project status:

COMPLETED – We reached our initial goal for this project! Any donations made here will go towards ongoing projects.

who you helped:

Casa de Maria is a center for children and young adults that was founded by Sister Silvia in 2001. Students in Tietê attend school for only half a day due to the lack of school buildings in the area. For the remainder of the day, these students need a safe place to go.

Casa de Maria helps 64 children (ages 8-18). The center provides meals and education beyond what is taught in the classroom, including lessons on topics such as literature, music, Spanish, and English.

how you helped:

Casa de Maria’s original location was no longer available for use. You Assist donated just over $16,000 that went towards building a new, state of the art facility as a replacement. The donation was made in the name of SAS U-Assist founder, Karl Eriksson. As a sign of gratitude, one of the rooms was dedicated in his honor.

The new Casa de Maria opened on February 2012. The 6,000 square foot building contains a modern kitchen as well as multiple classrooms. For the first time, the facility now has six computers for the children to use.


You Assist reached its goal of contributing money that went towards building the new Casa de Maria.


Ulf is a former SAS employee who currently lives in Tietê. In the past, he has worked with both SAS U-Assist and SIDA, the Swedish equivalent of USAID, to help build an orphanage in Sãn Paolo, Brazil. He has worked intimately with SAS U-Assist on this specific project.

assessment visit:

The Rotary Club of Uppland-Bro, Sweden visited after the opening of the new facility. During construction, members from SAS U-Assist traveled to Tietê to observe how the project was moving along. Ulf has made repeated visits to Casa de Maria and continues to do so to this day.