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Spectaculu is a not-for-profit youth education and empowerment charity that was founded in 1999 in the Port area of Rio de Janeiro. The organisation offers professional training in the areas of entertainment, art, technology and the creative industries for underprivileged young people between 17-21 years old. All pupils are from the state school system and are residents of socially vulnerable and economically under-developed neighbourhoods of the Greater Metropolitan district of Rio de Janeiro.

Spectaculu’s young students receive ten months of intensive technical training; with classes five times a week, providing courses in Stage Props, Beauty, Stage Management & Dressing Room, Sewing and Costume Design, Photography, Set Lighting, Set Construction, Sound and Image Treatment.

The school also provides students with ongoing education in philosophy, citizenship and rights, body language, oral and written communication, creativity, art history and music.

The young students receive two meals daily, a uniform, class materials, a monthly grant to supplement family income and support to become integrated into the labour market in technical professions within the creative industry.

Through an extensive network of collaborators from the arts world, Spectaculu has managed to place its young apprentices into more than 4,000 jobs, helping many of them to have their first opportunity in the labour market.

Today, hundreds of young people from Spectaculu are working in theatre, film, television, events and exhibitions as assistants in lighting, props, makeup, hair, set design, stage management, photography and audiovisual production.

Viva a Vida, Salvador

Viva a Vida is a Salvador-based NGO committed to empowering young people in impoverished neighbourhoods of Brazil to live lives free from substance addiction.

Until 2009, Viva a Vida delivered the only residential drug rehabilitation programme for street and low-income young people; providing educational intervention so that the boys could understand and address their addiction as well as gain the educational tools necessary to build productive lives for themselves once they left the program.  Due to funding shortages during the recession, the rehabilitation centre was forced to close in 2009, but Viva a Vida has continued to providemuch needed support for ex-residents through its aftercare service.

With a three year grant from the Bottletop Foundation, Viva a Vida began to develop and provide preventative workshops on substance abuse and sexual health in local state schools. Viva a Vida boys, who have completed Viva a Vida’s drug rehabilitation programme, help to facilitate the sessions as peer educators, so that other young people can benefit from their first-hand experience.

The student-led Prevention Committees set up by Viva a Vida facilitators not only collectively develop strategies to deal with specific issues such  discrimination and violence but also plan engaging activities  which promote healthy lifestyles and community cohesion,  such as school parades, round table debates and cinema trips.


Yawenta Children’s Center was originally founded in 2008 to provide a holistic educational, medical, nutritional and psychological support to an initial 10 HIV infected children in Shashamane, a town located 250 km to the south of Addis Ababa.

Yawenta’s aim is to care for and raise a limited number of children from very underprivileged backgrounds by addressing the multiple challenges they face; such as poverty, illiteracy, chronic illness, lack of hygiene and psycho-social problems.

Over the last 9 years the centre has grown to provide a day-care service for the project, focusing on the Montessori method of teaching with an emphasis on sports and creative subjects following the Ethiopian curriculum.  HIV and other counselling is offered to children and parents alike.  Medical support is also provided along with dentist and ophthalmology treatment.

There is an organic vegetable garden which is maintained by the children and parents which teaches them the importance of correct nutrition. The project provides a school uniform and sports clothing for each child which gives a sense of belonging.

Today the project continues to grow and is responsible for around 115 children.


Kesydo is a charity based in Kenya who help young people gain access to opportunities to realise their potential. They offer the opportunity to basic education, health, shelter, food and clothing and special education for those with disabilities.

They encourage participation in HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and TB education programs.

BOTTLETOP has supported a program that Kesydo were implementing which was designed to provide re-usable sanitary towels to young school girls. There is a dramatic school drop-out rate once the girls start menstruating and by providing sanitary towels this has been proven to break the cycle. It soon became apparent that re-usable options were not going to be viable due to the lack of access to clean water. Therefore it was decided that each girl would be given a 1 year supply of disposable sanitary towels. Going forward, Kesydo have created a training program helping to educate girls on the importance of maintaining their education.


TEMWA supports sustainable community development in a remote area of rural Malawi; driven by the community they serve.  In partnership with the Bottletop Foundation they deliver Mobile Video Shows; screenings of two films, Banthy Ngati Ise (People Like Us) and Mawa Langa, which aim to reduce the stigma against those infected with HIV, inform about the various ways of transmission and methods of treatment, and encourage  young people to go to testing clinics organised by TEMWA.

The Bottletop Foundation funding was split equally between the delivery of Mobile Video Shows in 25 remote schools, reaching over 10,600 young people, and the wholesale purchasing of  condoms needed for distribution at the Mobile VTC Clinics  (Voluntary Counselling and Testing for HIV). Together we were able to equip adults and young people with the knowledge and means to live  according to the insight gained from the Mobile Video Shows.


JASS analy​s​es and challenges women’s inequality through the lens of power and HIV/AIDS​, strengthen​ing the voice, visibility and collective power of women​.​

JASS trains local leaders, strengthens community organising, builds broad alliances, and helps link grassroots solutions to global advocacy. Using creative communications and documentation strategies, we publicise the innovative ways women are addressing serious global issues that are impacting their daily lives—from HIV/AIDS, homophobia, indigenous land rights and, inequality, to violence against women and women human rights defenders.

Our work is driven by the women and organi​sations we work with in each region, ensuring that our initiatives are fundamentally shaped by local contexts and are responsive to the realities of women’s day-to-day lives.

Inspired by a feminist vision of justice, we help build new forms and practices of power that contribute to more egalitarian and democratic societies and a healthier planet.

The BOTTLETOP FOUNDATION is proud to have supported JASS’ work in Zimbabwe.