Conflict & Justice

How you can help: Groups doing important work for women, their communities and the environment

This story is a part of a series

Her Planet

This story is a part of a series

Her Planet

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Da Silva's garden rain barrels

Credit:

Anne Bailey

For the past two weeks, our Across Women's Lives team has been in Brazil reporting on women, water and the future of the environment.

Our Her Planet series brought us into the homes of women like Terezinha da Silva, a São Paulo favela resident whose rainwater purification invention helped thousands access clean water during drought, and the contested back yard of activist Antonia Melo — an Altamira resident who's been fighting against the Belo Monte dam and its displacement of entire communities in the Amazon for 25 years.

We learned about the woman in STEM at the forefront of the fight against Zika — and met the Brazilian families coping with microcephaly

Whether the issue is water pollution, drought, mosquito-borne illnesses, or community displacement it's clear that women and girls are leading the charge.

Here are their orgnizations — as well as other groups working to help them — broken down by story.

This is an evolving, international list and suggestions are welcome. Let us know if you have one in the comments sections below or on Facebook.

Hilda Venancio da Silva

Hilda Venancio da Silva, 38, with four-month-old son Matheus Jober Junior da Silva. From Recife.

Credit:

Anne Bailey


The Story:
Brazil's microcephaly outbreak captured in portraits
The issue: Mosquito-borne illnesses like the Zika virus. 
Microcephaly, a birth defect that can cause a baby’s head — and sometimes brain — to be smaller than expected, is thought to be linked to Zika. Brazil's restrictive abortion laws prevent women who contract the Zika virus during their first trimester to even explore the option. 
How you can help
1.
Support family planning in Latin America. Catholics for Choice does a lot of work to improve reproductive health laws, locally.
2. Give to charities that provide families with mosquito nets and insect repellant. UNICEF is working with both WHO and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to prevent and control the spread of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which carries the Zika virus.

rain barrels 1

Da Silva's garden rain barrels

Credit:

Anne Bailey


The Story: 'Little Teresa' helps São Paulo women fight drought and male domination — with rain barrels
The issue: Drought and the disproportionate effect of environmental tragedy on the poor
How you can help:
1. Learn more about 
Terezinha da Silva's workplace, Movimento de Defesa do Favelado, home of the women's cooperative she helped start, "Bread and Art — Projecto Pao Arte in Portugese. The group offers nutrition and conscious consumption education along with organic meals to favela communities.
 

Bel Juruna

Indigenous leader Bel Juruna helped organize a take-over of worker busses to garner attention for their demands from builders of the Belo Monte dam.

Credit:

Will Carless


The Story: 
Brazil’s huge dam is built, but these women won’t stop fighting
The issue: Displacement of communities and damage to eco-systems by government sanctioned projects
How you can help:
1. Follow 
Melo's Xingu Lives Forever organization on Facebook to learn more about the movement.
 

Isabel Swan

Sailor Isabel Swan has been leading efforts to clean up Guanabara Bay ahead of the Olympics in Rio this summer. 

Credit:

Anne Bailey


The Story: Olympic sailor Isabel Swan wants a clean bay in Brazil for the Olympics
The issue: Ocean pollution and access to clean water
How you can help
1. Give to Rio-based NGO Catalytic Communities, the group behind Rio Olympics Neighborhood Watch. The team works to report on news about the environmental effects of the 2016 Olympics and mobilize concerned residents.
2. Get involved with Water.org. The international non-profit works to bring water and sanitation to everyone worldwide, with a focus on women and children.