Youth Share Experiences in Social Technology to Transform their Communities

Across Brazil, social leaders are working to provide youth the tools to create better futures for their communities. In Campo Grande, in Mato Grosso do Sul, Instituto Luther King is promoting access to education for youth by providing prep courses for them to pass the college entrance exams. In Rio de Janeiro, Voz das Comunidades is providing spaces for youth from Complexo Alemão to identify local problems and discuss democratic solutions to them. Both organizations recently participated in an exchange where leaders from Voz das Comunidades visited Luther King’s headquarters in Campo Grande, and members from Luther King subsequently travelled to Rio de Janeiro.

During the exchanges, Voz das Comunidades shared its strategies on community outreach and media content production, and Luther King shared strategies with students from Complexo do Alemão on providing access to higher education and preparation for college placement exams (ENEM). The exchange was part of a Collaborative Arrangement between the organizations that will enrich the work of both in their respective communities.

The trips were inspirational and educational for everyone involved:

Roberta Meireles (Voz das Comunidades): “If I could define the exchange with one word, it would be GRATITUDE. It was a one of a kind experience, rejuvenating. Instituto Luther King does beautiful work. What caught my attention most was the way they empower their students with such warmth. To be able to tell Voz das Comunidade’s story and to work with the students both at the Instituto and at the local school – who then came to us saying that they want to start their own journal and their own social initiatives to change the realities of where they live – this is priceless.

We leave with several missions: one of them is to help two students create a journal within the Instituto; the second is to help Wilson, a student there, to lead his community library project in the low-income neighborhood where he lives…We will also help Luther King themself with their social media.

This is all so enriching, being able to plant seeds of solidarity, out of the desire to plant something positive for the next generation, the future of our country.” 

Glaucia Laranjeiras (ILK): “We had the privilege of meeting this team that made a difference in all the places they went. There were lots of activities, places travelled, and they liked it all, and didn’t hesitate to share their knowledge. We are so grateful. More than 400 youths heard Rene Silva, and I am certain that something new will come out of it. One student even read his book in one night, and the next day he said that he wanted to create a community journal in his neighborhood too. He got emotional.”

Neighboring IPEDI, located in Aquidauana, in Mato Grosso do Sul, also had the opportunity to partake in Voz das Comunidades’ visit to their state.

Denise Silva (IPEDI): “We had the honor of hosting some very special people for a chat about social media. Moments like this encourage us to move forward and keep fighting. May this be the first of many encounters.”