Mãe Luiza


The Ameropa Foundation has accompanied Mãe Luiza since 1992. At the time, Mãe Luiza was a miserable favela. Together with the leading people of the Centro Sócio-Pastoral Nossa Senhora de Conceição, founded by Padre Sabino in 1980, we had the vision to change this slum-like settlement into a modest community offering a life in peace and dignity. Today, even if still poor and troubled, burdened by criminal drug traffic, Mãe Luiza is no longer a slum, but a lively and buoyant community of about 16’000 inhabitants and is seen as a model for the surrounding favelas.

The Ameropa Foundation has helped create and is still supporting:

  • A kindergarten
  • A school for children aged 6 to 16
  • A music school
  • A social centre for the residents of Mãe Luiza
  • A home for senior citizens
  • The Arena do Morro, a sports- and cultural center designed pro bono by the architects Herzog & de Meuron.
  • Continued endeavours to implement the “Vision for Mãe Luiza”, an urbanistic vision for the development of the community. This vision was devised in partnership with the community, the architects Herzog & de Meuron and the Centro Sócio-Pastoral.

It is with pleasure that we can state that some of the interventions envisioned by Herzog & de Meuron have already been partially or fully implemented:

  • Two thirds of the tree shadowed walkway, the so called green street, has been realized.
  • Public spaces such as the market place have been improved by adorning them with colourful cobblestones, providing games such as chess and adding benches to linger.
  • Some sidewalks have been improved.
  • Mae Luiza’s main street has finally been tarred anew.
  • The waste collection has been reorganized leading to a better situation.
  • After a landslide pushed its way from Mae Luiza to the shore the opportunity was taken to granting the people of Mae Luiza direct access to the ocean and a broad stairway was built and the surroundings embellished.
  • Last but not least, Natal has received a new shoreline promenade.
 

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