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Activist uses hip-hop music to help Brazil’s poor

Being a community leader in one of the poorest shantytowns in the city of Sao Paulo is not a simples task – and it’s even harder when this community has just suffered from a huge fire, leaving a third of its population homeless.

Having had a rough childhood herself, Alessandra Cunha learned that life should be about helping one another, and that is what this 27 years old has been doing for her community in the past six years.

Home to more than 2,000 people, the Favela do Moinho, or Moinho shantytown, has been neglected for more than 30 years by the state. Living conditions are precarious, and it is up to people like Alessandra to help residents to improve their lives.

On the day of the recent fire, Alessandra was seven-and-a-half-months pregnant. She put her health at risk in order to help people to escape the flames.

Her baby daughter was born on that very night, but that hasn’t kept her from continuing her work of helping the residents. On the day we met, she had a 16-hour day ahead of her, leading a team of volunteers to collect donations at a hip-hop festival the association was promoting.

She hopes her work and dedication can reduce social inequalities and inspire others to always fight for a better life.

Listen to the report by Marcia Reverdosa:

Activist uses hip-hop music to help Brazil’s poor

Alessandra

Alessandra has been working hard for her community, despite having just given birth to her daughter

Hip hop festival

A hip hop festival helped raise money for those who had lost everything

Hip hop festival

The festival was well-attended

Shelter in Sao Paulo

A glimpse of the shelter where Alessandra works

Date

Monday 13.02.2012 | 14:36

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