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 center, in the city of Guarantiguetà, in the State of São Paulo in Brazil.
The focus of Nelson Giovanelli’s work is to assist the victims of different types of addictions and violence that come from some of the poorest areas of Brazil. He has accompanied victims of various forms of physical abuse, substance abuse and vulnerable adults on a path of recovery and healing. The Fazenda’s approach to rehabilitation is rooted in community support and social reconciliation.
Already in 2007 the project had branched out to several other Brazilian States and other countries in the world including Russia, the Philippines, Mozambique, Germany, Mexico, Guatemala, Paraguay, Argentina, today Uruguay, Bolivia, Colombia, Portugal, Italy, Switzerland, Poland , Belgium, France, Angola, Cabo Verde, Quenia, South Africa.
In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI visited this community in a sign of support for the Fazenda’s outreach to society’s marginalized.
In 2018, Pope Francis appointed him as a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.