Civil society institutions, like Redes da Maré, usually possess three basic characteristics that distinguish them from other companies and government agencies: focus on guarantying and extending rights to different social groups; independence from the State, although trying to influence public policy; and the development of non-profit social projects.

 

We have chosen to act in the most populous complex of favelas in Rio de Janeiro, Maré, where approximately 140 thousand people live, divided into 16 communities, in an area occupying little more than 4 km².

One of the peculiarities of Redes da Maré is that it was founded by people originally from Maré, who were able to critically reflect about their trajectories in such a way to transform it. In addition to this, Redes possesses a social agenda focused on the Maré’s region, with the participation of local population, generating knowledge and proposing actions that allow concrete improvements to the lives of residents.

In this regard, aiming to achieve the institution’s objectives, our strategy are based on four axes:

 

Art, Culture, Memories and Identities;

Territorial Development;

Right to Public Security and Access to Justice;

Education;

THEMES

The themes above were chosen because they represent basic rights that still need to reach the population of the Maré. We believe that, by acting on these fields, we will achieve the structural demands of the people, and guaranteeing basic rights in medium and long-term. This means better quality of life, a reduction in inequalities, mitigation of different forms of violence in the region and better integration with the city.

The axes of work have as strategic objectives the following lines of action: mobilization of the residents of the Maré; strengthening local institutions - basically the 16 Neighborhood Association and different leaders involved in Maré’s historic battles; partnerships with different public and private organizations; production and distribution of knowledge about the region; the development of projects that can improve the quality of life of the people; and influencing public policies to secure basic rights for the favelas of Maré.

Methodology

From a methodological perspective, the work of Redes da Maré is based on a process designed to produce knowledge about the region through the formulation of proposals that are transformed into projects and activities. We also work to display the problems of Maré, and to raise funds with different partners in order to facilitate the actions that can benefit all the residents.

These actions mainly occurs in the following spaces within the Maré: at the head offices of Redes da Maré, Maré Arts Centre, Lima Barreto Library and Maria Clara Machado Reading Room in Nova Holanda, head office in Vila dos Pinheiros, head offices of the Neighborhood Association in Vila do João and Vila dos Pinheiros, Herbert Vianna Cultural Canvas in Nova Maré, and at the House of Women in Maré, at Parque União. Spaces such as these, allows the development of initiatives that can transform our projects into reality and help fulfill the dreams that inspired the people who created and work at Redes da Maré.

They are places for interaction with the local population for sharing experiences, producing knowledge and where everyday work is done to sustain a project of a fairer, more supportive and more equal society for everyone.