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MELISSA PARSEY | TIE CASE STUDY

BEYOND THE FAVELAS

Sunday, January 5, 14

OUR STORY
Sunday, January 5, 14

The Project:

A campaign from the children,
for the children of Recife
On 27th August I landed in Recife, NE Brazil to spend one month working as part
of The International Exchange (TIE) Program.
I was greeted at the airport by Nubia and Rafeal Mesquita, who run Espaço da
Criança, an NGO that provides schooling, food and support to the poorest children
from the Coehlos favela in Recife. They also offer support for their mothers, many
of whom are trapped in a cycle of drug abuse and prostitution.
Together, with marketing students from Aê!, an Agency, part of Universidade
Catolica de Pernambuco, we created a campaign for Espaço da Criança.

Sunday, January 5, 14

Our goal was to demonstrate the value
of Espaço da Criança and creative
strategic communications.

Sunday, January 5, 14

Espaço da Criança was a pillar of support not only for the children, but also their mothers (with 100% fathers absent), and to the broader community;
providing access to health care and food provisions.
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But Espaço da Criança’s International funding had
been cut; Brazil was perceived to be doing “too well”

We had to plug the gap in funding from overseas with local aid.
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Local business didn’t understand
why it was their responsibility to step-up and help

Although Espaço da Criança is located in the heart of the city’s commercial district, many local
shopping centers and businesses didn’t know they existed, or had ignored their requests for meetings.
Sunday, January 5, 14

Espaço da Criança’s value, and that of the
families and community they served were
overlooked in the community.

Brazilians are by nature very compassionate people, but the notion of charity is foreign. Many individuals & enterprises
couldn’t see how they had a role to play in helping the children of the favelas.
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We had to forge new connections
between Espaço da Criança & local
enterprises to support their mission in
the community.

Sunday, January 5, 14

One week before I arrived...

Two children accidentally started a fire amid the wooden structures that 100 families called home, in the Coehlos favela. Local social media
and news stations were ablaze with commentary. Even though there had been many fires in living history, people reacted differently this time
when they saw the plumes of smoke between the high rises.
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Highlighting deep cultural tensions in Brazil &
Recife: no one said the way up would hurt so much.
While Recife is the fastest growing city, with aspirations to become the Manhattan of Latin America; the veneer of progress cracked to reveal
deep-seated frustrations with the government, the favelas, and under-realized potential.
Sunday, January 5, 14

Espaço da Criança was born from a desire to help
alleviate the suffering of the marginalized, to
strengthen the community
Nubia’s mother, Abigail Mesquita established the organization in September 1991 after visiting her home city of Recife from Brasilia and
observing the lack of provision for the poorest and most vulnerable.
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Where others saw weakness, Espaço da
Criança saw potential.
While there were many children’s charities in the area serving the Favelas, what separated Espaço da Criança - according to the mothers and
employees we spoke with - was their investment back into the broader community where others saw no hope.
Here, the students of Aê! learnt to make coxinha a popular Brazilian street food, as part of the mothers’ training program.
Sunday, January 5, 14

Change Starts Here

While some invest in Recife by building tomorrow’s skyline, and others in
new entertainment centers and industries; Espaço da Criança invested in
Recife through its children.

What unites Espaço da Criança and local enterprise in Recife is their belief
in the city’s future, and their work to help realize its potential.

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THE CAMPAIGN
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Nós vemos o potencial do Recife em cada criança.

*We see the potential of Recife in every child.

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We brought together two sides of Recife

The campaign was entirely created by the students of
Aê!, who like the enterprises we targeted: didn’t know
Espaço da Criança (located only 5 mins away)
existed. Nor had they ever engaged with their
neighbors from the favela before.
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Tapping into a unique creative climate

We believed that our campaign should be born from the unique culture that defined the city.
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We drew inspiration from the city

From carnival, to the unique graphic and illustration arts of the city; the students drew on their roots to create their very first campaign.
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And made the kids our focus

And learned that working with children wasn’t always the easiest task, especially on a photo shoot!
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A consolidated media landscape,
with no media support

We looked in depth at the communications landscape; mapped target-journeys, and identified
opportunities for our campaign, with no media support.
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We honed in on local enterprises

We looked at flows of traffic, where people ate lunch (a very important part of Brazilian life), and
where best we could reach individuals and organizations in the commercial area of Boa Vista, Recife.
Sunday, January 5, 14

Olá!,

Somos%o%Espaço%da%Criança%e%
há%22%anos%ajudamos%a%
promover%mudanças%
positivas%nas%vidas%das%
crianças%e%famílias%carentes%
do%Recife,%como%parte%de%
uma%missão%para%construir%
uma%comunidade%mais%forte.%%

Acreditamos,que,
mudanças,começam,aqui.,
And pitched our campaign to them
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We kicked off the campaign on National Kid’s Day

We re-skinned our Facebook page, updated the website UI and created a social media editorial
calendar to support the roll-out and communications.
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Creating more traditional media to sell-in our work and to utilize free media provided to us.
Sunday, January 5, 14

We created opportunities for the community
to participate

Our goal was to drive participation: getting people in and around Boa Vista to engage with Espaço da Criança; their mission, and
drive them to the organization’s social channels to learn more about what they do for the community.
Sunday, January 5, 14

With interactive installations at high-traffic areas in
shopping centers & cultural landmarks

Shopping Centers in the area opened their doors to us, and we set up installations at cultural landmarks in the city. The students
made this into a film for social channels: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXtdsXP9TqI&feature=youtu.be
Sunday, January 5, 14

We also created assets that we pitched successfully to popular lunch-spots in Boa Vista.
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Partnering with popular local restaurants in the
Boa Vista area

We created more ways to drive participation and engagement with our social channels.
Sunday, January 5, 14

Sunday, January 5, 14

We even created a new revenue opportunity

With many private school students in the local area we worked with lawyers at the University & accountants who offered their time pro
bono to create the 1-Para-1 Program; where parents could opt-in to paying 1 Real (approx. $0.42) on every term’s school-fee to a
student at Espaço da Criança. The students at Aê! created a logo, and visual system as part of the campaign.
Sunday, January 5, 14

We marketed the program to English schools, and at the largest English-teacher conference in the region on Kid’s Day
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With bigger ambitions for what
we could achieve

We have more ideas that we hope to roll-out beyond the TIE Program...
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A symbol for the community

Beyond the TIE placement Aê! have grand plans for further activations that will demonstrate Espaço da Criança’s value to the community.
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RESULTS
Sunday, January 5, 14

The largest English school in the region is
launching the 1-Para-1 Program & has
pledged their long-term support

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Companies have donated free media space in
high-traffic areas

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Sunday, January 5, 14

We forged new relations with one of the largest
construction companies in the region

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They featured the
campaign in their
internal press and have
pledged ongoing
support through
internal fundraising
drives & partnerships.

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Organically growing our Facebook community x 6

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Espaço da Criança now has an identity in the
community

Employees from Mondalez and Rio Ave Construction participating in new initiatives with Espaço da Criança.
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It tested my leadership abilities

Leading a team of 10 students with little or no
experience, with different English comprehension
levels; but full of energy and ambition!

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And teaching skills
We had to start from scratch: from planning, to creative, to production...
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Providing a rare view into the fastest growing
market and city in Latin America
I went off-the-beaten path to observe the burgeoning market from the inside-out.
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But most importantly it was about the human impact

The students of Espaço da Criança and Aê! formed a special connection and gained a new perspective on what they are capable of achieving, together.
Sunday, January 5, 14

And reaffirming Espaço da Criança’s belief that
the children of Recife can achieve as much as we
believe is possible

For children who are often condemned to a cycle of abuse, we demonstrated that they are worth so much more, as part of building a stronger community.
Sunday, January 5, 14

“Maybe we haven’t realized yet but we
already made a big difference in these
kid’s lives... It is one of the best
learning opportunities I’ve ever had. I
just wanted to say thank you to
everyone who’s been a part of this,
and made this possible.”
Rafaela, student at Ae!

For the students it was a steep learning curve, but has shown just how valuable communications can be: to them, and to their community.
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Thank you, for all your support.

Sunday, January 5, 14

Learn more:
Beyondthefavellas.wordpress.com
espacodacrianca.org.br
facebook.com/espacodacrianca.arh
theinternationalexchange.co.uk/

Sunday, January 5, 14

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