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​There is nothing fair about life, nor does fairness correspond to any known principle in nature.Yet for humans, fairness matters. It matters to our innate sense of equity, to our need for harmony in our social spaces, and to our equanimity. There will always be those among us, who by reason of birth, sudden misfortune, political failure or natural catastrophes will find themselves at extreme disadvantage. While it can be so, it isn’t right. Linley Foundation works to right inequities and provide fairness and balance to our world.


The origins of the Linley Foundation lie in the tropical fishing village of Barra de Mamanguape in northeast Brazil. In February 2006, David Adams and his partner, Maria Lucia Ferreira, adopted a sick, malnourished horse and brought in a veterinary practitioner to treat it. The children of the village, their curiosity piqued, began to hover around to observe the odd arrangement between the outsiders and a sick horse. The adults invited the children to join the vet, who taught them the basics of good animal care and at the same time the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. 


The children quickly took over responsibility for the horse’s care. It regained its health and beauty. They renamed it “Espelho" (Mirror), because, as in a mirror, it reflected the care it had received--neglect and cruelty on the one hand; care and compassion on the other. It was also the first of many projects that the Linley Foundation has initiated in the northeast region of Brazil, ranging from educational projects to veterinary support, adult scholarships and flood reconstruction programs. 


  • We receive most of our funding from small donations.

  • What we lack in size, we compensate with creativity and flexibility.


  • When projects are beyond our scale, we invite partners to assist us.


  • We are always ready to share what we have learned with others.


  • We generate our own projects but also work with individuals and institutions with inspired ideas.


  • We are entrepreneurial and will take risks in supporting projects we believe will make a difference. 


  • Our Board consists of individuals who have started and/or managed large or small enterprises. Their advice is crucial in setting up solid and sustainable programs.


  • We are always looking at scale and efficiency. 


  • Most of our projects start as small pilot programs, which we then scale up and generalize. 


  • We don't reinvent what others have already learned through hands-on experience.


  • We believe in reciprocity. Those who benefit from our programs will be asked to share what they’ve learned to benefit others.


  • We believe in passion and outrage. These are among the natural leader’s essential tools to cut through apathy and despair. Yet, despite all, we never forget to celebrate our accomplishments and rejoice in the goodwill and spirit of those people that made them happen.

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