Note from BW of Brazil: Leave it to a black woman to find a way! A friend made me aware of this project about a month ago and as soon as I saw it, I knew I had to share it with our readers! This is a concept that would be beneficial to the black community as a whole. With so many Afro-Brazilians out there involved in so many genres in the labor market, imagine if the whole of more than 100 million people began to implement the idea of every black man and woman help another black man or woman, how much could be accomplished. With such a concept, it would be possible for the Afro-Brazilian community (including individuals and organizations) to stop depending on the white power structure for their very survival. It’s such a simple concept that makes the project below tick. But it has changed the lives of many who have come to know of its existence. Now how can we make this bigger?
Mais amor entre nós: Project born in Bahia wants women to exchange free services among themselves
By Camila Eiroa, with information courtesy of Carta Capital
For journalist Sueide Kintê, 30, women have been used to helping each other forever. What happens is that with the rush of everyday life, this practice is gradually disappearing. It was a quiet Saturday in Salvador (Bahia), where she lives, when Sueide, still lying in bed, thought, “I need to help a woman who I’ve never seen in my life, it’s a way to extend our own voice.”
Thus was born the project Mais amor entre nós (more love between us), first as a Facebook page Facebook page and now, after six months, as an active site and platform not only in Bahia but also in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Acre, Brasília, Argentina, Angola, Cape Verde, Spain and London. The idea is simple, offer free services to other women. And it has everything from washing, taking care of babies, providing legal assistance and writing social projects, even eating a pot of brigadeiro (1) without guilt (yes!).
“It’s just for women because we are a commodified subject. If there is a group of people in Brazilian society that is most vulnerable, it is women, especially black (women),” says the creator of the project. She says that she’s already taught how to make pasta sauce, she ventured out as a babá (nanny) and received much in return, such as the entire visual identity of the site and Mais amor networks.
Today, hundreds of women form this community and, in addition to exchanges, they also propose meetings to discuss ongoing issues with the female universe in relation to work. “We often work outside and inside the house. What is the day of the week that we can dedicate ourselves to doing something just for us?”, punctuates Sueide. For her, it is necessary to recognize the privileges that are also among women. “Within a capitalist model, for a person to be well, the other necessarily needs to be less disadvantaged. It is very difficult to escape this kind of inequality in a system like this.”
Sorority, for the journalist, is this. She says proudly about the number of women who send reports to the project page thanking them for having achieved legal aid, psychological consultations to care for postpartum depression and even having made a photographic book to improve self-esteem. “It’s gratifying to see that you can change the lives of other women, they make me believe that money is not more important than the relationship.”
“Mais amor entre nós doesn’t innovate. We learn from childhood that our survival is linked to helping another black woman. From a cup of coffee, sugar, to sharing food and defense, we get into fights to defend the other. The only thing I did was take this as ancestral learning and put it on Facebook, which is a tool that I use as a journalist and serves to broaden our voices in times that violence is also extended on social networks. It is an assertive counterattack,” says the journalist.
Importantly, the goal is not the return, but the donation. Sueide reinforces that this exercise of donating was something that Brazil learned from black women.
Thus, the project acts as a bridge between those who offer help and those in need.
“It’s my duty as a black woman, a journalist who left the womb of a woman from Santo Amaro da Purificação, in the Bahian Recôncavo, to reproduce this way of doing what is ours,” says the journalist. “And our media needs to have our face. I got tired in the traditional media wanting to integrate something that is not ours. These media also need to understand that we are universal. You say ‘if you are a woman and need something that I listed below, look for me.’ And share with another woman what I like to do. It is a myth that women are rivals, is an invention of capital that serves only to produce useless dogmas and useless beliefs, limiting “.
In addition to donations, the women meet in person to discuss issues relating to the labor market, empowerment and are working on the construction of an application.
The project can be summed up with an African saying remembered by Sueide: “Mulher é que nem água, sempre encontra um caminho” (A woman is what even water isn’t, she always finds a way).
- Brigadeiro is a typical sweet of Brazilian cuisine. It is common throughout the country, being present in almost all birthday parties, along with sweets like cajuzinho and beijinho. Brigadeiro ngredients include condensed milk, cocoa powder, butter and chocolate sprinkles for the topping; It can be done either in the stove or in the microwave oven. Source