Meet LO’s Brazilian Impact Partner: Mulheres da Parada
“During the quarantine, I saw the needs of the people where I live, of the community, which is called São Jorge Parade and is in Sacramento, São Gonçalo, so I saw the vulnerabilities and ills of the periphery very closely. I started to see people starving, because of the [lockdown], they couldn’t work, and without working they had no money, and if they didn’t have money, they had no way to buy food, this is the reality of people, at least here where I live.”
Mulheres da Parada founder and Executive Director Leticia da Hora started MDP in April 2020, when the COVID pandemic laid bare the urgent needs of her community. She began to mobilize her networks of neighbors, friends and family to help, they went from door to door in the city, giving people masks in exchange for food donations which they could pass on to those in need. “We went from door to door exchanging masks for food and getting more and more food to donate. And so began the Mulheres da Parada movement.”
The Solidarity Market serves 2,750 of the poorest families in São Gonçalo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil through this free, self serve marketplace. MDP conducts interviews to ensure the neediest families have access to the market, prioritizing single-parent families headed by black women, with special attention to families headed by women with children 0- 6. Additionally, participating families receive ongoing psychological assistance, guidance, and education and take part in group discussions, workshops and counseling related to well-being, food security, agriculture and human rights.
In the past three years, Mulheres da Parada has expanded, providing not just food for families in need, but also into women’s empowerment and education, agriculture workshops and gardening, and Educational Support for young children.
LO representative, Ana Christina, in a recent visit to the field, shared her reflection on the impact of the program:
The Project is in a city called São Gonçalo, [where] the opportunity for work, transportation and education are scarce. For that reason the project brings a lot of benefits for the women and the surroundings. Not only because of the food safety but also because Mulheres da Parada brings the possibility for the women to learn new skills and open their minds for new realities. I had the opportunity to talk with some of the women and most of them are family mothers with few opportunities to work, study or even go around. They said they are learning things they never imagined.Ana Christina, LO Representative
We are honored to collaborate with Mulheres da Parada to support their powerful and crucial work in Brazil. Please write to us if you are interested in supporting Mulheres da Parada in a larger way.