Oct 14

Para Ti – For You, a Chance to Make a Difference

One of the highlights of Marcelo Armstrong’s favela tour for us was a visit to Para Ti, a very special NGO that was started by Italian Franco Urani, a former President of Fiat Brazil in the 1970s, and his wife Giuliana.

The couple lived in the neighbourhood around which the favela Vila Canoas grew and saw firsthand the problems of the community. Giuliana told us how she recalled hearing screams during the night after heavy rain, and she and Franco and their daughter went outside with torches and saw the devastation caused by shacks that had been swept down the hill from mudslides.

“When they needed something – only when they were very desperate – families would appear on our doorstep, to ask for medicine or a ride to the hospital,” Giuliana tells us. When two tiny children appeared at her door one night, and the authorities later came to take them away upon discovering they were orphaned after their grandmother died, Giuliana and Franco took them in. And so began Para Ti.

Over the years, Para Ti has funded hundreds of projects, from the day care and after-school centre that we visited to sewerage and housing projects, and Giuliana’s masterpiece, a crèche that cares for hundreds of babies and toddlers.

How can you help?

  • If you do Marcelo’s tour, take pens, pencils, writing materials, books, toys, a soccer ball, or sporting gear for the kids. They love kicking around a football.
  • Donate money – always welcome!
  • Consider sponsoring a child – you’d be surprised how little it costs to feed and clothe a child in a favela for a year.
  • Volunteer! Para Ti is happy for you to spend a few hours just playing ball with the kids and teaching them some English skills.

Para Ti


  1. Lidia Urani

    hi, I’m the daugther of Giuliana Urani from Para ti.
    Now we have also a Para ti Guest house and we are able to receive people in a wonderful Urani’s house.
    We are also building more 7 rooms .
    If interess you can see the photos in facebook Para ti Guest House .
    bests regards
    Lidia Urani

  2. Lara Dunston

    Hello Lidia – thank you so much for letting us know.

    Just last week I heard that your mother and your brother both passed away recently. We were so sad to hear this news. Giuliana was an extraordinary woman and we were very touched by her, and we heard your brother was also very special. Our thoughts are with you.

    How can people book a room at the guest house? Do let us know and we are happy to share the details with our readers.

  3. Dana Carmel @ Time Travel Plans

    Hi Lara/Terence,

    My friends and I actually had the chance to volunteer at Para Ti back in 2010. Visiting the favelas and volunteering at Para Ti was truly eye-opening and life changing. I’m glad to see that other bloggers are sharing the Para Ti story! Please read about my time volunteering there: http://www.timetravelplans.net/2013/02/07/the-day-that-rio-changed-my-life/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>