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The Foundation


The Maria Cecilia Souto Vidigal Foundation is a Brazilian family foundation whose mission is to generate and disseminate knowledge on the importance of Early Child Development (period that goes from pregnancy to 6 years of age), helping guarantee the full development of our small children.

Active for more than 50 years, the Foundation is constantly improving its governance model and best practices, based on reviews and self-monitoring of all initiatives. Focused on contributing to push forward the cause of Early Childhood Development, the goal is to make systemic changes involving different players and society at its various levels.

We believe that by developing our children we develop our society.

Our Values


We are committed to the cause, to the institution, and to personal and professional growth. We are passionate about and proud of what we do.


Our work and relationships are based on integrity and transparency. We do not tolerate any non-compliance with our organizational policies.


We work in an integrated and effective way. We hire and retain people who enjoy being part of our team, are prepared, efficient, flexible i.e., enjoy multitasking, and have high energy.


We value the partners with whom we work to build effective solutions.

Result-oriented approach

We work to achieve target-oriented results.

Linha do Tempo

Learn more about our history

  • Our story in 2015

    The Foundation celebrated its 50 years by making important internal changes and introducing new governance mechanisms. The Communication Department reinforced its strategic role and the Project and Assessment Office was established to help the portfolio of strategic projects and programs to mature.

    Celebration for having succeeded in turning the “São Paulo Pela Primeirissima Infância” Program into state public policy.

    The TV series “Quando Tudo Começa”, produced in partnership with Discovery Channel and the series of special newspaper inserts developed together with the Folha de São Paulo newspaper, marked an important moment, when the foundation started to disseminate knowledge directly to the society;

    Launch of the publication Basic Concepts of the Family as the Promoter of Childhood Development – Parenting in Focus;

    The Núcleo Ciência pela InfânciaInitiative organized the V International Symposium on Early Childhood Development.

  • Acknowledgment

    In 2014, the publication of a study called The Impact of Childhood Development on Learning, celebrated the launch of the first of a series of three studies developed by the Núcleo Cíência pela Infância Initiative (NCPI)

    The “São Paulo Primeirissima Infância” Program received the Alas/IDB Award, given by the Inter-american Development Bank to the first runner up in the Best Innovation category and ranked first in the IV State Forum on Health Promotion competition.

    The Núcleo Ciência pela Infância Initiative also organized the IV International Symposium on Early Childhood Development.

  • Expansion

    The Foundation strengthened its partnership with the State of São Paulo Health Agency through the Early Childhood Program and gave rise to the São Paulo Primeirissima Infância Program to find solutions to the major issues related to this topic.

    The Núcleo Ciência pela Infância Initiative organized the III International Symposium on Early Childhood Development.

  • Bringing it all together

    Establishment of the three main areas of action to maximize the work of the Foundation: Networking, Knowledge Management, and Practices.

    The Núcleo Ciência pela Infância Initiative also organized the II International Symposium on Early Childhood Development and expanded the Primeirissima Infância Program to include eight new municipalities.

  • Translation

    Creation of the Núcleo Ciência pela Infância to translate scientific knowledge into a language that is more accessible to society.

    To establish this Initiative, the Foundation relied on the following partners: the Center on Developing Child (CDC) and the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (DRCLAS), both from Harvard University, the School of Medicine of the University of São Paulo (FMUSP), and the Education and Research Institute (Insper).

    The First International Symposium on Early Childhood Development was organized in partnership with the Roberto Marinho Foundation, the Futura TV channel showed the series A+Early Childhood – 0 to 3 years of age.

  • Cooperation

    Celebration of a partnership between the Foundation and the State of São Paulo Research Promotion Agency (FAPESP) to launch a call for proposal for research grants in the field of Early Childhood.

    IV International Workshop on Early Childhood Development, open to the public for the first time and attended by 170 participants.

  • Dissemination

    Definition of a new mission and vision and change on strategy to include the generation and dissemination of knowledge, as well as of new practices.

    Expansion of the Primeirissima Infância Program and organization of the III International Workshop on Early Childhood Development.

  • Implementation

    Launch of the Primeirissima Infância Program, an intersectorial program to be adopted by the public healthcare services providing care to expectant mothers and children aged three or under; it resulted from a partnership with various municipalities in the state of São Paulo.

    The II International Workshop on Early Childhood Development was also held in 2008.

  • Development

    Decision to embraced the cause of Early Childhood, especially after neuropediatrician and Member of the Board Prof. Dr. Saul Cypel presented a solid scientific research on about the matter.

    From then on, the Foundation began to dedicate itself too officially to promoting early childhood development.

    Organization of the I International Workshop on Early Childhood Development.

  • New generation

    The members of the second and third generations of the Souto Vidigal family received solid training and education on how to manage the Foundation; this was also the year in which the Foundation wrote its Bylaws and a governance model was incorporated.

    To adjust itself to the new needs of society, the Foundation started to conduct activities in the areas of health, education, and the environment.

  • Critical reflection

    With the inauguration of other medical laboratories dedicated to doing research in the field of hematology and hemotherapy, the Foundation felt encouraged to reconsider its focus.

  • Information

    At that time, AIDS was still unknown to the vast majority of Brazilians. The Foundation stood out for having organized corporate talks to answer questions about this new disease and make professionals more aware of its existence. From early on, the Foundation took upon itself to translate scientific knowledge into more accessible language so that important information about hematology-related issues could be shared with the rest of society.

  • Education

    The Foundation offered Hematology courses and built a specially dedicated library inside the Maria Cecília Souto Vidigal Laboratory. These achievements were made possible thanks to the then Scientific Director of the Foundation, Dr. Michel Jamra.

  • Year of Establishment

    After the death of their eldest child at age 13, Gastão Eduardo e Maria Cecília Souto Vidigal decide to establish a Foundation to promote research in the field of Hematology. In that same year, the Foundation establishes a partnership with the School of Medicine of the University of São Paulo to strengthen its ability to conduct research in the field of Hematology.