Ordinary yet extra-ordinary : Story of Mae Nildete

Mae Nildete

Women throughout history have played their part in shaping human society. Despite their contributions often being downplayed, the impact women have had on the world can be seen in every field and aspect of human life. Be it in the arts, the sciences, crafts, culture or literature, women have made a lasting impact that deserves to be both acknowledged and celebrated. Today, we celebrate women.

               Famous women have made large, rippling effects across history, and have long-lasting, meaningful impacts which have been recorded for generations, and will leave a lasting impact on the world. These are stories we know, about famous women like Mother Teresa, Indira Gandhi or Madame Curie. However, they are often considered the exception amongst our posterity– not the rule. My experience has been different. I have been fortunate enough to know strong, smart women who, in their everyday lives, have proven that they are not just capable, but have the ability to excel at any task they put their minds to. One such woman is Mae(Mother) Nildete.

               I met Mae Nildete when I was working on an NGO project in Brazil as a summer intern. She ran an orphanage in the favelas of the city of Salvador. Motivated by nothing but compassion, this wiry, bright old lady had made it her mission to find and support as many orphaned or displaced children as she possibly could. Brazil is in the midst of a huge drug crisis, and many of these children had lost their parents to cocaine overdoses or had to be taken away for their own safety due to rampant drug abuse within the family.

In a country where resources were limited, poverty is rampant and these children had few options, Mae Nildete made it her priority to do everything she could to not only provide for the children, but to heal a broken community in her own way. Now, years later, the improvements she has made to her facilities and the support she is able to provide to these children is phenomenal.  She may not be as famous as the women I have mentioned before, but her kindness, generosity and grit are no less inspirational to me.


The world is riddled with similar stories of exceptional women, even though it may not be immediately obvious. As a community, we must do a better job of recognizing and supporting these women. Let Women’s day not just be a day where we remember the women who have inspired us, but learn to treat the women in our lives with kindness and respect, and give them the support they require to achieve their own goals and dreams! With a society geared towards equality, the possibilities are endless.

Photo Credit : https://altodecoutos5.wixsite.com/maenildete

Isha is a young girl with love for reading and occasional writing, a food and travel enthusiast and yoga practitioner. She takes keen interest in people, culture, history and social causes.

 A Computer Engineer by profession, Isha currently lives and works in Washington DC, USA.

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