DARA INSTITUTE (Saúde Criança)

Health and Human Development

Dara Institute (former Saúde Criança) is ranked 21 in TOP 200 World by NGO Advisor

NGO Advisor’s Opinion & Ratings

Sometimes you have no idea that your work is innovative. You just think about how to solve the issue using your own common sense. You go for it, not knowing that no one has tried your solution before, and it works.

This sort of common sense innovation is what has catapulted Saúde Criança to the forefront of transformative health care and changed the lives of thousands of Brazilian families. In 1991, Dr. Vera Cordeiro realized that many children who were successfully treated for an infectious disease in hospital would soon return after being re-infected at home. As a general practitioner with ten years of experience in pediatrics, Dr. Cordeiro was shocked. So, working alongside her Brazilian colleagues, she began to formulate a set of tools that would address both the diseases and the socioeconomic factors that make children sick. She and her team developed a two-year, multidimensional “Family Action Plan” and founded Saúde Criança to carry it out around Brazil. The Plan quickly proved to be successful, as it allowed the organization to customize its response to each family’s needs. Saúde Criança and its Family Action Plan achieve sustainable family health by targeting many areas of wellness, including education, housing and income.

Saúde moves away from a one-size-fits-all humanitarian response to instead provide comprehensive and individualized support and healthcare to children of low-income families. In doing so, the organization offers what should be considered VIP treatment to each and every child and family in its care. The Family Action Plan provides a framework to guide Saúde’s multidisciplinary team of doctors, social workers, and other healthcare professionals to create a specific plan to ensure lasting wellness for each family. Now with more than twenty years of excellence in its field of operations, Saúde Criança has established itself as a unique and innovative nonprofit. They have mastered the art of getting specific while addressing huge public health issues, breaking the vicious circle of illness in poverty, and inaugurating a new approach to age-old problems.

7 / 10 Hiring Rating
8 / 10 Sustainability
7 / 10 Diversity on Funding Streams
7 / 10 Innovation Ratio
8 / 10 Transparency & Accountability
9 / 10 Independence from Governments
6 / 10 Independence from Corporations
7 / 10 Impact Measurement
8 / 10 Audit Results
6 / 10 Independence from One Funder


Organization Name
DARA INSTITUTE (Saúde Criança)
Formerly Known As
Saúde Criança
Dara Institute - Health and Human Development
Health and Human Development
English-Language Website URL
Other-Language Website URLs


Type of organization
Year Founded
Lead Photo For Profile
HQ Location: City, Country
Rio de Janeiro | Brazil
HQ Physical address
Rua das Palmeiras 65-Botafogo | Rio de Janeiro – RJ – CEP 22270-070 – Brazil
HQ Mailing Address
Rua das Palmeiras 65-Botafogo | Rio de Janeiro – RJ – CEP 22270-070 – Brazil
Name of Official Representative for Profile
Mirella Domenich
(21) 9983-7461
Primary Contact and General Inquiries
Mirella Domenich
(21) 9983-7461
Is Your Organisation Membership-based ?
Total Members

Dara Institute (former Saúde Criança Renascer) is a civil society organization that works to promote health and human development by implementing and fostering an integrated approach to fight poverty.

Pioneer in cross-sector work with social determinants of health in the world, the organization was founded in 1991 by Doctor Vera Cordeiro, alongside a group of professionals from Lagoa Hospital, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Because poverty is multidimensional, Dara believes that the social transformation of vulnerable families is only possible when different areas of human development are addressed simultaneously and in an integrated manner. For this reason, Dara developed the social technology Plano de Ação Familiar (PAF – Family Action Plan), designed based on to the needs of each family.

To implement their mission, the institute assists vulnerable families directly, fosters the knowledge on human development, works to influence public policies and the mobilization of the civil society.

For the 8th consecutive year, Dara was ranked the best NGO in Latin America and the 21st in the world by the Swiss publication NGO Advisor. Throughout our history, our organization has been awarded and acknowledged for our work and has directly impacted the lives of more than 75 000 socially vulnerable people in Brazil and more than 500 000 indirectly in four continents.

Throughout our history, the impact of Dara been made possible thanks to the work of more than 1600 volunteers, over 100 employees and a network of partnerships.

Dara Institute is headquartered in Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro (RJ), and has offices in Brasília (DF), São Paulo (SP), and New York (USA).

Mission: Promoting health and human development by implementing and disseminating an integrated multidisciplinary approach to fight poverty

Vision: A healthy and sustainable world where everyone has the same opportunities and rights, enabling people to be the leading players in their own development

Values: Social Justice, Independence, Integrity, Empathy, Transparency

Please Briefly Describe Your Economic Model.
Dara Institute is a non-profit organization which receives donations and sponsorship from companies, foundations, and individuals.

Dara Institute has also a trust fund of approximately US$3.5 million aiming at long term sustainability.



Promoting health and human development by implementing and disseminating an integrated multidisciplinary approach to fight poverty

Country (or countries) where active
Date of Publication of Latest Annual Report or Activity Report
Latest Annual Report PDF
Alliances, Networks, and Affiliations

Founder Vera Cordeiro is a social entrepreneur for Ashoka, Skoll Foundation, Schwab Foundation, and a leader for Avina.


Contact Information for Press Inquiries
Victor Oliveira
+55 21 97301-2512
Contact Information for Fundraising Inquiries
Izabel Oliveira
+55 21 99963-6063
Contact Information for Development and Partnership Inquiries
Mirella Domenich
+55 21 99683-7461
Contact Information for Inquiries from Private Sector
Pedro Barros
+55 21 99899-6090

Human Resources

Full name
Mirella Domenich
Short Biography
Mirella’s guiding principle in life has been that everyone can be a changemaker. A Brazilian journalist by training, Mirella has created multiple ventures in her home country as well as abroad. While she lived in Mozambique, she created a citizenship course so primary school children could get familiar with their rights and act upon them to create change at their schools. Inspired by her work on reporting elections in Africa for global news media channels, she co-founded Minibus Media, a participatory journalism initiative for local citizens to report and share their own news. The first group of independent young journalists in Angola has been created thanks to her work, and continues to this day. As an intrapreneur, Mirella has worked for the main media outlets in Brazil and for several citizen organizations, including Conservation International, Oxfam, Red Cross, Omunga, and Ashoka Fellow organization Redes da Maré. More recently, she led the Brazil branch of Ashoka Fellow organization streetfootballworld. Mirella holds an MA in International Relations and Development Studies, an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Business Management and an MBA in Human Resources Development. She is the co-author of the book “Hip Hop – A periferia grita” (Hip Hop – The Ghettos Rap at You) and is a member of the Civil Society Advisory Group for UN Women in Brazil. From 2017 to 2018, she worked for Ashoka Brazil, leading their team in the country. Since March 2019, she has been the CEO of Dara Institute, the Number 1 NGO in terms of social impact in Latin America and 21st in the world.
Photo Portrait
Has Held Position Since
Preceded by
Adriana Boscov
Number of Employees
Number of Paid Interns
3 at headquerters
Number of New Hires
4 at headquarters
Number of Newly Created Positions
2 at headquarters
Average Age of Paid Staff
38 years old
Number of Volunteers
140 at headquarters
Local Staff/Field vs Total Staff (%)
22% / 78%
Staff Turnover Rate
around 5%

Bylaws & Legal

Legal Status
Associação Saúde Criança
Year of Registration
Are Your Bylaws Publicly Available ?
Are Your Bylaws Provided On Request ?
Provide a Request URL or Email
Countries Where Legally Represented
Brazil, USA
Is Your Organization Accredited to ECOSOC (UN)?


Latest Yearly Income (All Countries and Entities)
USD 921,490
Latest Surplus/Deficit
USD 992,783
Latest Net Assets
US$ 1333005,84
Date of Publication for Next Financial Statement
Latest Financial Statements
Latest Audited Fiscal Year
Contact Information for Auditors

The 2019 audit was performed by E &Y