Taking sex education to Brazil's favelas
In the 1990s, when the US shifted its aid policy away from family planning, and from Latin America, the Brazilian NGO Bemfam found itself with a yearly funding hole of $2m. The amount the organisation received from USAid had represented almost a third of its annual funding.
But rather than look for funding elsewhere, Bemfam, which focuses on family planning and sexual and reproductive health, set up a not-for-profit condom and lubricant business, Prosex. It has proved so successful that it generates around $4m a year for the NGO – about 40% of its funding – and is the fifth most popular condom brand in Brazil.
"USAid pulled out and a lot of other donors focused on Africa and Asia, which left a bad situation. Most organisations and service providers closed their doors," says Bemfam's executive director, Ney Costa. "At Bemfam, we went to look for ways to survive."