Luciano, Beth and approximately 20 women in the local community, through support from the Bernard Van Leer Foundation, planned Margafo as a cooperative that would be a source of income for women in Manguerinha. Though PRL was providing financial and organizational support to the cooperative, Terra dos Homens wanted to ensure that it was truly a grass-roots project that reflected the needs of the women involved. Through a series of meetings and workshops on entrepreneurship throughout 2014, the women decided that they would like the cooperative to be a bakery since there are very few options in the community for fresh baked goods, especially for people living on the Morro do Sapo hill. This decision lead Terra dos Homens to expand Programa Raízes Locais by purchasing an adjoining house in order to have more space for what would become Mangarfo's kitchen.
The kitchen was inaugurated of sorts in March of 2015 when Marusia, a local chef, began giving baking classes to the nascient cooperative.
Mangarfo has a lot of choices ahead as the women work together to define the cooperative. Joice, Beth, Luciano and I are supporting them in this undertaking. As of now there is a loose structure for the group, but it is a still a bit uncertain if things will change as the group comes into its own. An initial idea was for there there to be management team of 5 women who would over see different aspect of the cooperative (sales, logistics, etc). This team of women would then manage 15 other women (3 in each sector), together forming the 20 women strong cooperative Mangarfo. In addition, the Mangarfo kitchen also houses baking workshops led by Marusia open to an additional 30 women in the community that just began this week. In this way, women who may want to work more independently, or simply learn to make a delicious cake for a relative's upcoming birthday party have access to this potential income generating project. They could also join the cooperative if one of the 20 core women no longer wanted to participate. Finally, PRL hopes that Mangarfo will be able to host community nutrition and meal planning seminars in order to reach as many people in the community as possible.