What was the motivation or defining moment that led to the creation of this innovation? Tell us the story.
The idea of this Project started when I visited the house of a young woman that assisted by Lua Nova. On a first sight, she was fine, with her child, studying, generating income. However, once I entered her house and saw that her food was hanging on the ceiling, I asked why. She answered that during the night, rats walked around the house. At that moment, I felt that despite the our efforts to structure a transformation process for the women in the project, we would never achieve success if we did not face the hard issue of a dignified house. I timidly started the project Build School, a civil construction school for young women at risk.
In a short time, youngsters, women and very low-income people began to contact Lua Nova and show their need, will and strength to fight for their own dignity through the construction of their own houses. By believing on the need to create a solid structure for such audacious proposal, we got involved with body and soul in this project. Living every stage of implementing the Build School, we continuously built in this difficult dream, at the same time we propitiated a realist view of the situation for the young women. The partnership with the mothers helped us keep with our feet on the ground. This process made us reflect carefully over every step and each proposal, and applied it in our day-to-day, redefining goals and valuing small action not perceived before. This made us structure better, even internally. Nowadays, we recognize our limitations and manage to share our strengths much more.
Please provide a personal bio of the social innovator behind this initiative.
I graduated in Psychology by the University of Sao Paulo, where I also did my masters. At that time, I started a long process of working with people with social and psychical vulnerabilities. I have lived in Italy for seven years, where I graduated again in clinical psychology at the University of Padova, and specialized on community projects and on assisting mothers and children in situation of risk. When I returned to Brazil, I started working with young pregnant women and founded Lua Nova, which I preside, and become an Ashoka Fellow in 1999. During this process, I developed various proposals to assist young mothers in their relation with their children, in income generation, and in education. I became then a consultant for the Unesco for Education and Vulnerabilities, a Coordinator of the Center for Education in Community Work (German Government – European Union), a Specialist in Fighting against sexual violence at SEDH and ANDI, and a Especial Consultant for the National Secretariat for Drugs. Nowadays, I study proposal to work in the base of the pyramid and inclusive social businesses, in order to find a wider range of solutions to increase the access of youth and people at risk.
a) Please identify the individuals that your innovation benefits (Please check all that apply)
, Holders of assets.
b) Do you help the people you serve to buy goods or services using financial innovation? If so, how?
We got land, which was purchased at a low price, and we made a partnership with the CSO Ação Moradia to develop a Project for brick production. The machinery was acquired through a legal process in which we are trustees of the owner of pottery who has run away. We started the process and, at the tie, participated at the business plan competition of Ashoka-McKinsey. We won the first prize in this Award and, with the prize, we bought equipment and improve land conditions. After the Award, we got resources from Petrobras and Camargo Correa to train young women and purchase building materials. The first social condominium (12 houses) was built with donations and the support of the Engineering University of Sorocaba, SENAI and a series of technological and economic partners. After this construction and several mistakes and difficulties, we accomplished to organize and create a ideal house model and to design the procedure to pay for the houses. Currently, each young women pays monthly a leasing of R$120.00, which goes to a bank account called rotative fund. This fund is used to the train new young women. This is the Fund we aim to broaden up and to leverage its efficiency as a way to generate higher impact and a sustainable project.
c) Do you help the people you serve to sell goods or services using financial innovation? If so, how?
The Project became very famous due to its innovation and courage, and there is Constant coverage of the press. Besides, the women at the project organize every six months an event where they build in public spaces, partner restaurants, squares, walls, kiosks, etc. as a way to create awareness about the project, and invite civil construction people to know better this experience. We have requests from all Brazilian states and now we are developing an economic model to offer this technology in a complete and sustainable way.