Project That Supports Economic Opportunities for Black Brazilian Women Through Craft Will Create Original Works For the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Nega Rosa Project Brazil
Tomaz Silva/Agência Brasil

While Brazil is often viewed as “melting pot” nation, the extreme levels of income inequality across racial lines within the country tell a different story. Black Brazilian women, in particular, shoulder the hardest burden, as they often struggle to achieve class mobility.

Nêga Rosa project, hopes to change that, by offering black women new economic opportunities through entrepreneurship. The teaches Afro-Brazilian women from many of Rio’s slum communities crafting and cooking skills, which they then use to create original products. The Nêga Rosa project also holds seminars that teach skills like turban tying and the importance of self-esteem for women of African descent.

The project recently scored a major opportunity with the impending 2016 Olympics in Rio. The women of Nêga Rosa are currently working to create 5,000 souvenir cushions, which will be used by athletes competing in the Olympics.

“The design we’re using is a native Brazilian plant, and on the back of the cushions, we share our story with the project in both Portuguese and English language,” says Nêga Rosa coordinator Érica Portilho. “The cushions will be a souvenir athletes can take back to their homes around the world.”

The 240-woman group will also be opening it’s applications to 12-18 year-old girls currently serving sentences in juvenile detention. They are also seeking an e-commerce partnet.