International News of Violence in CEAC favela
By Christine Clauser - Executive Director CDI USA, November 18, 2009 04:15 PM
Violence in Rio de Janeiro Slum Where CDI School Resides Makes International Headlines
In the wake of the announcement that Brazil has won the 2016 Olympics, an outbreak of drug trafficking violence occurred in a favela called Morro dos Macacos making international news. CEAC (Center for Education and Service to Youth) one of the projects featured on Global Giving is an oasis in the middle of the violence.
Twenty years of rival gang wars and the fight between the police forces and the traffickers in this slum and hundreds of others throughout Rio amounts to what many outsiders refer to as a ‘civil war’. The violent methods for containing these wars have been criticized by the United Nations and Amnesty International. While the politics of these everyday occurrences play out, innocent residents, including children are caught in the crossfire.
The ongoing gang wars highlight the need for opportunities for youth growing up in slums where the prevailing high wage jobs are in drug trafficking, where children as young as ten years old are recruited into gangs. Access to CDI schools and the internet that comes with them can open up a world of possibilities for youth who often have no experience with a reality other than the one that they experience in the slums where they live.
In addition to IT skills, CDI schools through their curriculum teach residents how to solve problems that plaque their communities; communities that can lack access to such necessities as basic sanitation, health clinics, and access to safe areas to play and enough seats for students to attend public education.
There are more than 250 CDI schools throughout Rio de Janeiro’s slum communities alone where the realities highlighted internationally in October are an everyday occurrence and do not make the news.
You can read an in depth article about the current civil violence between police and traffickers and the innocent citizens that are caught in the middle here:
My story at the CEACA-VILA
My name is Luiz Carlos; also known as Idi.
When I was 16 or 17, I attended CEACA, a Community Centre in Rio. My childhood was not great and I wish to explain how Ceaca has helped me get my life back on track.
When I came to CEACA for the first time, I was a discredited young person that did not think about the future, only the immediate present. I lost my parents very early and my childhood was very difficult. If not for CEACA -Vila I don’t know what would be of my life, or even if I would be here writing a little bit about it.
I started studding at CEACA, attending a course called Life Expectancy which served 20 youngsters with drug problems from low-income communities.
This special course focused on young people, and we all learned many things that we are still using in our day to day life. CEACA offers several interesting courses, including : Computer, citizenship, silk screen printing classes, sports, English and others.
As a result of CEACA, my colleagues and I received a scholarship of 60 reais(a lot, bearing in mind that 1 real was already a lot of money for us). We received opportunities that we would never have dreamed of.
I realised that I could grow and become someone! I went back to school and started the computer course at CEACA.
After a while, with my teacher’s help, we created a LAN House (cybercafé) called T@I.com. I worked for four years on T@I however, without any formal education I started to feel that I was missing a great opportunity. I went back to my studies, completed them and I am now 25 and I teach informatics at CEACA CDI Community. I am very happy to be part of this group that makes such a difference to our community.
Luis Carlos Goncalves
André Luiz Fernandes de Souza Lima, 19 years old.
I came to CEACA -Vila when I was about 14, and attended the courses with the other CEACA students.
My classmates and teachers realised my potential in computer classes and I began to be part of the internal training program with the friends I had met. The classes were very interesting and I was always very dedicated to all classes. My potential again shone after I started the project "Vencer" (“Win”) here at the CEACA and I was rewarded for my efforts
In only my second week of the course I was called by Alexander (who was the coordinator of the informatics courses at CEACA) and offered a position as professor of computer science course in the CDI Community.
CEACA has improved my skills and I have learnt many new things. My knowledge in computer science and my capacity to teach children are my obvious achievements from my experience in the CEACA projects.
I thank CEACA for giving me the opportunity to work and teach I am now doing what I like the most in life, which is to teach informatics.