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The Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio) is a private and non-profit Catholic university, located in Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil. Founded by the Jesuits in 1941, PUC-Rio now enrolls approximately 18,000 students and is one of the largest universities in Brazil. As part of its Catholic identity, PUC-Rio has a strong commitment to community engagement and service. According to its mission, PUC-Rio "strives for excellence in research, teaching, and extension … aimed above all at the benefit of society." PUC-Rio’s website>>

Network of Social Enterprises at PUC-Rio

 The Network of Social Enterprises at PUC-Rio (RESPUC) brings together the designs created, developed and maintained at the University, or members of their community. RESPUC provides support to these social enterprises with ties to the university community. RESPUC seeks to:

  • exchange experiences and knowledge;
  • enhance the social impact generated by the enterprises;
  • establish a channel of dialogue with society;
  • encourage social commitment and solidarity at PUC-Rio and the community.

Social enterprises in RESPUC address a range of social needs such as human rights advocacy, social solidarity, and emergency relief. Learn more>>

Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Research and Social Policy (LIPIS)

 LIPIS was established to bring together teachers, students, and alumni interested in developing various social projects. LIPIS provides space for theoretical reflection on experience with a view to contributing to the formulation of creative public policy solutions in the social area. LIPIS partners with other university offices, government agencies, NGOs, and communities to coordinate a range of projects benefiting society. These include providing medical and psychological care to low-income communities and raising awareness of human rights issues and providing legal services to marginalized communities. Learn more>>


PUC-Rio UNICOMA project of the Coordinating Center for Internships and Professional Services (CCESP), UNICOM-Rio is a set of multidisciplinary activities undertaken by students who voluntarily provide their knowledge for the benefit of low-income populations in Rio de Janeiro. These students work with five local communities performing various services such as psychological counseling, legal advice, tutoring, IT assistance, cooking, carpentry, community health services. The goal of UNICOM is to promote the exchange of knowledge between students and community members, encouraging solidarity in everyday life. They seek to create "a two-way street for learning," meeting the needs of the communities while broadening horizons for learning. Learn more>>

Center for Study and Action on Minors (NEAM)

 The Center for Study and Action on Minors (NEAM) was established in 1981 to educate children and adolescents to become active and productive citizens. PUC-Rio students from various faculties are given internships to apply their academic learning to challenges faced by youth in the community. Youth from the community are often trained as peer educators to leverage the impact of NEAM’s program. Examples of NEAM projects include music education, English language training, and digital literacy and computer training. Learn more>>