state government and corporations;
  • document and replicate successful community-led development models; and
  • support efforts by local communities to plan proactively for the development of their neighbourhoods.





To improve mobility for all Organisations that:


  • promote a people-centred vision for transport through community involvement in policy design; and
  • support assessments, research and pilot projects that demonstrate the positive impact of citizen participation.


To promote citizen participation

Organisations that:


  • promote access to information and citizen-led communications;
  • support organisational development strategies that strengthen watch-dog organisations; and to encourage government and civil society to be proactive in investigating and negotiating policy options.


Oak Foundation has supported programmes in Brazil, mainly in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, since 2005. We launched the Brazil Programme (JBP) in 2015 to strengthen collaboration and synergy among the various programmes already working in the country.


The Brazil Programme cuts across disciplines. It incorporates the perspectives of our various programmes – Environment, Issues Affecting Women, Prevent Child Sexual Abuse, International Human Rights and Housing and Homelessness – into a single, holistic grant-making approach.


We have chosen to focus on Recife, one of Brazil’s most densely populated cities and one which suffers from high social inequalities, high violence rates and a low quality of urban life. Recife is a city in which substantial gains stand to be made. Because of its strategic position as a regional cultural centre and its long history of civil society engagement, it can inspire change and develop initiatives that can be replicated across Brazil.




Our mission

Oak Foundation commits its resources to address issues of global, social and environmental concern, particularly those that have a major impact on the lives of the disadvantaged. With offices in Europe, Africa, India and North America, we make grants to organisations in approximately 40 countries worldwide.

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©2018 Oak Foundation.
All rights reserved.


Privacy Policy, Security Protocols and Terms of Use.


©2018 Oak Foundation.
All rights reserved.