About Us

We are a group of volunteers, in the Washington, DC region, passionate about Brazil. We dedicate our time and efforts to assist in the mission of ANSA. We love what we do and believe that we can make a difference, especially in the future of children in Brazil.

 ANSA has many other volunteers and contributors, who actively participate and are very important to maintain this association.

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Neusa Maria Medeiros, President

Neusa Maria Medeiros is ANSA’s president and works passionately and spares no effort to help Brazil through ANSA, a dream made real. She prioritizes transparency, honesty and service. Born in Belém do Pará, the only child of cearense parents, as a child she lived in Rio de Janeiro and Fortaleza until her teenager’s years. Neusa earned her Bachelor’s degree in Minas, Brasília, and Paraíba.
In Mississippi, she graduated with a master’s and later a Ph.D. in Washington, DC. She graduated with another Master’s. With so many things to study and places to explore, she learned that life makes sense when knowledge is used for the welfare of others. Neusa is pretty sure that ANSA is a blessing from Our Lady of Aparecida and is very grateful.

Pe. Charles Hergenroeder, Spiritual Director

PE. Charles Hergenroeder was born in Baltimore, MD, USA on October 9, 1947. His parents were traditional Catholics and committed to the Church. His mother was from the Lutheran family who was converted, baptized and confirmed in the Catholic religion, before marriage.

Father Charles studied at the Sacred Heart of Jesus parish school, Baltimore, US. He entered the High School in St. Mary’s, North East, Pennsylvania in 1960. He graduated with BA in Philosophia from St. Alphonsus College, Suffield, Connecticut. Then he studied theology at Mt. St. Alphonsus Seminary, Esopus, NY. He was ordained by Cardinal Terence Cook (Archbishop of New York), June 1973 and went to Brazil on September 14, 1974.

He spent several years in the interior of Mato Grosso do Sul, then in Paraná. After several years in the parish ministry, he was chosen as Director of the São Clemente Seminar in Curitiba. His last years in Brazil, he took over as parish priest at the state sanctuary N.S. do Rocio in Paranaguá, PR and later at the parish N.S. do Bom Sucesso, in Guaratuba, PR.

After 31 years in Brazil, he returned to the USA in 2005, and served in the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parishes in Baltimore, MD and ST. Mary’s in Annapolis, MD. During this time, he learned about the work of the ANSA Community and was asked to accompany this missionary work as a Spiritual Director. Since that time, he has known and supported this “outreach” of the Brazilian Community of Arlington, VA, to respond to the great needs, especially of children, in Brazil. He currently resides at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica, Boston, MA.

Nilma Araújo, Treasurer

Nilma Araújo was born in Londrina, PR, Brazil. She worked at the International Finance Corporation in Washington, DC for 25 years as a Senior Staff Assistant. When a friend introduced her to ANSA in 2017, she fell in love with their work.

ANSA has an enthusiastic and dedicated group of volunteers with a mission to help the less fortunate in Brazil, focusing on low income children and women. With ANSA, Nilma hopes to make a difference in the world by helping children and women one step at a time. She is very proud to be a Board Member and volunteer in this association.

Marilza Piana Iriarte, Secretary

Marilza Piana Iriarte was born in Ibiam/Tangará, SC, Brazil. She is a volunteer and a board member of ANSA since 2014. ANSA is a non-profit organization, with a mission to help disadvantaged children and women in Brazil. Marilza believes that each person can make a difference, no matter how small their contribution, since it helps to provide a better world for others.

“Every time I see the results of the projects, in these most needy areas of my country, I’m proud to be part of this group and it gives me the courage to continue participating.”

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Fátima Moghrabi, Volunteer

Fátima was born in Rio de Janeiro Brazil and lives in the Washington DC area.

“I am Fatima Moghrabi and all the social work I do is meaningful to me, but ANSA holds a special place in my heart. I feel a special connection not only with the people I work with but also with the communities we help in Brazil. I feel that we touch these young people’s lives by giving them an opportunity to have a better future.”

The poem that follows is from a writer I learned to love in my own country Brazil.

“I don’t know if life is too short or too long for us. But I know that nothing in life makes sense, if we don’t touch people’s hearts.” Cora Coralina

Myriam Woods, Volunteer


Myriam Quintella Woods was born in Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She moved to the USA more than 30 years

“For many years, I looked for a way to support a non-profit organization that benefited women and
children in Brazil who are in need. Three years ago, when I moved to VA, I met ANSA and every day I am happier to be part of this
group. I look forward to applying my knowledge and development experience as a Principal at a nonprofit school in
Newtown, CT for 25 years, to improve and diversify ANSA fundraising efforts.”

Tania Burns, Volunteer

Tania Burns was born in the U.S. but developed an affinity for the Brazilian people and their culture after a three year tour in Rio de Janeiro with her husband, a US Marine on orders to the Brazilian Marines (Os Fuzileiros Navais). She joined ANSA in 2014 after a trip to Brazil where her family spent a day teaching baseball to the girls at Santa Rita de Cássia Orphanage in Jacarepaguá. She is a fluent Portuguese speaker with a BSE in Mechanical engineering and a Masters in Business Administration. Her career spans the energy sector, and she currently consults with the U.S.Department of Energy on efforts to help modernize the nation’s electric grid.
She feels blessed to have found a group of caring individuals dedicated to helping women and children in Brazil. Two of her favorite projects were funding the purchase of story books for a school in Rolador, Rio Grande do Sul to open students’ eyes to the wonder of reading, and the purchase of kitchen equipment so a community in Pacoti, Ceará could start a business making jams and sweets from locally grown fruit.
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Teresinha Garcia, Volunteer

Teresinha was born in Muçum, grew up in São Leopoldo, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil and lives in Arlington, VA for more than 30 years.

“I am very happy to be able to contribute to ANSA’s mission to provide a better future for children and women in my country.”

Ines Ulsh, Volunteer

Ines was born in Bahia, grew up in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and has lived in Falls Church, VA for many years.

“With the spirit of generosity and helping others, we are gradually helping the children and women of our Brazil.”