August 11, 2014

Helping the Smallest in One of the Biggest Countries in the World

Carolina Rivera, 2014 GHLI Fellow

The fifth most populous country in the world, and fourth largest economy with burgeoning growth, Brazil still faces serious struggles involving wealth disparity, poverty and violence. There also exists a wealth of knowledge, passion and solidarity that have helped the country achieve universal health care and allowed it to make substantial strides in the field of early childhood development.

I’m currently in Brazil working as part of the GHLI Forums for Change. Compared to the 11 million São Paulo city residents, 43 million São Paulo state residents and more than 200 million residents of Brazil, our delegation of 10 leaders may appear minuscule, but is large in spirit. 

During my time in this beautiful country, I already met the Minister of Health, Arthur Chioro, who is in charge of administration and oversight of the “Unified Health Care System” for all of Brazil. The Minister signed into action the allocation of millions of dollars to public hospitals in São Paulo for the healthcare of expectant mothers and children.

Through multiple site visits to work places, universities and hospitals, I help identify critical points of contact and opportunities for meaningful collaboration. Despite their different backgrounds, from government officials to academics and the third sector, all acknowledge the importance of communication and partnership in moving forward with efforts to improve early childhood development in São Paulo and Brazil.

As I continue my work here, I’m excited to establish and solidify more ways that our Brazilian delegates can work together, share information, and expand both our group and potential impact. Great, complex and ever-growing, São Paulo, Brazil is fortunate to have these visionary leaders working to improve early childhood development opportunities for all.

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