Fellows Network

Amália Souza

Socio-Environmental Fund - CASA, Executive Director

Cunha, São Paulo, Brazil

Amália is Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Socio-Environmental Fund – CASA, whose mission is to promote environmental conservation and sustainability, democracy and social justice by supporting and strengthening the capacities and initiatives of civil society in South America. CASA gives grants to bona-fide community groups for their social justice and environmental protection efforts that use a systemic approach. Amália regularly speaks at international conferences about the important impacts and results of giving small grants to grassroots groups in building a sustainable planet.

Amália has worked with NGOs and the international funding community since the mid-1980s. Her professional experience includes work with indigenous peoples and other rainforest and grassroots communities, international communication for sustainability, and, most recently, building more bridges between the private sector and the socio-environmental movement. She sits on the Board of Directors of NUPEF-ICT Studies and Research Institute, and the Advisory Board of The Ocean Foundation.

Between 2000-2004 she was the Brazil Advisory Board Coordinator for Global Greengrants Fund, and Chair of the Global South Task Force for Grantmakers without Borders. For most of the 1990s, she was Member Services and Development Director for the Association for Progressive Communications.

More recently, she has been a spokesperson for more collaboration among foundations and donors in order to amplify the results of grantmaking. She has also done consulting for the AVEDA Corporation, evaluating, at different periods, their 20 year partnership with an Amazonian Indian tribe from which they source organically grown dyes for their products.

Amália lives in a rural community in the Atlantic Forest coastal mountains of São Paulo, Brazil. A lifetime project is to bring to her own community a sense of the global urgencies, and to transform that knowledge into actions toward local sustainability, including food security, watershed conservation, and resiliency and adaptation in times of climate change.

She has also introduced Joanna Macy’s “Work that Reconnects” in Brazil, produced and revised the translation of her book Coming Back to Life, and organized Joanna’s first trip to Brazil. She is a trained facilitator of these experiential workshops founded on principals of systems thinking, eco-psychology, and deep ecology.

One of the most important tools in Amalia’s current work is her singing. She believes that to elevate humanity’s consciousness in order to revert our destructive actions in this planet, we need to vibrate our energy at a much higher level, and that music and other ludic methods of creativity, and the expression of love in its purest form, can finally take us there.

Featured works:

Connecting the dots after the annual EDGE Funders conference: https://www.alliancemagazine.org/blog/connecting-dots-annual-edge-funders-conference/Updated December 2011.

How Global South funds are evolving the field of international philanthropy: https://www.hrfn.org/community-voices/how-global-south-funds-are-evolving-the-field-of-international-philanthropy/