A Parksville man is donating the money made from the sale of his Dogwood Street condo to help build a school in Brazil.
Giancarlo Chitto will donate close to $435,000 for the construction of a new school in Salvador, Brazil that will offer 135 students the opportunity to take a three-year professional program that would help them with post-secondary education or a obtain a trade.
Chitto is donating the money to an organization called Mansão do Caminho (Mansion of the Way) that helps Brazilian children and adults living in poverty with education, food, medical and dental care.
Founded in 1952, Chitto has been donating money to the organization for the past 21 years. He said it’s all for the kids.
“It’s an act of kindness,” he said. “The new school will help give the students another boost in order to get a trade or they can go on to university.”
The facility will also allow for 30 students with learning and behavioural problems to receive specialized, holistic treatment.
Chitto, originally from Italy, has a long history of philanthropy and a deep connection to Brazil, having lived there with his wife Joan for 10 years. In 1996 the couple founded Fabiano of Christ Benevolent Society to assist children in the poverty-stricken suburb of Pau da Lima.
In 2009, they used the funds from the sale of their home to help finish the building of a birthing centre in Pau da Lima.
“We helped finish (the birthing centre),” he said. “It was three years stopped because it had no money. Since then it has delivered 4,000 kids with no mortalities.”
After Chitto’s wife Joan passed away in 2017, five days before her 85th birthday, he wanted to make a donation in her name.
He called his friend professor Divaldo Franco, founder of Mansão do Caminho, and asked if he needed funding for any upcoming projects. Franco said he wanted to build a new school to help youth prepare for furthering education.
Chitto offered $500,000 by selling his condo but his projection fell just short of that.
“We will only have about $435,000, making us $65,000 short,” Chitto said. “Therefore I am appealing to the good people that read this article to help us out as much as possible to close the gap.”
Chitto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-951-0632.
Various reasons led Chitto to sell his home and donate the money to Mansão do Caminho. He said as he is now in old age he wanted to get his assets organized and make things easier for him as he ages.
“I could have gave my worldly possessions to my relatives, but if I did that it would add to their fortune and very few people would benefit,” he said. “I decided to help the Mansion of the Way to help these children in need to get a good education, get a good paying job and perhaps later on when they are established they will remember the gift they received and return the favour and help their generation.”