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Brazil

Brazil is a country of contradictions: it has the biggest economy of South America (10th of the world) but has also one of the worse income distributions in the world. Of its 180 million inhabitants, the poorest 20% receives 2% of the national income, while the 20% wealthiest group receives 60%.
STRO tries to improve the living conditions of the poor and started therefore several projects in Brazil together with its main partner InSTROdi. InSTROdi is a strong, specialised local advisory organisation based in Porto Alegre (Southern Brazil). InSTROdi plays a pivotal role in organising, advising and (in some cases) implementing the individual projects.

Currently, 4 projects are running in Brazil:

CompRaS
 In the southern state of Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul (RS), a system with the name CompRaS is being set up.
The CompRaS Association is the core organisation in this project. An important partnership has been achieved with Banco do Brasil, both at central and local level. The Guarantee Fund of RS covers the risks of internal loans in the formal currency against a cost of a one time 1 and ½ percent.
In June 2005, the first 50 companies became member of the network. More info…

C3 Paraná
In Paraná (Southern Brazil) a Local Exchange Circuit is created to address the housing problem both for the benefit of the homeless as well as for the civil construction sector that has a serious problem of unused capacity. More info……

Tobias Barreto
Tobias Barreto is a small city in the Northeast of Brazil that uses its own currency: the ‘Topaz’.
The city council of Tobias is going to convert Reais into Topaz through payments of salaries and social welfare and spending at local companies. The people of Tobias can spend the Topaz at local companies. The city council will continuously bring Topaz into circulation, making the economic impact of the project permanent. More info…

Rubem Berta
Mudanda a cara: facelift. Occupants and entrepreneurs in Rubem Berta, a poor neighbourhood in the periphery of Porto Alegre, Southern Brazil, decided to tackle poverty and crime themselves.
The local currency, “Rubi”, started to circulate in August 2004 and is used for example to give people an advance in Rubi's to have their houses painted. The painters get paid in Rubi’s and for their part can spend their Rubi's on clothing, books and food on the regular 'Rubimarkets '. More info…..



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