March 2016 Say YES to equality

March, 8th represents the female voice in the world. Many countries are trying and succeeding in promoting equality between women and men, other countries have not come that far in the process. Brazil is one of them. Taynara, one of our participants, she says that she can do what men do and goes against the unspoken rules. She is now studying to become an electrician. A male dominated profession.

Taynara Valeria Machado is from our partner NGO Abrigo Rainha Silva in Itaborai, a one hour drive out of Rio city center. The NGO is a shelter for women who are pregnant or have small children. Taynara arrived with Jorge Miguel, her 16-month-old son, when he was three months old. She ran away from a dysfunctional home where she suffered abuse. At the time she used alcohol to relieve pain and thought she wasn’t worth anything or able to do anything. Today,Taynara is 21 years old and she has been enrolled in the Dream Learn Work program for about a year now. She is on her third electrical course and is planning to start a technical course in the near future. This will give her all the certifications needed to work as an electrician.

- My dream is to become an experienced electrician in a construction company and lead a team of skilled professionals. After I started studying, I quickly realized that it is possible and can I see myself putting on the blue overall, my helmet and be leading a construction team, well the electrical part. Yes, that’s my dream, the 21-year-old says.

After completing three courses, Taynara will soon start a fourth. She has done most of her studies at SENAI and the pedagogical team there give great feedback, always highlighting how much hard work she puts in and how dedicated she is to the area she has chosen. When asked about the challenges of the courses she says:

- My biggest challenge to study only with men, including the teachers and the prejudice against a woman educating herself to become an electrician, a male profession. There will always be jokes from the other students asking me if I am becoming a man. And yes, it is a profession that “suits” a man better, with big and heavy clothes, heavy work, often in the sun. I first choose to become an electrician because of the prospective good salaries, but after a while I started liking it and this is what motivates me to study more. I want to study electrical engineering, Taynara explains.

Not long ago Taynara was very far from a future that included university and that could give better opportunities for Jorge Miguel. She repeats many times that her son’s future is her motivation and to give him a different childhood thanthe one she had.

- I didn’t have any expectations of a future before I entered Dream Learn Work. They inspired me to dream and think about a better future. I try to pass this on to others. That, with hard work and dedication, you can have a better future. I will try to inspire my son, Jorge Miguel, as well. And I will motivate him to study - a lot, the young mother explains passionately.