Pupa Empreendimentos Educacionais e Representacao Ltda, a new social business launched by Brazil’s Zoom Editora, will use a $3 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to roll out an innovative early childhood development program that will benefit as many as 224,000 low-income pre-school children in Brazil.
PUPA will offer parents and caretakers easy to follow educational play activities through colorful magazines, LEGO toys and audio-visual aids. PUPA’s program will also train up to 56,000 caregivers in early childhood education techniques, basic nutrition and hygiene, and in the use of their interactive play materials. PUPA representatives will pay regular visits to daycares or homes to answer questions and provide support, and help ensure that materials are being used as designed.
PUPA will work with a network of non-governmental organizations and micro-franchisers, and employ women to sell the educational kits to families and informal caregivers. It is expected that as many as 1,400 women microfranchisees will benefit from business training and employment opportunities through PUPA.
PUPA is the first private company in Brazil to tap into the low-income market for early childhood educational products.