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Retrak announces ground-breaking move into Brazil

Retrak announces an historic move into a new country and a new continent with the launch of its work in Brazil; one of the most significant changes in Retrak’s history since our beginnings in Uganda, Africa in 1994.

Working in partnership with the Brazilian government and established national agency Associacao Brasilileira Terra dos Homens (ABTH), the move into South America heralds an important upward shift for Retrak into a country with an estimated 24,000 street children.

An initial 12-month deal has been agreed with ABTH and Retrak is confident the arrangement will be extended so it can continue with its global vision to create a world where no child is forced to live on the street.

Developing Retrak’s work into Brazil is recognition of the enormous progress Retrak has made in recent years which currently operates in five African countries: Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Malawi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Each year the charity helps around 17,000 children and their carers.

Retrak Brasil 2 cropThe partnership with ABTH is due to the amazing work Retrak does in Africa helping children to return home. It will also allow Retrak to establish a truly significant ‘south-to-south’ partnership where our African colleagues will work with our Brazilian colleagues.

The Brazil project is the final action by Retrak Chief Executive Diarmuid O’Neill who is leaving the organisation at the end of October 2015. His successor Sir Peter Fahy, Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, will take over immediately (Monday, Nov 2) after 34 years with the police.

One of Sir Peter’s first tasks will be to oversee Retrak’s new operations in Brazil which will be led out in the field by the charity’s Director of Programmes Maggie Crewes.  Her work will be concentrated in Rio de Janeiro where there is greatest need to return street children home.

Diarmuid O’Neill said: “It’s the start of something incredibly exciting and fresh and represents a new chapter for our organisation. Our vision is to create a world where no child is forced to live on the streets and going to South America is the next step in that dream.

“It’s been our dream for Retrak to work in Brazil and this is the culmination of a strategic plan we put in place in 2009 to have a more global reach, broadening our horizons and working in new countries and continents. The Brazilian government has been hugely impressed by what we’ve achieved in Africa and we’re looking forward to working in partnership with them.”

Retrak has been awarded a grant of $250K from funds raised by the US version of Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day, run by NBC, to aid anti-poverty groups.

With the ongoing work needed in Brazil Retrak is issuing a public appeal for further donations. Help Retrak return Brazil’s most vulnerable children to safe and loving homes by clicking here.