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Joana was just eight when her mother died of Aids – and the little girl’s world fell apart.

Without anyone to love or protect her, she was easy prey to those who thought they had every right to abuse and exploit her.

Aged ten, Joana was gang raped by four men, and before long she was immersed in the dark world of child sexual exploitation along the BR-116.

Since Meninadança’s Pink House opened in Medina, our team have daily loved and cared for Joana, who is now 15, showing her how much she is really worth.

That has sometimes meant collecting her from prostitution dens. Once we had to rush her to hospital when she suffered an overdose after being drugged and abused by a group of men.

Joana was one of the girls from Medina who bravely allowed director Lyttanya Shannon to follow her and tell her story for her Pink House documentary ‘This Life’ – because she wanted to the world to know their plight.

In one heartbreaking scene, she weeps as she says: “I just wish I had my mother to give love to me and my sisters. If I hadn’t lost her I’d be happy to this day.

“I’m in this life, I go with who I go with, I get into trucks, I sniff cocaine, I do these things because I’ve lost her, it’s because I’ve lost her.”


For her graduation film at the National Film and Television School, Lyttanya Shannon visited Meninadança and made a heartbreaking documentary about the girls at the Pink House called Esta Vida (This Life). It has has already been recognised as a powerful film – being nominated for a a prestigious One World Media award and a Sheffield/Doc Fest award.

Meninadança has permission to allow our supporters to host private screenings of the film in their own homes, churches, groups or workplaces.

Could you organise a premiere of This Life during the first two weeks of November this year?

This is a unique opportunity to invite others to hear about the tragedy of child prostitution along the BR-116, and what Meninadança is doing to make a difference.

To register your interest in hosting a showing, please email us at: office@meninadanca.org. Nearer the time we will supply you with publicity materials, a copy of the film, and other resources to help you make the most of your event.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE TRAILER

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