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Edna, age eighteen, lives with her daughter Heloise in her mother-in-law’s home in Petrolina, a town in the state of Pernambuco in north-east Brazil.

Brazil is one of the world’s largest economies, but it suffers from extreme inequality and the north and northeast areas lag behind the rest of the country.

Edna is benefiting from the Mãe Coruja (Mother Owl) project which is run by the state government. The project aims to help more children survive and grow up healthy by providing healthcare to pregnant women and children under five. Women like Edna can enrol in cooking classes, and learn skills to help them improve their income.

“ I found out about Mãe Coruja through my sister’s friend and the support they’ve given me and my baby has been wonderful. Mãe Coruja explains through books, talks and workshops how to take care of our babies, and they make sure children get all their vaccines. Next month I’m looking forward to starting some of their courses and participating in meetings in my neighborhood. Most mothers prefer to take the cooking for schools course as there are more job opportunities.”

Edna also benefits from Family Allowance (Bolsa Família), a conditional cash transfer system through which families living in poverty gain a basic monthly income