Growing Up - experiencing inequality
I grew up in Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais, two states in South Eastern Brazil. This region was the primary destination for migrants from the North East seeking for a better life. There was no local planning to manage the migration so it resulted in serious social exclusion. Nowadays according to the IBGE census 2012, 49.8% of Brazilian favela households are located in the South East.
From my childhood, in parallel with my studies, mostly during my school holidays, I've been involved in social projects in poor favelas and rural communities. I could gain first hand experience and a deep understanding of diversity, creativity, cooperation and friendship, sharing amazingly happy and hard times and being introduced to a DIY (do it yourself) organizational/economic model. This experience is core and roots my work, values born of experience: living alongside my local friends; listening to their stories; learning their values of friendship and respect for humans and nature; understanding the great wisdom in their perceptions and attitudes; appreciating their creativity in problem solving.
I spent some time in Babilonia and Chapéu Mangueira in Rio; Barro Vermelho in São Gonçalo, and in Engenho da Boa Vista project in Torreões / Juiz de Fora / Minas Gerais. It was a moment, during childhood, when a window opened and the seed of a future was sown like a light inside me.