About Meninadanca




HOPE We offer a lifeline to girls who feel forgotten and worthless, and the hope of healing and a better future.

HEALING We aim to bring freedom to girls╩╝ lives by healing emotional and psychological scars and, when possible, repairing broken relationships.

JUSTICE An integral part of our work, we believe it is important that the perpetrators of abuse face justice and that injustices against children are exposed.

Meninadança comes from the Portuguese words for ‘girl’ (menina) and ‘dance’ (danca).

Meninadança is a Christian charity committed to reaching and rescuing young girls exploited in child prostitution and human trafficking in Brazil, providing places of safety and refuge where they can receive counseling, rehabilitation, hope, healing and justice. We work in two environments where we consider girls are most in danger of sexual exploitation - inner city slums (favelas) and remote interior villages and towns situated along major motorways.

Our long term vision is to have a network of safe houses in key communities along the length of Brazil's longest motorway, the BR-116, as well as a strong presence in other inner-city favelas. We also want to be a key communicator about the plight of children in prostitution in Brazil, and a facilitator for dialogue and discussion about child prostitution around the world.

We work exclusively with girls
Girls are so often ignored by social projects in Brazil, yet they are often the ones whose needs require a specific, targeted approach. Meninadança tailors projects to meet the unique and complex needs of traumatized young girls.

We use dance to reach and rescue them
Dance is one of our girl-specific therapies, which we have found can be effective in breaking down their emotional barriers, raising their self-esteem and allowing them to taste a different reality. Dance is used alongside other interventions including the professional help of psychologists and social workers.

We work at the point of most need
While shielding at-risk girls from danger and exploitation is an inevitable part of our work, Meninadança has always worked primarily in the area of rescue, not prevention, and we are first and foremost concerned with reaching girls who have already been ‘lost’.

We are working where no-one else is working

International charities aiming to help young girls involved in prostitution almost exclusively set up in coastal cities, where sex tourism is a documented problem and child prostitution more visible. In the remote towns and villages along the BR-116, where proportionally the problem is many times greater yet which is rarely mentioned in newspaper and TV reports, we have so far found no organizations reaching out to victims of child prostitution.


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