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2011 Week 2 VOF. Please have the ticket to the Voices of Our Future? The women of Rio's favelas have to speak to the world!

A mouth in the world who seek solutions to the women of his country. His speech will be heard in your community.

I want to give voice to women and children from the slums of Rio de Janeiro.

I'm Valeria Barbosa, Brazilian, 53 years, 3 children. In social work with 700 children, 400 young and 100 elderly and 138 employees of the Children's Crusade. I was born in a slum in the late 60s, was transferred to the City of God because of speculation.

My parents were illiterate, my father was my abuser.

Constantly sick because dasenchentes, sanitation and constant fear of living. Found in hospital cleanliness, comfort, and books. Needed to be somewhere else, listening to new words. Being protected.

My neighbors taught me to read.

My uncle knocked on my aunt, my father in my brothers. I defended them.

With the transfer of Praia do Pinto for the City of God, took care of my brothers. Our parents had to work. She was the eldest, did not let them get involved with drug trafficking.

She liked to study, sing, dance, poetry, painting and teaching children and young people. She dressed me in a yellow shirt in the courtyard of the building and playing with other children, told stories. Filled the day. They were alone. I love people in my community.

I met the missionaries of the Anglican Church that taught me a lot also went to other religions. In Brazil there is this freedom.

Today in addition to working with children and young people have great affection for the elderly, are vulnerable to family violence, exploitation and neglect. Most are workers, poor and slum dwellers. What worked for the rich and their children, with the transfer of the slums of long hours away from their children, many of these young people died in traffic due to the long absence of an adult.

I dedicate my voice to the women of the slums.

Create projects that care for their children and their parents, providing opportunities for training school in their lives, increasing resources and strengthening the network of contexts. With courage and persistence.

I am currently coordinating a community newspaper, in its second edition will bring the participation of teachers and children of municipal schools in a campaign to choose the paper's logo, the communication value of the newspaper the voice of the community, and provides space for education and culture through information.

I believe that my life has changed because of the opportunities and exchange of knowledge with the weight that I was associated over the years.

I must learn to give voice to City of God, Manguinhos, the German Complex, Santa Marta ... the Favelas of Rio de Janeiro will be with Boca in the World and the voice in the future.



RosemaryC's picture

Such vivid pictures and so much energy

There are so many vivid pictures in your story, Valeria; I can sense the pictures even when I don't fully understand what you are wanting to say. The image of that yellow jersey jumped out at me! I can sense how much passion and determination and energy you are bringing to your work to empower women and children in the favelas, and how that comes from having learned to cope with so many challenges in your own life. The gift of education changed your life, and so now you want to pass on that gift to many others - that is so inspiring and touching to hear. I wish you all the best with edition 2 of your community newspaper!
Kindest regards,

Katharina's picture


Dear Valeria,
Rosemary is absolutely right: you sound like a woman with an incredible amount of energy and willpower. I didn't understand everything, but you apparently have been through a lot of hardship and you never gave up. You even want to give back to your community and help those in need. I'm deeply impressed and I'm looking forward to reading more from you!
All the best, Katharina

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