Quilombo Santana is one of about 25 quilombolas in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is a community of African descendants founded by escaped slaves. The residents of Santana share a common history, heritage and territory and live a mere 90 miles from the state capital. But they live in extreme poverty and have limited access to healthcare, education and other services commonly afforded Brazilian citizens.
IAF support to the grassroots organization Federação das Industrias do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (FIRJAN) helped to finance project activities in Santana that included building a wheel to allow the delivery of water for irrigation and household use. By using the flow of a stream as a power source, the pump raises water several meters above the stream bed and provides a source of irrigation for Santana’s residents.
FIRJAN, the local government and 10 companies developed a fund to finance the irrigation system as well as other grassroots projects in the state.
FIRJAN also provides its member families training in farming methods that boost the production of corn, beans, squash, cassava and okra.
Photo credit: Sean Sprague