“Change can happen through our own hands, and that is what we believe,” said young entrepreneur Lilian do Prado, founder of ACREDITAR, upon accepting her award at the II Gala Sao Paulo. This spirit was contagious on Monday night, resulting in more than R$1 million being raised to fund projects in the areas of Education and Culture, Health, Socioeconomic Development, Human Rights and Civic Engagement, and Social Enterprise.

500 people attended, including businessmen, artists, celebrities and organizations from the third sector. BrazilFoundation highlighted the work of four youth who are transforming Brazil: Lilian do Prado, founder of the microfinance organization ACREDITAR, which has already invested in more than 9,000 small businesses in Pernambuco and Ceará; Rene Silva, who founded the newspaper Voz da Comunidade, that has for 10 years worked to bring visibility and justice to residents from Complexo do Alemão; Vherá Poty, for his leadership in the village Tekoá Pindó Mirim and his collaboration with Instituto Sementes ao Vento. Designer Pedro Lourenço was presented with the Global Brazilian Award.

A total of R$ 1 million was raised: R$ 225,000 from the auction, R$ 685,000 from ticket sales, and R$ 90,000 from donations. Among the many donations received, one in particular touched everyone. Out of gratitude, Raphael Bahia, an independent waste collector who had his collection cart “pimped” (updated) by Pimp My Carroça, made a donation in an amount equivalent to one day of work. A collector in the da Luz neighborhood, he noted that he had always seen the imposing edifice of Sala São Paulo in passing, but never believed that one day would have the opportunity to enter. Thrilled, he said, “you showed me the world.” Thiago Mundano and the artists of Pimp My Carroça attended the gala and realized a special edition of “Pimpex” through a crowdfunding campaign to transform the carts of three waste collectors, including that of Sr. Bahia.

Paulo Gustavo and Didi Wagner were the masters of ceremony, Paulo replacing Luciano Huck after Huck suffered a plane crash with his family. The guests were treated to performances by Samantha Schmutz, Daniela Mercury and Quabales, organization supported by BrazilFoundation. The audiovisual design students of Instituto Criar, an organization to receive support from BrazilFoundation this year, created a portion of the event’s decor, coordinated by artist Leila Nishi and Chris Ayrosa.

The gala was made possible with the help of co-host CHANEL, and through the generosity of the event sponsors and supporters: Goldman Sachs, Alexandre Birman, Agência Pepper, Arjo Wiggins, BMW, Chris Ayrosa, Da Casa, Hotel Tivoli, HP and Labor Print, Interfood & 1865 Vinhos, Johnnie Walker, San Pellegrino & Perrier, Taittinger, TAM, UNO, and Vogue Brasil; the benefactors and patrons, the gala committee, and the dedication of the volunteers.