Empowering Women in Brazil

Empowering Women in Brazil

By Srs. Margaret Nakafu, MMM and Maria José da Silva, MMM

Sowing seeds of hope and joy, and the fruits of being empowered with practical skills for the journey…

It is with a great sense of joy and hope that the Medical Missionaries of Mary in Salvador rejoices with more than 100 women who were empowered with skills in the courses of cut and sewing, catering, hairdressing, manicure and pedicure, art craft and baking. These courses were offered during 2023 in collaboration with the Parish Pastoral Center (Casa da Juventude Anna Sironi).
MMM Salvador is working in collaboration with three women volunteers who are entrusted and committed to the daily management of Casa da Juventude Anna Sironi. In a society that tends to find more reasons to exclude those who are poor, vulnerable and different, Casa da Juventude Anna Sironi offers a space where each woman feels accepted and loved as she is. It is a place where each woman rediscovers her inner wisdom and freedom to share her life experiences, to be creative, learn new skills, make supportive friendships, grow in self-confidence and know that she is respected.
Sr. Maria Jose da Silva MMM facilitated group therapy sessions. These sessions have created sacred grounds where the women have an experience of mutual trust and support. Appreciating this environment of mutual trust and unconditional love, the women shared their fears, aspirations, their pain and search for healing. They shared their experiences of God’s healing love. Group therapy sessions were indeed circles of healing where the women felt empowered and helped increase their self-esteem. During the initial sessions, some women shared that they were suffering from depression, and they were on medication. In the group therapy sessions, these women experienced themselves as supported, listened to and respected. These positive and affirming experiences encouraged the women to become committed to their healing processes. Towards the end of the courses, most women expressed deep gratitude for having discovered their potential and having developed their sense of purpose and self-worth.

Several women who benefited from the catering course are already earning an income from the acquired skills. They prepare and sell snacks. From the cut and sewing group, many women are making dresses for themselves and family members. All these achievements bring joy and encouragement to us and to the collaborators.

In addition to offering our skills and creating circles of healing with the women, MMM Salvador also contributes with financial support to the activities of the Casa da Juventude Anna Sironi. The funds are used to buy materials for the courses and to pay course instructors. We are grateful to our donors and the prayers from our MMM family. Let us continue sharing with joy and hope what our healing charism has as one of the most creative values is the way to empower many women throughout our ministries.

The Christmas Craft Fair proceeds are going towards this project.