Location Ananindeua, PA
Grantee 2018
Attended areas Human Rights and Civic Engagement

Costurando Vidas

Artisanship providing professional development and income generation for formerly-incarcerated women

COOSTAFE is Brazil’s first cooperative composed of incarcerated women. The organization uses the production of handicrafts as a means of professional training and income generation for presently and formerly-incarcerated women. Founded within the Centro de Reeducação Feminino de Ananindeua (a correctional facility), the project proposes to prepare inmates for life after imprisonment by teaching them basic business concepts and artisanship skills, promoting their independence and improving their self-esteem.

Their handicrafts are sold in public squares by inmates in work release programs, with profits going entirely to the cooperatives. Through work, the inmates regain a sense of belonging to society, see a new way to live in prison, and find a vocational and income-generating opportunity. In its four years of work, COOSTAFE has a zero percent recidivism rate, showing the importance of the initiative for the reintegration of these women into society.

With support from BrazilFoundation, the Association intends to:

• Purchase equipment to increase artisanry production;
• Hold courses in crafts, sales, advertising and marketing;
• Acquire raw material to launch new product lines;
• Renovate the workspace.


Professional training for incarcerated women
Artisanship promoting reintegration and income generation
Mobilizing society to reintegrate women

“COOSTAFE makes an impact through the reintegration of inmates into society and, in this way, reducing recidivism.” – Team Coostafe

Photos @brazilfound on instagram