Social project helps black women in Rio boost their incomes

Socially vulnerable women participating in Project Nêga Rosa sew, cook

Published in 10/10/2015 - 17:28 By Akemi Nitahara reports from Agência Brasil - Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro - A instrutora Jurema Ferreira e as alunas de costura, Viviane Carrera e Andrea Soares participam do projeto Nêga Rosa, que atende mulheres em Comunidades do Rio de Janeiro (Tomaz Silva/Agência Brasil)

Nêga Rosa, a project in Rio de Janeiro, serves 240 women in slum communitiesTomaz Silva/Agência Brasil

They sew, cook, hold workshops, discuss cultural identities, and even attend events where they sell their products. These are a few of the activities at Nêga Rosa, a project in Rio de Janeiro that serves 240 women in such slum communities as Mangueira, Barreira do Vasco, Chatuba de Mesquita, Arará, Jacarezinho, Manguinhos, and Tuiuti.

According to the project's coordinator, Érica Portilho, by building gender empowerment through entrepreneurship and learning to value their identities, black women facing social vulnerability, former inmates, single mothers, and women with special needs have succeeded in improving their per capita incomes from $120 to $400.

Vanice Carrera, one of these women who sews and cooks as part of the project, said Nêga Rosa gave her the strength and encouragement to help her overcome cancer. “It [the project] was just perfect for me because it keeps me busy—I always have some soup to cook, some dessert to deliver, some sewing job to get done with. I'm having chemotherapy, so this project is what's really helping me cope, even through the hard times I have the stamina to carry on, make a difference and earn a living.”

Portilho notes that the facilities set up for the project, complete with kitchen and sewing machines, can also be used by these women to work on their own personal jobs for the customers they get independently. The project is now looking for e-commerce partners and, as of November, will also be open to girls aged 12 to 18-year-old in juvenile detention.

Among current initiatives, Nêga Rosa has been chosen in a bid to provide 5,000 cushions for the athletes' accommodations in the Rio 2016 Olympics. “The design we're using is a native Brazilian plant, and on the back of the cushions, we share our story with the project in both Portuguese and English language. The cushions will be a souvenir athletes can take back to their homes around the world,” the coordinator said.

Translated by Mayra Borges

Fonte: Social project helps black women in Rio boost their incomes

Edition: Juliana Andrade / Augusto Queiroz

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