Meninadança  Belo

Meninadança is born in Belo Horizonte

Matt Roper starts working with teenage girls living on the streets and addicted to crack-cocaine in Belo Horizonte, capital of Minas Gerais state.
With friend Warlei Torezani he opens a dance centre in Belo's city centre, giving dance classes to streets girls. The girls name the project Meninadança, which means 'Girl Dance'.
As the girls begin to leave their gangs and express a desire to leave the streets for good, two residential homes are opened.

Telling the story and raising awareness

‘Street Girls’ by Matt Roper is published, documenting the plight of homeless young girls in Brazil.
Matt’s book ‘Remember Me, Rescue Me’, about child prostitution and trafficking in Brazil, is published.
Meninadança concludes its work in Belo Horizonte after having reached every street girl in the city and returning many home to their families.
Meninadança Belo Horizonte
Dean Brody Meninadanca

Coming across an untold tragedy

Canadian singer Dean Brody contacts Matt, now working as a reporter for the UK’s Daily Mirror newspaper, after reading his book 'Remember Me, Rescue Me'.
In Brazil, Dean and Matt make their first trip along the BR-116, where they visit remote towns along the highway and hear heart-breaking stories of girls trapped in prostitution.
Meninadança is launched as a charity in the UK, and the Dean Brody Foundation is established in Canada.

The Pink House In Medina

Meninadança’s first conference is held in London and Matt Roper returns with his family to live in Brazil.
Dean and Matt travel the length of the BR-116 documenting the sexual exploitation of children, while plans for a project with girls in Medina start to come together.
The Pink House, Meninadança’s first project working with girls on the BR-116, opens in Medina’s town centre. Matt Roper's book, Highway To Hell, is published.
Meninadanca Opening
Dean Brody Meninadanca

Reaching further afield

Our office is opened in Belo Horizonte to coordinate our Pink House projects as well as promote awareness raising, advocacy and educational campaigns.
After a visit to Cândido Sales, 100km north of Medina along the BR-116, we bring international attention to how young girls are being used as prizes in sex raffles in the remote town.
After a media and letter-writing campaign, former mayor of Taiobeiras, on the run after being accused of abuse of hundreds of girls spanning decades, is captured.

The Pink House In Cândido Sales

A small Meninadança team begins reaching out to young girls and their families in Cândido Sales.
Matt and Warlei walk the 100km from Medina to Cândido Sales on foot in a symbolic gesture to show young victims of abuse and exploitation they are no longer alone.
Our second Pink House in Cândido Sales opens, the first social project of any kind to ever be established in the town.
Meninadanca Opening

The Future

Meninadança's story has only just begun! We want to be present in the lives of disadvantaged and at-risk girls for many decades to come. Join us on our journey as we continue to make a real difference.

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