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Ariane Noronha, Soul Bilíngue, Brazil

Ariane Noronha is an education activist and founder of Soul Bilíngue, a social initiative that democratises language learning and international exchange for low-income youth in Brazil. Noronha launched the NGO in 2018, which has reached more than 3,000 students, and was named the best small-size NGO in Brazil by the Best NGOs 2023. 


Ariane Moronha, founder of Soul Bilíngue.Photo: The PIE News

If we’re not able to speak English, we will not be able to understand how the world works

Describe yourself in three words or phrases 

Courageous, brave, and I believe the sky’s the limit.

What inspires you about the international students that you work with?  

They are really interested in learning more about how the world works. This is something I see in them that motivates me to provide more opportunities for them.

The students that I work with wouldn’t otherwise be able to live internationally, but if they have the information and more opportunities, it can change their lives forever. So it makes me really happy to be able to provide those opportunities and that’s what gets me out of bed in the morning.  

What’s the best work trip you’ve ever been on?  

I’d say London because the diversity and the mix of cultures. I went on a business trip there to visit a school called English Path London to see how it works and to be an international student for a week so I could experience it before my students went there.  

I also love the United States – New York and Virginia – where I learned English. I spent 18 months there, so I made great friends and my attachment to Virginia is more emotional. 

What is your favourite international dish that you’ve discovered through your work?  

I don’t know if this is British, but I had it for breakfast for the first time in London… Just a slice of toast with a fried egg and lots of black pepper. I don’t know if it’s very common but in Brazil we usually have scrambled eggs, so I’ve started making this at home for my son and we both love it, and it’s so easy to make. 

What is the biggest challenge of your job? 

To make people understand the importance of international experiences and learning a second language.

It’s such a privilege to come from a country where English is the first language, and making English speakers understand our mission is a really important part of my job.

For Brazilians, it’s hard because we know that if we’re not able to speak English, we will not be able to understand how the world works. So making people understand my job is something I must do every day to bring more investment to the project. But I think when you’re doing something you truly believe in you can promote your mission and bring others to join the cause with you. 

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