Maria Amalia Souza
CASA Socio-Environmental Fund (Brazil)
Maria Amalia Souza is the founder and executive director of CASA Socio-Environmental Fund, based in Brazil. CASA arose out of her experience of working with groups like Rainforest Action Network, International Rivers and Earth Island Institute. Its purpose is to provide efficient means for philanthropic support to the traditional, community-based and grassroots communities most affected by social injustice and environmental destruction in South America. CASA was the first, and is still the only, South American socio-environmental fund started and run by South Americans.
Set up to be as flexible and rapid as possible in responding to local needs, it can reach remote communities because it relies on information supplied by network of contacts in the social and environmental justice fields throughout South America. Over the last 10 years, CASA has made over 1,300 grants in ten South American countries of between USD 5,000 and USD 15,000. CASA is now promoting the replication of its model in Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Colombia and Argentina. Amalia Souza is also one of the co-founders of the Philanthropy Network for Social Justice Brazil. Follow her on Twitter @mariamaliasouza.