Hallelujah Moment from Brazil: "I Can Succeed!"
by Marilia Alves Schüller
May 1, 2009
"To learn to embroider was very important in my life," says Meire. "Now that I have a new job, I understand that I got this job because of what I have learned in the embroidery workshops."
Meire Jane Ribeiro dos Santos participated in a training program organized by Egbé Black Territories--which serves Brazilian black communities whose paths or social nets originate in the experience of slavery. The program strives to improve lives by developing skills, initiating dialogue to overcome religious and racial intolerance, and defending rights through an educational legal advisory board.
Meire lives in the neighborhood of Beiru in Salvador, Bahia State (province), which is a city with one of the largest black communities in Brazil.
"In the evenings at home, I practiced embroidering for hours", she explains. "Often my sister and even my neighbor would come by to help. Then, when a job opportunity came up, I said, 'Oh! Good heavens! How am I going to compete with three men to get this job? It is not going to be easy.' But soon after I thought, 'Well, if I manage to learn how to embroider (which I thought I could never learn), I can succeed in getting this job as well!'"
The experience of Meire Jane illustrates how crucial it is to learn a skill, to build self-esteem, and to open oneself to new alternatives in life. Such elements are building blocks of empowerment. They can take Meire Jane and many other women forward to self-reliance.
Marilia Alves Schüller is a Global Ministries missionary assigned to KOINONIA Ecumenical Presence and Service. She works to overcome racism, to promote gender equality, and to strengthen ecumenical networks both in Brazil and internationally.
Ways to Support this Ministry
You can support the ministry of Marilia Schüller by sharing your gifts through The Advance or by designated giving through your local church:
# 15172Z — Marilia Schüller, Global Ministries missionary
Date posted: May 01, 2009