Two laughing girls at the project. (Source: Florian Kopp)

Combating violence in the favelas

Brazil: More than half of all young people in Latin America live in the country that hosted the 2014 World Cup. But this up-and-coming country is doing too little to unlock the potential of the young members of its population. Social inequality, violence and inadequate education ruin the opportunities of many children and young people. Violence is particularly commonplace in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. What's more, sexual and domestic violence against women is a big problem. We support the project of our local partner Centro de Documentação e Informação Coisa de Mulher, which is devoted to preventing violence against girls. The project cares for 150 girls between the ages of 12 and 17. We also work in various districts of Rio de Janeiro to combat drug trafficking and the abduction of young girls. Please support our project work with a donation!

Sexual violence against young mothers

Most cases of sexual violence occur in the greater Rio de Janeiro metropolitan area. While girls under the age of 19 are the victims of two-thirds of all reported rape cases, most victims are between the ages of 10 and 14. More than half of the victims are black.

The large number of young mothers is also a pressing problem. Over the past ten years, there has been a 15% rise in the number of births among mothers between the age of 15 and 19. Some 700,000 young women in this age group become mothers every year in Brazil. Illegal abortions with significant health risks are widespread.

A smiling girl from one of our projects in Brazil. (Source: Kindernothilfe)
A girl from our project in Brazil.

Activities in the favelas

Our project is active in ten different districts of Rio de Janeiro. Housing conditions in the favelas are usually squalid. Violence – often spurred by drug dealing – remains a constant problem. Some of these neighbourhoods are notorious for sexual exploitation and human trafficking. The murder rates are high. Prevalent unemployment is a serious problem. In recent years, authorities have reported an increase in the number of threats, physical assaults, and rapes.

Coisa de Mulher is working with girls who are at risk of becoming victims of violence and discrimination. The organisation supports girls and women in high-risk situations in learning about their rights, gaining awareness of rights violations and defending themselves.

Our tangible achievements

We are committed to putting an end to violence, drug trafficking and the abduction of young girls. The project is tailored to the needs of 150 girls between the ages of 12 and 17. These girls are particularly vulnerable to the dangers of sexual violence, drug related crime, social exclusion, child labour and domestic violence. In each urban district, 15 girls take part in the project activities.

  • The girls receive support to enhance their academic and cognitive skills, which improves their career prospects.
  • The project takes steps to protect socially disadvantaged girls between the ages of 12 and 17 from sexual violence and drug trafficking.
  • We create "safe spaces" where girls can talk about their anxieties, fears and expectations.
  • We promote the girls’ knowledge of gender roles, health and their rights of sexual self-determination.

By distributing awareness-raising materials and hosting occasional events -- such as seminars for the entire community --, the project reaches out to the girls’ families and members of the community. Coisa de Mulher’s advocacy work influences the political decision-making processes and fosters the development of socio-political initiatives on women rights.

What we have achieved

The girls that take part in the project activities are informed about a wide range of issues and are aware of rights violations. Roughly 80% of 2012 and 2013 participants stood up against domestic violence or sexual violence and thus were able to break out of the spiral of violence. They sought assistance from physicians, psychologists and police officers. Coisa de Mulher offered counselling and support every step of the way.

  • Young people in the educational projects displayed an increased ability to concentrate and improved their academic performance.
  • Many former project participants report during annual get-togethers that they are increasingly motivated to take control of their lives.
  • The vast majority of the 600 female participants from the years 2012 and 2013 returned to school or managed to enter the labour market. Furthermore, participants succeeded in reducing the number of conflicts that they were involved in, both at home and on the streets.
  • Some 600 leading community members attended seminars on the issue of violence against women. Today, they have a better understanding, for instance, on how to best support the girls and women who are at the receiving end of this abuse. 

Project No. 9431CC

How we protect children

How we protect children

Kindernothilfe supports numerous protection programs and makes every effort to prevent the children involved in its projects abroad and in its German-based activities from sexual abuse and maltreatment.

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Our Origin and our Objectives

Our Origin and our Objectives

For over 50 years we have worked as a Christian children’s relief organisation to help support children in need and champion their rights worldwide.

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Donate now

Donate now

There are many ways to support the work of Kindernothilfe. Click here to find out how. Please donate and help children around the world!

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