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About the project

The Association for Cohesive Development of the Amazon (ADCAM) started in 1985 as a small orphanage with 30 kids.  Today, it is a nationally-recognized institution which offers K-12, a technical college, vocational training, a family development center and rural education programs serving over 1,000 students, and 4,400 youth, families and elderly a day.  Programs include:

  • A K-12 school serving more than 1000 students
  • The Family Development Institute serving at risk students from the ages of 7-17 
  • The Vocational School offerig 16 vocational training tracks
  • The SAT tutorial curriculum used at 16 river schools along side Amazon River
  • An after-school program for street children serving 400 students
  • A program for the disadvantaged & vulnerable elderly
  • A Youth Apprenticeship program to prepare youth ages 15-24 for employment
  • A program to assist juvenile offenders

How we help

ADCAM is located in one of the poorest sections of Manaus, the capital city of the State of Amazonas.Since 2006, Mona Foundation has supported this project with scholarships and funds for capital improvement. We’ve seen generational change where children who’ve gone through ADCAM’s programs come back to serve their communities and raise their own children with service to humanity as one of their highest values. The kids and community acknowledge this life-transforming opportunity:


Adria: “The Youth Apprentice Program changed my life. It gave me the knowledge and skills to get my first job. When you come from poor surroundings, you don’t know how to handle yourself in a professional environment. The teachers helped us both on the personal and professional level. I’m studying how to be an administrative assistant and I’m so grateful for this opportunity.”


Elisangela: “We are a simple family, but we still have the wish to see our children grow and flourish. We don’t have money in the bank or the means to pay the monthly tuition. That’s why we’re thankful for the scholarship for our son, Levi, who is just six years old.” 


Soraia: “My son, Deyvison, has grown so much as a person. This institution has helped him get off the streets. He’s becoming a responsible young man, serious about his studies and we ask for a scholarship so that he can continue in this road.”


Cleiza:  “We’re so grateful for the great strides our daughter, Tatiane, is making both academically and personally. I’m certain that this quality education will be a strong foundation for the rest of her life.”

The Story of ADCAM: A tale of love and sacrifice in service to thousands

It all Article Imagestarted when Ferial and her family moved to Manaus in the heart of the Amazon in 1985.  Ferial, pictured to the right, saw the abject poverty around her and decided to do something about it.  Her first step was to pick up 5 abandoned toddlers off the street and bring them home with her and this is how the orphanage started.  By the time she was done, 300 abandoned children had been adopted into good families.  Then she decided that education was the only way to address root cause of poverty and started the elementary school.  She added a classroom every year after that until she the school was a full K-12 school with 500 students.  

Then she looked around and saw hundreds of street children often with no clothes on and hungry, begging in the streets, so she decided to do something about that and started the ADCAM's Family Development Center.  This program offers free education to the street children, while providing parental support and training to the parents.    

And then she saw the desperate plight of the elderly in the community.  Often illiterate and unable to understand the complicated rules governing the meager stipend alloted to the elderly poor they were often homeless and without support, and so Ferial decided to help them.  She worked with numerous government agencies and community members and together they held a "Day of the Elderly" on ADCAM campus.  Then they advertised and brought in hundreds of the elderly in the community and signed them up for their government benefit of $10/month.   In addition they provided other nutritional and medical care services.   And this is how the "Program for the Elderly" at ADCAM was born.   The Day of the Elderly is now an annual event, and the program now serves hundreds of elderly women and men every day.

Then Ferial decided that K-12 education was not sufficient and the graduating youth needed skills and training to find employment that paid a living wage.  She again sprung into action and wrote a grant to the government of Brazil, asking for a $1M grant to start a 4 year technology collage.  This college is now in place, offering 17 different tracks of skills training including carpentry, refrigeration maintenance, computer technology and alike to the community.  Youth Apprenticeship program was later put in place to ensure placement of graduates in local companies.

Today, ADCAM is educating and serving 1,000 full time students, and 4,000 other youth, families and elderly.    In recognition, government of Brazil has awarded Ferial the Brazil’s equivalent of the Medal of Honor for her outstanding services to the people of Brazil.

Masrour K-12 School

Schools in many poor neighborhoods often lack qualified teachers. Masrour School offers quality K-12 education to children and youth in poor neighborhoods with certified teachers and diversified programs.

Masrour Technology Institute

The Institute offers professional certification in a variety of courses to youth and adults to improve their opportunity for employment, and give them the basis for sustainable lifetime careers.

Rural Polytechnic Institute of Amazonia 

The rural Institute offers access to formal education and courses on income generation to river and indigenous communities to help them to improve their livelihoods without having to migrate to the city.

Family Development Center

The Family Development Center offers educational programs to children, youth and their families to assist them to develop their capacities and to encourage children to stay in school and off the streets. Kids who participate here can also go on to other ADCAM educational programs.

Achievements in

1,015 studnets and 4,400 youth, families and elderly served daily.

195 full scholarships provided to students ages 7-17 in Masrour School, the Family Development Center and the Youth Apprentice Program.

Programs offered for disadvantage elderly, the street children, and 16 river schools alongside Amazon river. 

100 scholarships for street kids at the Family Development Center.

60 scholarships for students at Masrour K-12 School.

35 scholarships for the Youth Apprentice Program which helps them secure employment.

Give a youth a chance!

Give $50 a month, or $500 a year, to fund one student in the Youth Apprentice Program for a whole school year.

ADCAM & The Amazon

In a far-off world with a tropical biodiversity unparalleled by any other region in the world, ...

Ferial Sami Visits CA

Mona Foundation was fortunate to host Ferial Sami (Founder of ADCAM) and her sister, Suzan Sami (current Director of ADCAM)...