Rafael Ribeiro


Rafael Ribeiro's picture
Name: Rafael Ribeiro
Organization: Infância Feliz, Comunidade Saudável
Title: Founder
My changemaking experience started still in infancy, where I lived in a suburb in São Paulo called Pirituba with my parents, from 3 years old. I used play soccer games with other children from poor communities around Vista Verde (Greenview), a residential development where my parents decided to acquire the first own family home. We used to organize tournaments between different residential streets teams and we used to invite teams from the poor communities nearby to participate, which usually were the winners. On the other side, we were middle class children studying in private schools. As years passed by, the games turned into a local tradition, with more and more fans and supporters watching the games. It was kind of a local soccer cup which integrated kids from different social classes. The second experience was during college, in which I partnered with the NGO Amora Carambola to enable a group of women from a rural social settlement (originated from Landless movement) in the formation of a cooperative for processing and commercializing fruit sweets. We provided them with basic business administration tools to help them start-up and develop a successful business. The Project was funded by Goldman Sachs Foundation. The following relevant experience was a contribution to the Project Zero Waste, Sustainable Architecture, Renewable Energy, created by the the architects Sergio Prado and Marcia Macul, winner of the Changemakers Challenge in 2011. The Project consisted in the large-escale upcycling of any type of urban residues - including the organic - in the manufacture of construction materials. The key aspect of the innovation is the use of an organic resin to consolidate all possible combinations of residual materials, based on the the physical properties needed for specific homebuilding applications, such as flooring, bricks and covers. I developed a public private partnership model to allow for the application of the materials to affordable housing. Later on, I moved to Bahia State in Brazil to manage a cacau farm, a region marked by secular social issues. The Brazillian cacao forest land was once very prosperous for farm owners, who used to have slaves or near-slaves working in the cacao commodity production, mostly from África. Today, the cacau economy in the region colapsed with the spread of the cacao plant infection called "Witch's Broom". The result was the migration of these workers from the farms to the local cities created a significant social problem. On the other hand, those who remained in the farms still live in poor conditions, with no ownership of the land or their homes, and limited knowledge of agroforestry techniques. We developed in the Pura Vida Cacao Farm an international enviromental education program which brought together international youth volunteers and the local farmers to co-create agroforestry and sustainable living practices. More recently, with the birth of my first daughter, I was the founder of the "Project Infância Feliz, Comunidade Saudável" (Happy Childhood, Healthy Communities) which consists in enabling caretakers (including parents and educators) of small children of up to 3 years old in practices that foster early cognitive development and early healthy relationships. The pilot Project was designed to benefit traditional african (quilombolas) and indigenous coastal communities of Ubatuba and Paraty, often isolated from public services (doctors, educators, etc). We received a letter of support from the municipality of Ubatuba to develop the Project in the region. We are currently seeking for funding for the Project. More recently, I have jointly founded Aldeia Butantã, which is a parent led initiative to create a collaborative education, caring and play space for small children, parents and educators in public spaces, such as parks. The pilot Project is currently running three times a week in the park near my home at Butantã district, in São Paulo, where I envision great potential to bring this concept to our neighboring communities.

Challenge Entries

Aldeia Butanta is a vibrant community of parents, toddlers and educators who gather for collaborative play in a gorgeous park playground in Sao Paulo. Adults are encouraged to hold a safe environment for interactive experiences, based on the principles of self-initiated play and observation.

Curadores da Terra desarrolla un sistema innovador que transforma la basura en materiales fabricados para la construcción de viviendas, ayudando en el proceso de sanación de las ciudades. La innovación consiste de una tecnología patentada que combina basura con resinas orgánicas para producir materiales de construcción renovables, los cuales son utilizados para la construcción de viviendas sustentables y asequibles a través de un proceso ya probado y en implementación.

As cidades são organismos vivos, com enormes deficiências digestivas, como acúmulo de lixo e falta de moradia. Curadores da Terra (Earth Curadores) desenvolveu um sist inovador q transforma resíduos em materiais fabricados p/ habitação, ajudando no processo de cura das cidades. A inovação consiste em uma tecnologia patenteada q combina lixo com resinas de resíduos orgânicos para a produção de materiais de construção renováveis. Ela é então usada p/ construir casas sustentáveis e acessíveis através de um processo de construção já testado e em implementação.

Cities are living organisms with huge digestive inefficiencies, such as waste accumulation and lack of housing. Curadores da Terra (Earth Curators) has developed an innovative system that transforms waste into manufactured materials for housing, helping cities’ healing process. The core innovation consists of a patented technology that combines waste with organic resins in order to produce renewable construction materials, which are then used to build sustainable and affordable houses through a construction process that we also developed and tested.