From the free English course on the outskirts of Salvador to a project that maps points of voluntary delivery of garbage in São Gonçalo (RJ). This Friday, 1st, the Brazil Conference at Harvard & MIT, an event held annually by the Brazilian student community in Boston, in the United States, exchanged well-known leaders in the country for the story of ten young Brazilians who created social impact projects in search for a less unequal Brazil. This year, the event has a partnership with state.
Pedro Bial, followed by Peter Sonnenberg, co-president of the Brazil Conference and a master’s student at Harvard, and the 10 young people from the Brazil Conference Ambassador Program
Photo: Brazil Conference / Reproduction / Estadão
Young people were selected by the Brazil Conference Ambassador Program, whose objective is to develop leaders who solve social problems and inspire other young people to promote changes in Brazil. Of the ten who participated in this year’s edition, 70% attended high school in a public school and declared themselves black. In a videoconference interview with journalist Pedro Bial, each young man told about his life story and the context of the creation of the project.
Born in a neighborhood on the outskirts of Salvador, Vinícius Santos created the WeSpeak Social Project to enable the teaching of English in communities in Brazil. The passion for education came after an opportunity to learn the foreign language on a US embassy program. “I started wanting to teach a lot more to break down barriers than just for other people to learn,” he said. Today with more than 300 students and a team of 10 volunteers, the project is present in two neighborhoods in Salvador and one in Itajaí, in Santa Catarina.
Also a resident of a peripheral neighborhood, Vinicius de Andrade created a project to democratize access to information among public school students. Safeguard it is the result of his own life story. First of the family to enter higher education, Vinícius saw in college an opportunity to have a better quality of life than his parents and sisters.
The experience in two worlds, the periphery and one of the best colleges in Latin America, made him question the lack of students from lower classes at the university. In search of answers, he applied a questionnaire in public schools in his city and found that the students did have an interest in higher education. What was missing was information. “Of the 193 students who responded, only 13 knew Fuvest. Then I saw that the information is an underestimated cut. Whoever has it, forgets when it arrived. Whoever doesn’t have it, doesn’t even know it exists.”
Salvaguarda is present in 38 high schools in Ribeirão Preto and two in Rio de Janeiro. The program assists 20,000 students through 600 volunteers. In addition to excursions on university campuses, the project offers services such as essay correction and simulations, as well as information about the entrance exam calendar.
The student Luma Moura she was also the first of her family to attend higher education. A resident of an unpaved street in São Gonçalo, where there is no garbage collection, she realized the reality in which she lived after starting to study in another city with more infrastructure. “Every time I came home every day, it felt like I was entering another planet,” said the student. “People didn’t know it was a right. And neither did I.”
With the help of a friend, she mapped out points of voluntary delivery around the city. In an attempt to call these places, he found that they were all closed. “We were able to organize ourselves and claim the reopening of these points”, says Luma. So far, one of these points has been reopened. In addition to mapping, the project Collect there works with environmental education, developing awareness and mobilization materials through social networks, as well as lesson plans.
Check out the Brazil Conference program for next week
Present and Future of Health in Brazil, 4/5 at 10am
Interview with Minister of Health Nelson Teich. Interviewers Fernando Bruno (Harvard Masters) and Juliana Yamada (MIT Masters)
How companies can contribute to society, 4/5, 19h
Artur Grynbaum, Eduardo Mufarej, Fabio Barbosa and moderated by Sonia Favaretto
The pandemic and the ethical dilemmas of Brazilian society, 5/5 at 3 pm
Panel with Mário Sergio Cortella, Silvio Almeida and Viviane Mosé, moderated by Nathalie Gazzaneo (Harvard Masters)
How do we become a reformist state ?, 5/5, 19h
Rodrigo Maia, Paulo Hartung, Marcos Mendes and moderated by Eliane Cantanhêde
The challenges of States in Crisis, 7/5, 19h
João Doria (SP), Helder Barbalho (PA), Renato Casagrande (ES), Flavio Dino (MA, to be confirmed) and moderated by Andreza Matais
Alligator ‘takes advantage’ of human quarantine and invades backyard in the USA; Look