Redes da Maré is a civil society institution that produces knowledge, projects and actions to ensure effective public policies that improve the lives of 137,000 residents of the 16 Maré’s favelas.
The process that led to the creation of Redes da Maré began in 1997, from the initiative of residents and former residents of the 16 favelas in Maré and of other parts of Rio de Janeiro. Most of this group was part of less than 0.5% who had access to university in the region and also participated of social and community movements to fight for basic rights such as education, health, culture, sanitation, public lighting, safety, among others. The greatest desire of the organization, since its genesis, is to provide a long-term intervention in the maré complex in order to indentify the variables that restrain the inhabitants exercice of citzenship.
The first initiative of Redes da Maré founders was the Maré Pre-College Examination Course, a project to prepare poor students for the university entrance exams. This initiative has achieved, over time, concrete results, as more than 1200 residents of Maré managed to enter a University. In 2007, the institution was formalized with the name of 'Redes da Maré', based on the understanding that the exercise of citizenship should be supported by a comprehensive and procedural project. We value the social role of citizens, their collective actions and the respect for differences and diversity, as well as the criticism of social inequalities currently existing in the country and in Rio de Janeiro. Therefore, a range of actions was built and strengthened in a way that several local positive experiences weaved. The central idea of the actions is that we live in a city where everyone should have the right to access its resources, regardless of the region where they reside.
The idea of gathering and valuing the different experiences of living in the city should lead to a constant exchange of experiences. Indeed, the greatest innovation of the institution is its community character, with a strong presence of residents in its structure and development. From this experience, children, adolescents and young people of Maré can find positive local examples that helps building their social and school trajectories, contributing to the expansion of their social understandings.
Redes da Maré has been establishing a series of links with civil society and government institutions: universities, research institutes, public and private bodies and companies, NGOs and individuals; allowing the production of prolonged initiatives in Maré territory. In these years of operation, the institution has been acting as a significant instrument for the overcome of several signs of violations present in Maré slums. Also, Redes keeps contributing to mobilize residents and other agents to build a structured agenda in the field of rights and guarantees for the region.