Our Impact in Rio Doce

When the dam collapsed in Mariana in 2015, BrazilFoundation was one of the first organizations to identify and support social initiatives in the region. In response, we created the Minas Fund to fund socio-environmental projects in the affected communities. Since then, the fund eventually grew to support initiatives throughout the state. As of 2018, the fund has invested R$ 850,000 in 22 projects in the areas of Education, Health, Entrepreneurship, Income Generation and Environment.

Here’s a look at what some of the projects in the Rio Doce region were able to accomplish with their grants from the Minas Fund:

Pelo Bem do Planeta

Governador Valadares, MG
Pelo Bem do Planeta received a grant and technical support to bring environmental education to grade-school kids and teachers in Governador Valadares, a city in the Rio Doce region affected by the dam disaster in Mariana. With this support, more than 3,000 kids from 41 schools learned about water conservation. The project taught critical thinking and environmental education and created dialogue within families about how the disaster has affected their daily lives.

Arquitetos Sem Fronteiras

Mariana, MG
The 2015 Mariana dam disaster left parts of the city and surrounding region destroyed and contaminated, forcing many families to relocate. In 2016 BrazilFoundation gave a grant to Arquitetos Sem Fronteiras that provided 25 of the affected families with technical assistance to so that they could have a say in the rebuilding of their community. The org, together with residents, helped create many useful tools including maps to show where each resident lived and models of Bento Rodrigues and Paracatu de Baixo to depict what was buried, tools that will aid in local reconstruction, education, memory and identity.



Belo Horizonte e Mariana, MG
AEDAS has over 30 years of experience supporting people impacted by dam activities, working together with the affected from the moment a disaster strikes. The organization currently helps more than 300,000 families impacted by dams in Minas Gerais, serving farmers, indigenous peoples, riverside communities, fishermen, miners, quilombo residents, and even urban populations.

Through their grant from the Minas Fund, AEDAS provided legal counseling to residents to organize themselves for securing their rights, helping form 18 groups that mobilized 720 people from Bento Rodrigues, MG to Regência, ES. AEDAS’ aim was to stimulate leadership in communities in the Rio Doce basin and help families get reparations for their losses.

Coletivo MICA

Belo Horizonte e Mariana, MG
Coletivo MICA offers free communications workshops for public school students in Mariana. One of their main goals is to make sure that the region’s history and memories are not forgotten. Their grant from the Minas Fund enabled them to teach 246 adolescents about their communication rights. They also produced videos and a comic to promote discussions in schools.

Cáritas Diocesana de Governador Valadares

Governador Valadares, MG
Founded more than 60 years ago, the Brazilian Cáritas works to provide emergency relief, food security, and income generation opportunities.região. With a grant from the Minas Fund in 2016, Cáritas Diocesana de Governador Valadares helped create a support network for Rio Doce. Their project helped organize entities and social movements in the basin region to eventually form a commission that would discuss the situation of the affected families with the local government and create a collection of documents about risky dams in the region.