The Commission

Nelson Giovanelli Rosendo DOS SANTOS


Youth rehabilitation expert, Founding member of the Fazenda de Esperança communities for rehabilitation.

Nelson Giovanelli Rosendo dos Santos, a native of Brazil, is an expert in the rehabilitation of youth from drug addiction and abuse. In 1983, together with Father Hans Stapel, OFM, he founded the Fazenda da Esperança in the city of Guaratinguetá, in the state of São Paulo. 

The focus of Nelson Giovanelli’s work is to help victims of different types of dependence and violence in all walks of life. He follows victims of various forms of physical abuse, substance abuse and vulnerable adults on a path to recovery and healing. The Fazenda’s approach to rehabilitation is rooted in spirituality, as a discovery of the meaning of life, in life at work, as a way of self-support and in community life as a way of social reintegration. 

In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI visited this community in a sign of support for the work of the Fazendas and met with 2,000 young people from Fazendas throughout Brazil and from Russia, Philippines, Mozambique, Germany, Mexico, Guatemala, Paraguay and Argentina. Today this work has spread across all the states of Brazil and to other countries, such as Uruguay, Bolivia, Colombia, Portugal, Italy, Switzerland, Poland, Belgium, France, Angola, Cape Verde, Kenya, South Africa, welcoming more than 4,000 young people in almost 150 communities. 

In 2022, Pope Francis reappointed him a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

Brazil launches Núcleo Lux Mundi

Brazil launches Núcleo Lux Mundi

The Nucleo or Lux Mundi Center will coordinate and facilitate the setting up of diocesan commissions for the protection of children, adolescents and vulnerable people in the pastoral structures of the Catholic Church of Brazil