Brazil’s economy is the eighth largest in the world — yet it’s far from equal. Rising poverty, racism and exploitation are keeping girls from learning.

In Northeast states, Indigenous and quilombola girls travel long distances or depend on unreliable transportation to get to school. Under-funded and overcrowded schools that lack clean water and libraries make learning difficult. While Indigenous people make up only 0.5% of Brazil’s population, they are more than 20% of its illiterate population.

Poverty, crime, domestic work and poor school conditions in urban areas prevent girls from studying. Teen mothers lack support systems to help them stay in school, a significant barrier to learning considering Brazil has the highest rate of child marriage in Latin America and fourth in the world.

Our work in Brazil

Through gender discrimination research, girl advocate training and education policy reform, Education Champions are working to create lasting change to keep girls learning across Brazil.

In August 2020, Education Champions celebrated the approval of the FUNDEB, Fund for Maintenance and Development of Basic Education and Valuing Education Professionals, a government financing mechanism that ensures marginalised schools get the resources they need to support their students.

“Our mission is to guarantee everyone's right to education — especially for girls.”

— Rogério José Barata, Advisor on Educational and Cultural Projects, Centro de Cultura Luiz Freire

Today, Malala Fund supports 7 Education Champions in Brazil.


Malala defends FUNDEB and says that there is no meritocracy in Brazil without equality in education.
Indigenous and quilombola girls fight for education funding at the National Congress of Brazil.
Girls in the fight — who are the Indigenous girls chosen by Malala Fund to transform their communities.

Where we Work

Malala Fund works in regions where the most girls miss out on secondary education.