What barriers might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?
The largest foreseeable problem is a lack of funds available to finance our various projects. Currently, the majority of funds derive from international corporate and individual donations, but to ensure the future sustainability of the organization, Saúde Criança has created a permanent trust fund, headed by Armínio Fraga, former president of the Central Bank of Brazil. The establishment of such an endowment is a first for any Brazilian NGO. To promote donations to the fund, Saúde Criança is exploring other forms of media, beginning with a major logo-rebranding campaign organized pro-bono by the advertising agency DM9 to increase visibility of the organization through TV, print, and internet. Saúde Criança also fundraises through sales of hand-crafted merchandise made by mothers in the program and will soon begin online sales of these products as well.
The other major obstacle is complications within the bureaucracy of Brazil. Saúde Criança aims ultimately to influence public policy, yet the unfortunate reality is that bureaucracy is slow and that internal contentions exist between departments that obstruct the development of programs. One of the major motivations for the upcoming marketing campaign is to garner greater public awareness and support for the organization. Because Saúde Criança already maintains friendly relations with influential people, including Armínio Fraga, Graça Machel, and Mohammed Yunus, it is hoped that more visibility will give the organization greater political clout and the ability to effect influential change.
Tell us about your partnerships
Saúde Criança works closely with the municipalities of Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro, and Florianópolis, which have all adopted its methodology in various pilot health programs.
Belo Horizonte has already invested significantly in “Família Cidadã: Cidade Solidaria” while Rio de Janeiro is initiating a similar pilot project (called “Carioquinha Saúdavel”) in the favelas of Cantagalo, Pavão, and Pavãozinho, and Florianopolis is researching the applicability of the methodology in communities around the area.
Saúde Criança also receives specific assistance through partnerships with various businesses, such as: McKinsey & Company (logistics), Skoll Foundation (supports growth of the network), Ursula Zindel Hilti Foundation (contributes with part of the staff’s salaries and supports growth), Unimed (sponsors ~36% of medical supplies as well as professional development for staff), Instituto Kinder do Brasil (offers scholarships for school-age family members), L’Oreal (offers technical support, professional training, and beauty school supplies), Queiroz Galvão (sponsors the house refurbishing program), Johnson & Johnson (sponsors educational lectures for mothers and teenagers, and reimburses transportation costs for the family), Praxair Foundation (contributes to the growth of the network and provides courses and equipment for vocational training courses), DM9 (advertising), and the Renner Institute (sponsors cooking courses).
Finally, because Saúde Criança understands the value of transparency and accountability, its accounts are audited annually by Deloitte.
Explain your selections
Individuals, foundations, and businesses have several methods of supporting Saúde Criança. Businesses often provide in-kind donations, such as consultations, beauty products, housing repairs, and medical supplies. Saúde Criança also sells hand-crafted products made by mothers within the program at kiosks in retail areas and as social corporate gifts. There is also a “godfather/godmother” sponsorship program through which individuals in Brazil and abroad can sponsor a child or family throughout the entire course of their Family Action Plan. This initiative has proved to be very successful and Saúde Criança currently counts more than 302 godfathers and godmothers. Finally, to facilitate the process of international donations, Saúde Criança has an office based in New York under the name of “Brazil Child Health” that holds a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status.
To ensure more long-term sustainability, Saúde Criança founded a trust fund, entitled “Saúde Criança Forever,” to which foundations and corporations may donate. The eventual goal is to increase the endowment to R$20 million such that the interest alone could cover 80% of Saúde Criança’s operating cost. Currently half of this goal has been reached.
How do you plan to strengthen your project in the next three years?
Saúde Criança’s principal priority within the next three years is to ensure the quality of its services. Therefore, alongside the formation of two additional franchises, the organization will focus its efforts on identifying any weaknesses within the program and working towards eliminating them. With this goal in mind, Saúde Criança has partnered with a research team from Georgetown University to investigate the long-term effects of its methodology. This third-party analysis will not only show whether the program has had a successful enduring impact on families but also measure the effectiveness of different aspects of the program. Based on these results, changes can be made to improve the organization’s actions. Moreover, Saúde Criança’s main headquarters organizes training sessions for heads of its franchise chapters in order to demonstrate and standardize the administrative processes for its various activities.
Significant growth will also occur with increased fundraising. The forthcoming marketing campaign, as well as the corporate road show, is designed to raise Saúde Criança’s profile and to help spread its message. The objective of these efforts is to demonstrate the organization is responsible and capable. This will not only encourage donors to invest but will also allow Saúde Criança to become stronger within Brazil and eventually be able to spread internationally. The eventual goal is to have the majority of the general public not only aware of Saúde Criança as an aid organization but trust in the quality of its work as well.