The mission statement of COOPA-ROCA, Rocinha Seamstress and Craftwork Co-operative Ltd is to provide conditions for its members, female residents of Rocinha, to work from home and thereby contribute to their family budget, without having to neglect their childcare and domestic duties.
COOPA-ROCA began as a project fashioning quilts and pillows from fabric remnants collected by children in Rocinha, the largest slum in Rio. Under the guidance of fashion designer, Maria Teresa Leal, women were taught sewing and production skills and developed into a flexible work model facilitating working mothers making income from home.
- The work developed at COOPA-ROCA has made it possible to improve the quality of life of the craftswomen and, indirectly, also their families.
- It has also lead to a collective intrinsic understanding of the practices of a co-operative as clearly demonstrated by COOPA-ROCA´s impact on the local community.
- Established at the beginning of the 80s, COOPA-ROCA arose as an offshoot from a recycling project involving the local children (1981). The craftwork produced from textile remnants was the idea behind organising the first group of women and then later the formation of the co-operative
- At the moment the cooperative has approximately 150 members along with important partners in the fashion and decorative design market.