The Reality Today

Sexual exploitation isn’t the only threat faced by young girls living along the major highways of rural Brazil – but it is the greatest and the most devastating.

In poor communities along the the country’s longest and busiest road, the BR-116, prostitution is an accepted and common way of making money, and for thousands of vulnerable girls abuse and exploitation has tragically become an entirely normal part of their passage through adolescence.

Normal or not, accepted or not, child sexual exploitation shatters young lives. A girl who is sexually exploited is robbed of her childhood and denied the opportunity to discover her own identity and self-worth. There is no greater violation of a child’s human rights.

That is why Meninadança has chosen to fight it  – one life at a time. And why we have tailored our interventions to address the complex needs of these girls, and the context and culture of the communities in which they live.

The BR-116 in Numbers

2819miles – the length of the BR-116 highway, the worst road in the world for the sexual exploitation of children.
262places along the BR-116 where children are known to be sold for sex – the equivalent of one every ten miles.
250,000children caught up in the sex industry throughout Brazil, according to the country’s Federal Police.

For a Better Tomorrow

Through our Pink House in Medina, Meninadança is already sowing seeds of hope in the lives of 60 girls who never imagined there was a way out, let alone dared to dream of a different future.

Our vision is to establish more safe houses and community outreaches in as many towns and villages along the motorway as funds and resources allow.

Working with the girls’ families, and the wider community, we hope to change attitudes as well as lives, breaking the generational cycle of poverty and prostitution.

At the same time, we will continue to speak out about this, Brazil’s untold tragedy, highlighting individual cases, decrying injustice where we find it, making sure the world hears.

We are already starting our next project, in the town of Cândido Sales, 40 miles north of Medina, where countless young girls are trapped in a life of abuse – with no-one reaching out to them.

A Meninadança team is beginning the work of outreach amongst the girls and their families. If you’ve caught the vision please partner with us and help more girls find the hope, healing and justice they deserve.

“…until the day girls are protected and valued,
until child prostitution is no longer tolerated,
until God’s light and love penetrates every dark place,
even in the remotest corners of Brazil.
We invite you to join us.”
Matt Roper, Highway to Hell