Since the start of 2013, Meninadança’s Pink House in Medina has been sowing seeds of hope in the lives of more than 50 vulnerable girls aged 10 to 17.
There is still a long way to go, but in that time we have seen real change happen – girls beginning to recognise their own worth and potential.
We thought it was time we wrote down some of the things that have been achieved since we opened our doors, so here goes…
50 girls attending the Pink House every day
All their families being accompanied and supported by our community team
Breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack served to the girls every day
Pink House supported by seven full-time staff – a social worker, two social educators, two dance teachers, beauty salon teacher and cook.
Many girls starting to open up, speak up for themselves and think more clearly about their lives
Monthly themes used in discussions and activities at the Pink House including family, self-identity, what it means to be a girl, and human rights
12 girls who were out of school have returned to classes
Two girls in immediate danger removed from the town and placed with substitute families
25 girls and/or their families helped through referrals to council departments or government social assistance schemes
10 open-air dance performances, both within Medina and in other nearby communities, where the girls have spoken our against exploitation
School headteachers reporting improvement in the girls’ behaviour, concentration and even physical appearance and complexion
The support of Medina’s town council, and partnerships with social work departments and some shops and companies in the town
Brazilian volunteers including a two-day doctor’s surgery in the Pink House, and a dentist who cares for the girls’ teeth every Friday
Unveiling of the ‘Meninadança mural’ and making by the girls of animated short film, ‘We want to be loved’
The donation from the council of land next to the Pink House to create the Meninadança Garden, a public park with a message of hope
Meninadança given a seat on Medina’s Social Assistance Council, which decides on strategies and interventions with those in need
The granting by Medina’s town council of the title of ‘Utilidade Pública’, an important title in Brazil given to charities that are deemed to provide valuable public services
Eight volunteers from outside Brazil, and two ‘impact’ teams – a dance team from England and a jewellery- making team from Australia
Activities to soon begin with the girls’ mothers, including an allotment project, discussion groups and mum zumba classes