Viva a Vida works in Vila de Abrantes (NE Brazil) to empower young people living in a community afflicted by drug-trafficking, drug-abuse, and violence. This project seeks to build resilience and safeguard against community-based violence by engaging young people. Our experience shows that involvement in peaceful community mobilization has a positive impact on young people's self-esteem. As such, Viva a Vida uses art and human rights education to encourage engagement with social issues.
Approximately 1 in every 100 young people in Vila de Abrantes will be killed before their 19th birthday. They experience high levels of violence, police harassment, poor schooling and unemployment. Largely ignored by the authorities, without leadership or leisure opportunities, young people are extremely vulnerable to a range of abuse, which may lead to high risk situations and dangerous behavior. Our challenge is to create a safe and trusting environment to address these vulnerabilities.
The project will use photography and graffiti to debate human rights & community mobilization. Young people will learn about rights & responsibilities (focused on racism & violence), develop arts skills and visit local groups. They will incorporate learning into arts products, disseminated to the community via exhibitions and social networking. The project will stimulate young people's creativity and raise their self-esteem, constructing a community engaged in social issues and positive change.
180 young people will develop increased resilience and self-esteem. Project activities will provide a safe environment for debate within this violent community, allowing young people to develop well-being and limit their involvement in high risk situations. Positive outcomes will occur through assertive activities, such as exhibitions, debates and presentations within the community focused on racism, violence and human rights, enabling young people's voices to be heard, towards peaceful change.