Mayra - KidsRights
"With education the vicious circle of poverty and violence can be broken"


Country of origin
Current country
Mayra won the International Children´s Peace Prize in 2008. She was born in Rio de Janeiro, the capital of Brazil, on the 31st of August in 1991. Mayra fights against the violence in Brazilian slums and for children´s rights to safety and education.

My name is Mayra. I grew up in one of the poorest favelas (slums) of Rio de Janeiro. In my favela, police and drug gangs fight each other to the bitter end. Many children fall victim to this violence.  

The initiative 
When I was 11 years old, the situation got out of hand to the extent that the army set up checkpoints at the entrance roads to my favela, to keep unwanted guests out. 

A side effect of this security measure was that schools and hospitals had to close down, because doctors and teachers couldn’t come into the community anymore. But children have the right to education! So I stood up for my right and asked to be admitted to a school somewhere else. Ever since, I have continued to fight for my rights and that of other children and young people. I organized, for example, a peace march in which hundreds of young people participated.  Together, we were able to convince the police to patrol further away from schools, to avoid violence nearby. Moreover, police and drug gangs agreed to not shoot during school hours. As a result, many children were able go to school again!  

Together we move the world 
KidsRights supports me, as a changemaker, in my fight against the violence in the favelas. The residents of the favela can make a difference if they really want to, as long as they have more faith in themselves. Together we must stand up for our rights to education and peace!   

My mission 
Everyone has a role to play in improving children's rights. It doesn’t matter whether you are rich or poor, politician or farmer, man or woman, young or old. We can, and should, all stand up and make a difference, as real changemakers!  


Together we can achieve more. Share the stories of our changemakers and spread the word!

Welcome to the KidsRights Changemakers Movement!

Do you want to make a difference in children’s rights? Everyone can be a changemaker. Watch the video to find out more. Would you like to sign up as a changemaker? Or would you like to check out the platform first?