Ricardo Martiniski, a member of the BrazilFoundation Young Fellows in New York, recently visited the headquarters of Associação Fênix, an organization that fights sexual and domestic violence in Curitiba, Paraná. Fênix was first supported by BrazilFoundation in 2013, and was recently chosen to receive another year of support in 2015.

“Where there is a soul, there is hope” – these were some of the welcoming words of Sandra Dolores de Paula Lima, president and founder of Fênix. The organization’s mission is to combat sexual and domestic violence as well as prejudice in relation to HIV / AIDS. Fênix works to accomplish this mission by sharing knowledge and by providing affected children, adolescents and their families psychological support.

“What struck me during the visit was the amazing focus that the team gave to each case to help mediate conflicts within families. Instead of only addressing the issues of violence with the victim, the team works with several family members, including the alleged abuser. According to Sandra, it is very important to understand the abuser’s perspective so that the team can better mediate the conflict and even help the abuser.” – says Ricardo.

Fênix has become a reference in its field of work in Curitiba and, despite being a large organization, it is evident how much it relies on donations to continue its work. There are nearly 3,000 families currently registered to receive services, and a waiting list through the end of June. The support from BrazilFoundation will go towards paying the rent and its team, making improvements in the house in which the institution operates in Curitiba, and financing for its various programs, lectures and initiatives.