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!