Four years in the trenches have provided us with precious experiences and knowledge of Rocinha and the development work we are engaged in.We are a highly qualified and united team with a fortunate amount of interpersonal trust between our members and the community we serve. We have the benefit of both close connections to Rocinha as well as a large social network connecting us to the outside world. Razack, who lived three years in Rocinha, is associate professor in the City and Regional Development Department at Cornell University and Felix, who was professor of Political Sociology at UERJ is now a research coordinator with the Institute for Applied Economic Research (IPEA) in Brasília. We are all friends and the amount of solidarity between us is among our most valuable assets. This is the good news and what gives us tremendous hope for our future.
Our current financial reality is somewhat more complicated. We fund our activities from our own pockets. This has made it difficult for our entire team to remain regularly involved in daily activities as we all have day jobs. In the beginning we received two considerable donations which, along with other small contributions, made it possible for us to provide André and Cely a stipend for one year, and Vilson for roughly 6 months. Since late 2009 our daily activities, especially in regards to Rocinha special needs residents, have decreased. Today the main areas we are engaged in are community-based research, media projects, anti-eviction work in Laboriaux and our housing rights advocacy in Macega.
The good news is that Mundo Real doesn’t need much money; approximately $5,000 a year would allow us to continue our work and even increase its range. We work voluntarily but need support obtaining technical equipment, such as a video camera, a digital SLR camera, a laptop computer and a few other items, which would greatly contribute to our activities in Rocinha.
It would also be very helpful for Mundo Real to have a fixed location in Rocinha. This would cost us roughly $10,000 a year, including other utilities and expenses such as internet, phone, printing, transportation, etc. In order to continue active and effective in the community an office with these resources is essential. Having an actual physical location where people from Rocinha can come will considerably improve our visibility. Additionally this space would allow us our team to meet and work together in the same fixed space, instead of having to convene in different and often noisy locations as we currently do. An office would improve our ability to plan and implement our research and educational activities. Ideally we could rent a space in Rocinha with at least 2 rooms, one for official work and as a meeting space and another as a guest room for our many visitors and volunteers.
All contributions to Mundo Real are greatly appreciated and 100 percent of your donations go towards our work in Rocinha and other low-communities in Rio de Janeiro. Mundo Real’s community-based work depends on our fantastic team but without contributions from our supporters the services we are able to provide are significantly reduced and future plans will unlikely reach their potential. We need resources and support in order to continue our community service activities, such as critical home repairs, transporting special needs residents to and from medical appointments and distributing food parcels for Rocinha’s poorest families. Contributions can also be made towards purchasing health related equipment such as wheel-chairs, oxygen tanks, and medicine for residents in need.
In return for you support we will continue providing updates on events here in Rocinha and other pertinent issue in Rio de Janeiro, especially in regards to education, housing and health rights and the upcoming World Cup and Olympics. We invite our supporters to come visit us in Rocinha to see with you own eyes what we are engaged in. Rio de Janeiro is a breathtakingly beautiful city and we encourage our contributors, or those who are simply interested in learning about new and interesting cultures, to come spend time here in Rio and Rocinha. We provide educational day visits of Rocinha for those who want to visit and learn about the community but not necessarily stay here overnight.
To donate click on the PayPal button or send a check made out to Mundo Real Inc. to the following address:
Mundo Real, Inc.
255 west 98th Street #1B
New York, NY 10025
Thank you for your support – The Mundo Real team