The Artisans from Maré group began in 1996 starting from a project launched by the Rio de Janeiro City Hall. It was directed toward diabetic women, hypertensive women and victims of domestic...
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Artisans from Mare
The Artisans from Maré group began in 1996 starting from a project launched by the Rio de Janeiro City Hall. It was directed toward diabetic women, hypertensive women and victims of domestic and gender violence. Some of these women had children who were already involved in drug trafficking, and others were involved in this traffic themselves.
"When we began, we saw that the women's crochet, embroidery and knitting skills were common activities offering the possibility of creating work and generating income.
"We looked for financial support to buy material and we began producing bags, hats, belts and jewelry. In 1998, Devas was founded. This is an institution that provides legal support and it was initially planned to work with adolescents and the artisans' children.
"We have a partnership with the public schools and, when children and adolescents present problems, they are sent to Devas together with their mothers. Young people from ten years old and up attend frequent workshops on sexuality, abuse and the use of drugs, precocious pregnancy, and sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV and hepatitis. This preventive work reaches 25,000 people a year. We will be offering workshops for a number of schools. The adolescents are in the workshops and the mothers learn to create handicrafts. We have one learning group and one production group.
"We have already received a visit from a Paris fashion designer who came and organized the entire administrative part of the group. This helped us a lot - this organization was great for us. He helped us a great deal.
"The name Devas has its origin in Sanskrit. It means that from the moment a person is born until she dies, she lives in a state of permanent evolution, that is, the state of Devas."
Since 2006, the group has participated in Fashion Rio, the fashion week held twice a year in January and June.