Our main projects

(maps here)

Santa Filonila Shelter


This is a home for the elderly situated in Escada in the interior of Pernambuco. The elders in the residence were all previously living in shanty towns and were 'rescued', and taken to the home, to receive care. In addition, since there are no orphanages in Escada, the shelter is providing care for three orphans who would otherwise have been abandoned. This project is greatly supported by Generous Hearts.

Irma Viviane's Favela Beira Rio Project


Sister Viviane is a Catholic nun from Colégio das Damas, who has been working in one of the most destitute 'favelas' (slums) of Recife for the last seven years-the Favela Beira Rio. This year the fruits of her labour paid off as the people from that community were finally transferred to public housing by the city of Recife's Mayor's office. She has now turned her efforts to another slum that was situated not far from the first one-Favela Abençoada por Deus . It was Irma Viviane's desire to find a way to reach those who have no other source of aid. Her efforts continue to be on the most basic level such as providing medicines and any other emergency aid that she can. After years of working in the favelas she is well known, and well received, by the communities. It is through her that our volunteers are also able to enter the favela safely, and to work along side her. Generous Hearts provides monies for emergency medicines and other simple supports.

Family House - Orphanage


The original name in portuguese, "Uma casa de familia" means "the house of one family", and exactly expresses the feeling that one gets upon entering this orphanage, and is entirely due to the incredibly big heart of one woman: Dona Severina. In the early nineteen nineties Dona Severina, a widow of limited resources herself-illiterate and from a destitute background, but trained as a dressmaker-began to take in abandoned children. By 1992 she had twenty four children under her care, all living in her own small, two-roomed house. The only way they could survive was by accepting day-old bread from three of the local bakeries and other items from a food manufacturer. It was then that Dona Severina's orphanage-home came to the attention of the Margarite D'Amelio Children's Foundation who, through their benefactors, provided the funds to add on an additional two large rooms (one large dormitory-style bedroom for the girls and one for the boys) plus washroom facilities. Other benefactors provided funds for food for the children. With the assistance of a member of the local Rotary Club, Marilda, acting as the local project coordinator, the Margarite D'Amelio Foundation was able to assist Dona Severina for over a decade. Marilda is a pediatrician. Since the closing of the Margarite D'Amelio Children's Foundation, this Generous Hearts project now provides daily meals for the 60 children living in Dona Severina's orphanage.

"Sister Reginalda's "Mutirão Favela" project"

Murtirão is a shanty town situated in Camocim de Sao Felix. Sister Reginalda, of the Order of Missionaries of Saint Paul, offers basic medical aid in the form of assisting the ill to get to hospital, providing basic medicines and general emergency relief. This community has a particular public health problem in the form of a parasite that enters through the feet creating extreme skin conditions.

Vila Santa Luzia


This community has several old houses built with very rudimentary technique and precarious finishing which leaves numerous cracks on the walls. These attract bugs, many of which are vectors for diseases such as Chagas’disease. Generous Hearts has provided extensive support for replacement of many of those houses. Some were even at risk of falling down by the time they were replaced. The local community is hugely involved.

Crafts workshop - Vila Sta. Luzia, District of Camocim

After three sewing machines were donated to Generous Hearts in Canada, we had the idea to park them at the local community centre in Vila Santa Luzia, a community already known to our organization due to the housing project. The local women were very pleased and started a small teaching centre for crafts and sewing. In a few months they had a very well stablished crafts store where they sell the local production.

Past / discontinued projects

Santo Antonio School in Recife, Pernambuco


This was a pre-school situated in heart of a shanty town in Recife.  Approximately one hundred children, divided into a morning program and afternoon program, received a hot meal, a bath,  instruction in basic literacy skills, and basic dental and medical care at the school on a daily basis.
Generous Hearts provided 100% of the financing and direction of this project for many years. A couple of years ago the government started giving a monthly payment to families enrolling their kids in public schools. That led parents to opt to transfer their kids from Santo Antonio School, which was eventually deactivated. Despite of that, Santo Antonio School remains as an example of successful supporting by Generous Hearts.  

Santa Maria Community Center in Vitoria de Santo Antao, in the interior of Pernambuco

Trained adolescents in trades such as cooking, hairdressing, sewing and fabric painting. In addition there is an adult literacy program held on the same location. This project was started, and is run, by Sister Odila of the Damas Christãs, with partial support by Generous Hearts. Due to conflicting commitments of the project manager in Brazil the project is suspended for now.