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Little Star International School was founded by Livia Matarazzo di Licosa in 2008. The school’s “Mission and Vision” reflect the values emphasized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed in Paris by the General Assembly of UN on the 10th of December 1948. At Little Star school all of our activities are linked to these universal values. Livia’s ethics were instilled in her by her great-grandfather, Francesco Matarazzo (1854-1937), who emigrated to Brazil in the 19th century.

From humble origins and through years of hard toil and dedication, Francesco succeeded in becoming one of Brazil’s greatest entrepreneurs and the owner of one of the six most important industrial groups in the world.

He started out as a labourer on the plantations of Sorocaba but as soon as he was able to save a good sum of money he opened a trade centre selling animal lard and other products to Italian farmers. From there he expanded his enterprise selling anything from knives and hats to cart wheels until he was able to open his own pasta factory and a modern mill, the first in Brazil. He built his own factories in order to produce the raw materials that supported the manufacturing of his commodities. These were the first stepping stones towards the immense empire he would one day build. Francesco Matarazzo began a series of businesses that quickly multiplied and that covered various areas of interest, many of which were at the cutting edge of his time.

He began focusing on the financial sector, helping to found the Banca Commerciale Italiana in São Paulo and several years later, he was a shareholder, founding member and the first president of the Banca Italiana of Brazil. In the year 1911, he became the local representative of Banco di Napoli, which had a monopoly on the shipment of money to Italy by Italians working abroad. All this was before the creation of the Casa Bancária Matarazzo.



The results of his industrial empire at the height of his success, which for three decades was the greatest in Latin America, were astonishing with more than 200 companies, maritime firms, banks, immense estates, worldwide branches and 30,000 employees. His industrial empire included manufacturing products in the agricultural, textile, chemical, metallurgic and oil sectors. He was awarded a noble title by King Victor Emanuele III of Italy for his immense philanthropic work in both Brazil and Italy. His son, Ermelino, was a man of principle and sound values and shared his father’s ambition for self and social improvement. He was the first to import Coca-Cola to Italy and later went on to invent the famous Fanta soft drink that we have learned to know and love. He lived by the values that have characterized the Matarazzo name throughout its long history: “Love for family, and love for work” and consolidated the name as a major contributor and benefactor to society.

Livia’s ideology of “working with the children of today to create a better world tomorrow” reflects the values and principles inherited from her family. Teaching children the value of respect and the importance of living together with people of every race, culture and religion is what Little Star is all about and you too can choose to be a part of it and join us in the creation of a better world!


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