Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Some examples of Bolsa Familia helping people in Brazil

A Brazilian program that is getting a lot of attention worldwide is "Bolsa Familia," or the Family Grant, as it's known in English. Bolsa Familia is a conditional cash transfer program, meaning that poor residents of Brazil will receive some money from the government as long as their children stay in school and are kept in good health.

From the BBC, writer Gary Duffy gives us a couple of examples of people benefiting from Bolsa Familia.

"I think it is good and it helps a lot," says Francineide.

"When the money comes it is always better because there are many families in Brazil that depend on it, and even though it is a small amount, it makes a big difference."
Continue reading the main story Ruti Cunha

The new baby is Francineide's second child, and the monthly assistance she receives from Bolsa Familia will now rise to $66.

It helps to supplement the meagre income she gets from selling vegetables.

Further up the road, her father Joao works on a small plot of land and also receives a helping hand from the state in the form of low interest loans.

Critics say the family grant his daughter receives offers financial help, but no clear route to escape from poverty.

Now Bolsa Familia is being tied in to existing projects which target small investors in both the countryside and the city.

Joao is using the money, which he gets from a scheme known as AgroAmigo administered by the state-run Bank of the North-East, to buy the materials he needs.

"It helps me to get water, to buy seeds," he says.

"In the past we used to collect them but you can't do that any more. And this money helps to make things better."

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