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Strong women are the key to sustainable development

Deutsche Welle | 06-21-2012

The shanty town of Cachoeirinha in Rio de Janiero is no different from most poor neighborhoods in Brazil. Its 37,000 inhabitants lack educational opportunities and good infrastructure, their lives are characterized by violence, and drug trafficking is rampant. Old sofas block the entrance of the neighborhood to cars and people they don't know. A little further on, drug dealers keep and eye on neighborhood happenings.

But one thing has changed in the last 10 years: the number of teenage pregnancies in Cachoeirinha has fallen from 25 percent to 16 percent. Ten years ago NGO Bemfam launched a project to help young girls aged between 13 and 21 years of age in this part of town avoid unwanted pregnancies. The organization provides medical care and holds workshops for residents about sexual awareness and the prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

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