Location Belo Horizonte, MG
Grantee 2018
Attended areas Education and Culture

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Training teachers to improve literacy instruction to people with Down Syndrome

Brazil has a population of 330 thousand people with Down syndrome, and estimates indicate that only 3,800 are sufficiently literate. The Mano Down Institute grew out of Leonardo Gontijo’s unconditional love for his brother; a person with Down syndrome, and for his enormous desire to diminish inequality and help create a more inclusive society. Mano Down Institute is uniquely positioned in its field, recognized for its actions creating visibility and inclusion for children with Down syndrome; training and promoting conditions for their personal growth, skills development, and opportunities.

The Institute’s work empowers people with Down syndrome to be the protagonists of their own lives and to increase their expectations of life’s quality and dignity. This project proposes teacher and student training to learn techniques that facilitate and improve the quality of literacy of individuals with Down syndrome, contributing to their self-actualization and autonomy.

Funding will be used to:

• Train 30 new literacy teachers for people with Down syndrome;
• Facilitate a workshop with 50 students with Down syndrome;
• Purchase teaching materials, transportation, and meals.


Increased literacy of people living with Down syndrome
30 teachers trained
Increased autonomy and self-actualization of people with Down syndrome

“Knowing how to read and write is one of people with Down syndrome’s dreams, it minimizes their social invisibility and the stigma that hangs over individuals living with Down syndrome.” – Mano Down team

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