Sao Paulo, Brazil – Caterpillar Grants Announced

Guest post from Catherine Oliveros, MPH, DrPH, Susan G. Komen Komen Regional Director, International

Jerson Dotti
Above: Jerson Dotti shares a personal family experience with cancer.

What a year!  Is it any wonder that I love my work?  I have had the pleasure of visiting three amazing Latin American countries, spending  time with our fabulous in-country teams, seeing the passion and dedication of our global partners all while announcing Komen’s amazing partnership with the Caterpillar Foundation.  The last of our first year events occurred last week in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  On Thursday, Oct. 20, we proudly announced the 2011 Brazil Caterpillar grantees.  The event featured Dr. Elaine Abissamra, a federal representative from Brasilia and Jerson Dotti, a dynamic representative from the Caterpillar Foundation Brazil.  This event was unique in that we were able to engage our newly announced Course for the Cure™ grantees as well – so in total we had five organizations receiving support through Komen on projects focused on increasing awareness and access to mammography services for women in Sao Paulo.


M'Boi Mirim Hospital
Above: M’Boi Mirim Hospital in Pink.

The first Caterpillar award went to Sociedade Isrealita Beneficaria Albert Einstein Hospital.  Einstein’s goals are twofold:  To increase awareness about breast cancer and resources among the general population taking advantage of the fact that in Brazil the internet is a highly effective way to reach people from all backgrounds.  Einstein is developing a website that will inform and engage – using twitter and facebook as tools to disseminate credible, breast self awareness information.  The second component of the Einstein project is centered on Hospital M’Boi Mirim, a public hospital serving low income communities.  Einstein illuminated the public hospital pink as a way to raise awareness among its constituents who are not as aware about breast cancer as other communities.  Additionally, the project will include outreach and educational activities through booths that will be strategically placed in the community and will offer trained community health workers a place to engage and educate the general population.  Training for community health workers is also part of the Caterpillar funded project, and these trainers will act as multipliers in the community as they go beyond the booths and disseminate Komen messaging to others and support women in accessing services in their community.

Caterpillar and Susan G. Komen Grantees
Above: Caterpillar and Komen representatives pictured with Caterpillar and Komen Global Initiative Community Grantees.

The second Caterpillar grantee developed their program after working with the creators of the “De Peito Aberto” (“Open Heart, the self-esteem of women with breast cancer”) photo project – Fundo Infinito.  Recognizing the campaign’s potential reach to women in Sao Paulo, Instituto Mimboe aimed to mobilize and amplify the reach of the awareness-raising exhibit.  The Caterpillar-funded project will talk about breast cancer through photo exhibits that raise awareness, demystify the disease and invites observers to understand the experience of a cancer survivor and her family.  These exhibits are supplemented with a personal education component where participants are engaged in conversation about breast cancer, resources available and the importance of early detection by trained lay health educators.  The campaign will be exhibited in shopping malls in specific zones of São Paulo (southern/eastern and northern), targeting lower income populations and women from all age groups.  Media exposure will also be a key mechanism used to disseminate information on the importance of early detection and provide information on access and services available to the target populations.

We were excited to see the energy and enthusiasm of women in Brazil and throughout Latin America for the breast cancer mission!



About the author

Susan G. Komen has written 342 articles for Susan G. Komen® | Blog

Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen and launched the global breast cancer movement. Today, Komen is the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Thanks to events like the Komen Race for the Cure®, we have invested more than $1.9 billion to fulfill our promise, becoming the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world.