Everyone at CAFE would like to send many congratulations to Mauana Simas, who has been named as one of ThinkOlga.com’s Inspirational Women of 2014.

ThinkOlga is a Brazilian think-tank created to raise the discussion of femininity in today’s world, and celebrates many of the women helping to shape society both in Brazil and beyond. Almost 150 women have been recognised by ThinkOlga, across a number of different platforms. Mauana has been praised under the Communications and Media category.

Mauana played a key role in delivering CAFE’s audio-descriptive commentary project, a CSR 2014 FIFA World Cup project in Brazil. She was appointed as Project Coordinator by our Brazilian partner Urece. Audio-descriptive commentary was provided at all matches played in Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo – a total of 26 matches including the Final. This allowed for more than 400 partially sighted and blind football fans to attend matches in an inclusive and accessible environment. Mauana’s hard work and dedication throughout made her one of the main reasons why the project was so successful.

In September, Mauana attended a CAFE training programme to gain a wider understanding of access requirements for all disabled fans along with Urece’s Institutional Relations Manager and Founder, Gabriel Mayr. The training included an instructional tour of the accessible facilities and services available at Wembley Stadium. As a result of this training, Urece have agreed to deliver an access and inclusion legacy project at the Morumbi Stadium in Sao Paulo in 2015.

In addition to her work with CAFE and Urece, Mauana is a journalist and founded her own production company in Rio de Janeiro. She produced and directed a music video for the song ‘Zeit’ by the well-known Brazilian band Schracho, which incorporates sign language throughout the video.

CAFE Managing Director, Joyce Cook OBE, who is also a board member at Women in Football in the UK, was especially pleased by the news and said, “We are delighted for Mauana, it is always a complete pleasure to work with her and a joy to see her many achievements as a female role model in Brazil recognised by this award. Everyone at CAFE is thrilled for Mauana and Urece and we are looking forward to working on the next steps together to ensure a more equal matchday experience for all sports loving fans. Many congratulations Mauana – you are a true star!”

A version of this article is also available in Portuguese.