Our history

Sylvia, Laís and Fofa wanted to know more about the country they live in and, for this reason, chose to travel to the largest region of Brazil: the Brazilian Legal Amazon, which corresponds to 60% of our territory. But they did not want to visit, learn, experience and not leave something to the people they would meet along the way. They wanted to exchange, learn and teach, and with this in mind they had the idea of bringing books and training reading mediators wherever they would go.

Thus, in 2001, the three friends set out to implement a pilot project in municipalities of Pará. It was so well accepted by the communities that in 2002 they made a 10-month journey through all the states of the Brazilian Legal Amazon, bringing books and qualification to 53 rural communities.

When they came back to São Paulo, where the small room they had rented as an office for this project was located, they found several letters asking them to go back to the Legal Amazon, as there were not only many other communities interested in libraries, but also people demanding training. And this is how Vaga Lume was born!

Veja no mapa as nossas bibliotecas

Why the name Vaga Lume?

We are called Vaga Lume because there are several of these little insects living in the rural communities where the community libraries are located. Besides, a Vaga Lume (firefly) is an insect that brightens and lightens, and we like to think books and reading mediators do the same, lighting up wherever they go!

Check out Vaga Lume’s History of Awards and Accolades:


Top 100 Brazilian NGOs to Donate Award, Instituto Doar


Cultura Viva Prize, São Paulo's Municipal Secretariat of Culture
Project of the Month, Global Giving


Best Brazilian NGO in Education, Instituto Doar
Top 100 Brazilian NGOs to Donate Award, Instituto Doar
European Union Human Rights Award, European Union Delegation in Brazil
Itaú-Unicef Award (as a nominee)


Top 100 Brazilian NGOs to Donate Award, Instituto Doar and Época Magazine
Veja-se Award – Culture Category, Veja Magazine


INSTITUTO PRÓ LIVRO Award, Retratos da Leitura Category, IPL


Inovação e Criatividade na Educação Básica Award, Ministry of Education (MEC)


Leitura Para Todos Award – Ministry of Culture (MINC)


Empreendedor Social Award (as nominee) – Folha de São Paulo and Fundação Schwab


Intercultural Innovation Award, United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and BMW Group


Juscelino Kubitschek Latin American and Caribbean Regional Development Prize, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)


Vivaleitura Award, Society Category, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Culture (MinC)