The relationship between philanthropy, assistance and poverty in Brazil conquered evidence with the emergence of the social question. This is the object of this article, which analyzes the actions of Dr. Fernandes Figueira in the direction of Children's Polyclinic of Rio's House of Mercy (1909-1924). When he pointed as the object of his attention the working women and their children, Fernandes Figueira delimited the space for public and private action. For us, having directed this institution was extremely important for him, since it became his privileged laboratory for the public policies that he would implement in the 1920s.
philanthropy; assistance; poverty; children; Fernandes Figueira; Rio de Janeiro