Boneco de Itacaré House’ Afro Development Association
Rights are Human!
The association’s mission is to combine cultural appropriation with community sustainability. It is currently structured in the following nucleus and activities: ‘Quilombola (1) Education’ – conferences, dialogues, studies and research on the Law 10,639 and promotion of education for racial equality; ‘Afro Culture’ – activities of Afro dance, percussion and popular parties; ‘Technologic Appropriation’ – learning circuits with different types of social technologies (among which it is found the Communications technologies – blogs, newspapers and radios, web); ‘Communitarian Sustainability’ – implementation of ‘Fazenda Modelo Quilombo Doiti’ and Ethnic Tourism of Communitarian Base; Little Spot of Culture/Playfulness – program for assistance to Afro-descendant children.
The group integrates the Mocambos(2) Network (www.mocambos.net), the Bahia Afro-descendant Youth Forum , the Turisol Network – Sympathetic Tourism, Little Spots of Culture Network and the Japer Group – Joint Action Plan between Brazil and the United State for the Promotion of Racial and Ethnic Equality.
Having the project selected by Brazil Fund, the group intends to collaborate with the reflection and dissemination of information about discrimination in the access to public services, with focus on health. The project will do that through the production of communitarian journalism, debates and fairs. The idea is to address the discrimination faced by the Afro-descendant local community in respect of access to public services, with emphasis to health service.
According to the group, in Itacaré (Bahia), one of the most trendy touristic destinations in the country, the minority of the population – medium and high-income earners – access private health services in the neighboring cities, while the poorest, mostly Afro-descendants, have huge difficulties in receiving health care.
The problem is shown to be even more serious in the rural area, where the quilombola communities live. In these areas the health agents only weight and vaccinate children. Besides, there is no emergency service and communities do not have access to transportation services for the displacement of patients. In many cases those who need care are transported on pieces of wood and carried on other people´s shoulders.
The project will give visibility to these issues, generate debate and instigate the power of government authorities and voters to intervene in the process. After an updated diagnosis of the situation and the involvement of youth from the team of the Communitarian Newspaper ‘Show your face, Itacaré’ and volunteers, debates will be organized and information will be produced to the community. The health fair will be the main place for mobilizations.
The events will directly benefit about a thousand people and, indirectly, another four thousand.
(1) N.T.: Quilombola is a person who lives in a quilombo. Quilombo is a century-old community set up by former slaves in Brazil. ‘The contemporary concept of the remaining communities of quilombos encompasses the prevalence of an autonomous process of production within the communities, based on specific territorialities socially established as a result of acts of resistance.’ (ALMEIDA, Alfredo Wagner. ‘Os quilombolas e a Base de Lançamentos de Foguetes de Alcântara’. Ministry of Environment, Brasília, 2006.)
(2) Mocambo is a name given to homes built by hand using local materials. In older quilombos, as the Quilombo of Palmares, the mocambos were built in circles to facilitate communication and as a tactic of defense and resistance.
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