Teresa Surita is in her 5th mandate as Mayor of Boa Vista, Capital of Roraima State in the Amazon area. She was the only woman elected to rule a Brazilian capital and had an approval of 84%. Since she started her public career in 1990 as Federal Deputy for 2 times, Teresa has been defending children’s rights.
In 2010, as Federal Deputy, she was the rapporteur of an important law that curbed child mistreatment and physical abuse – named “Lei Bernardo”. As Vice-President of the Education Commission of Chamber of Deputies she was responsible for drafting the Brazilian National Education Plan. Teresa was also National Secretary of Urban Programs of the Brazilian Government.
She has been developing actions based on the scientific, social and economic importance of investing in early childhood, since a specialization course she made at Harvard in 2011.
In 2013, as a Mayor, she implemented a public policy recognized internationally which works with early childhood development, providing comprehensive care for pregnant women and their children up to 6 years old. This program has been attracting the attention around the world for its scope of service and integrated team management model.
Some partners, as Bernard Van Leer Foundation, have been working together to transform Boa Vista in the Brazilian Children’s Capital.
Teresa has used her political vision and administrative experience to deal with the challenges in an economic and social crisis scenario, turning difficulties into opportunities improving public policies even in a severe Venezuelan humanitarian crisis and the pandemic COVID-19.