Grant Status $0 needed

2010-2011 +
Please log in to donate!
Expected Usage of Funding
Supplies, Furniture:
Labor and Salaries:
Raw Materials:


Solar Meninos de Luz is both a school and a philanthropic civic organization founded in 1991 to provide educational and social support to 400 children and teenagers living in a Rio de Janeiro slum area. Solar’s vision or mission is to educate children holistically—not just academically, but also culturally, physically and morally—in order to provide them with the same opportunities as students from more affluent social areas. It is impossible to emphasize the importance of Solar in the students’ lives, as they receive comprehensive education along with other important aspects of social care, including access to a free medical and dental clinic, a community library and extracurricular activities such as music, theater and English lessons.

The school is currently in need of serious refurbishment and development, but two of its greatest needs are providing nutritious food for its students (aged 3 months to 18 years old)—who remain at school from 8am to 5pm—as well as paying the salaries of elementary school teachers. Solar relies entirely upon grants, partners and donations to operate, so any and every bit counts!


Although Solar was officially founded as a school in 1991, social assistance in the area began in 1983 after a disaster in which a water tower collapsed, destroying a number of homes and killing a few people. Members of the Brazilian Spiritist church began to volunteer in the aftermath of the crisis, quickly seeing the need for ongoing support and thus developing several more regular outreach programs, including providing food, clothes and eventually educational support. Solar was born out of these programs as the infrastructure of a school was slowly developed. A nursery was formed in 1998 at the request of families from the community in order to allow parents to work during the day. Each subsequent year, a new grade was established to allow children to remain at school for longer, thus increasing family income. Today, 400 students aged 3 months to 18 years old benefit from full day care and education.


By donating to Solar, you are directly contributing both to the education and social development of children from nursery to high-school age, as well as supporting the teachers who allow the school to provide consistent and high-quality instruction. Solar’s benefits also extend beyond its students and into the community at large, running several programs that provide social assistance to families, including access to free medical and dental services, emergency social care as well as lectures, workshops, meetings and general school events. In total, there were roughly 1,100 beneficiaries of Solar in 2008 alone.

Team Credentials

Solar Meninos de Luz is a civic organization in and of itself, but it is generously supported by three main partners: the local Spiritist Church, the Paulo Coelho Foundation and UniverCidade, a local university. It has successfully sustained itself for 18 years and represents a growing and important force in one of Rio de Janeiro’s poorest areas.


  • Another Year for Solar

    This winter vacation, Alex Martins - a team member of Givology - will be visiting Solar to witness the impact of all the donations raised through Givology. She'll be delivering letters to students, helping provide updates about the impact of the funding, and sharing the stories and messages of the the students and faculty. Below is a video about the students of Solar that Alex had previously worked with over the last year. Watch the students practice English on
  • A Journey up the Hill

    This blog entry was written by Alex Martins, a Givology volunteer and supporter who worked at the school. His inspiring story about his experiences working at Solar reveal the challenges of providing quality education in an urban context. We deeply admire the mission of the school, and hope that you take the time to learn more about the school. A Journey up the Hill : Teaching in Brazil As I climb the never-ending stairway to get to the school, the unfolding view of the community living above never fails to shock. Endless rows of shabby brick and tin houses rise up before me, a sight that is too familiar in Rio de Janeiro, a vibrant city where the extreme poor perch on hills just above the wealthiest residents. This particular favela, or shanty-town, is made up of three different communities called Pavão Pavãozinho and Cantagalo, the names of the hills on which they were built, and like all Brazilian favelas they stretch high above one of the richest areas of the city. The contrast ...