Sesc: quality of life and well-being throughout Brazil

To provide quality of life and well-being to workers in the Commerce, Goods, Services and Tourism segments, their families and the whole society. This is the Mission of the Social Service of Commerce (Sesc), a non-profit Brazilian private institution that makes available Education, Health, Culture and Recreational programs and events and well as provides Social Assistance to workers and their dependents.

[Sesc Actions]

Since its foundation, Sesc has contributed to socioeconomic and cultural development in Brazil through social and educational actions and a wide variety of services that encourage the exercise of citizenship. To ensure that they are truly personalized to meet the needs of the population, all activities are based on models developed by experts in various fields and more than 35,000 nationwide collaborators who are continuously producing and receiving information aimed at improving services.

In more than two thousand municipalities located across the country, Sesc marks its presence through regional departments that manage and coordinate activity centers, lodging facilities, cultural centers, educational units and offices as well as other units located in the capitals of all states, close to the populations living in periphery zones or in urban areas. Complementing the intense work done at these permanent sites, Sesc maintains hundreds of mobile units that bring the same services to many other hard-to-reach locations. This makes it possible to extend the institution’s area of influence, serving people who live in distant locations, where the availability of public services is sometimes precarious.

[Sesc in Numbers]

Located in

states and the Federal District

Present in more than

cities in Brazil

fixed units

mobile units



In regard to Education for children, teens, adults and the elderly, Sesc´s goal is to make possible a process of social transformation for the country. This includes disseminating knowledge in different areas, encouraging critical thinking, personal autonomy and fostering social dialogues of every kind to better build a citizenship environment. Quality education is offered to all starting from language literacy training classes to professional recycling courses. An educational focus is part of all Sesc actions, not only in schools, but also in libraries, science labs and other spaces. All this is reinforced and updated through teacher training courses, workshops and seminars, as well as an on-going exchange of knowledge and experiences.


In the Health area, programs are developed to focus on disease prevention and health orientation leading to the integral well-being of individuals and the community. Sesc offers medical assistance in actions aimed at the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases, as well as providing quality dental care for the population. In Nutrition initiatives, objectives include teaching the public how to adopt a safe and balanced diet. Health Education projects, campaigns, courses, lectures, debates and exhibitions are designed to promote health habits and health awareness that directly reflect on the improvement of quality of life.

Art & Culture

Sesc Cultural programs and projects bring together entertainment, reflection and participation, from the perspective of building knowledge, values, ways of being, doing and living. Performing arts, visual arts, cinema, literature and music are part of a program that reaches millions of people around the country. Most of the attractions are free and reach places that are not usually part of the traditional cultural circuit, thus democratizing access to quality artistic performances, museums and libraries. Popular festivals in various regions and traveling projects also bring cinema, theater, music and dance performances to local squares and streets, as well as workshops, courses and lectures held in Sesc units.


Sesc recreational events are designed to disseminate citizenship values, promote creativity and encourage development of personal skills. With these goals in mind, Sesc combines recreation, tourism, sports and educational activities, by organizing championships, scavenger hunts, tours and excursions, as well as providing equipment for physical activities and sports, including swimming pools and sports courts. These practices democratize access to leisure for people of different ages and social classes, who can now enjoy healthy fun, by playing sports, watching shows and participating in a series of leisure moments, all necessary for maintaining a balance between physical and mental well-being.

Social Care

Social and community care at Sesc comprises a series of initiatives: group work, social work with the elderly, community actions and projects such as Mesa Brasil Sesc Group activities are designed to encourage the integration of young people, adults, parents, mothers and retired workers, through periodic meetings that discuss everyday issues such as the family, urban life, work and social relations. Programs created for seniors offer incentives to individual and collective development, by promoting self esteem and rebuilding personal autonomy through courses, sports and various activities.

Community actions are free and organized in parks, squares and public centers that focus on providing multi-assistance services to low-income populations. A highlight in this area

is the Mesa Brasil Sesc program, a national, solidarity network created to combat hunger and waste. Nearly 1.8 million people have been benefited by this program through participation in educational activities and the distribution of surplus or non-commercial foodstuffs that present safe conditions for human consumption.

How is Sesc's structure maintained?

Sesc's organization and administration fall under the responsibility of the National Confederation of Goods, Trade, Services and Tourism (CNC), the highest entity representing employers' associations in the key sectors of the Brazilian economy. Membership includes some 4.5 million companies, which accounts for about 25% of Brazil’s GDP and employs 25 million workers. The resources used to maintain Sesc come from a compulsory tax contribution based on company payrolls. As defined by the Brazilian Federal Constitution; 1.5% for Sesc and 1% for Senac (National Commercial Apprenticeship Service). Collected via the IRS, the funds are destined to be used to finance public interest actions. Importantly, the constitutional guarantee of funding for these entities arose from a constitutional amendment petition that received more than 1.7 million signatures - the second most-voted popular amendment. This action prompted the government to include the insertion of art., 240 in the new constitutional text which was promulgated in 1988.