Meeting run by CESE discusses drafting social projects and encourages grant funding applications from urban youth

Young people are frequently recognized for their strength and identified for their revolutionary potential.  They say, “they are the future”. For Flora Rodrigues, from the National Coalition of Young Black Feminists (Articulação Nacional de Negras Jovens Feministas: ANJF), this is not enough.  Young people are protagonists of their reality, they are thoughtful subjects, capable of proposing and managing projects, solutions and alternatives.

“Public policies do not function in a dignified manner for our people.  We are the subjects of these problems, everything impinges on young bodies from the peripheries.  But the media distances us from this, which is contradictory.  We are only presented as “someone who lost something because something happened,” never as subjects who think about public policies,” said the young activist.

Flora’s speech was part of the “Virtual Workshop – Urban Youth and Drafting Social Projects” run by CESE on 25, 26 and 27 May with support from Misereor. Her words were both powerful and in line with the meeting’s starting point: to help strengthen urban youth organizations and groups working for the defence of rights by drafting social projects.

Debates were triggered by the young participants’ drawings, based on their transformational dreams and desires for young people, and by the second video of the “Fighting Ground,” Web Series: “Young people from the peripheries constructing the Right to the City”.  The video outlines the main problems and rights violations suffered by this section of the population, with the genocide of young black people, racism, police violence, the denial of the right to education and a lack of public services and amenities.

Over three days, the groups were able to exchange experiences based on their work, to debate the political and theoretical content needed to draft projects and to engage in practical exercises using dynamic and playful methodologies.  The points raised by Vanessa Pugliese and Marcella Gomez, both of whom are CESE Project and Training Advisors, also focused on elements projects need to cover – including their justification and activities, budget, and gender and race aspects.

One of the essential points raised in the workshop was a political reflection about drafting projects and their relationship with the collective pursuit of changes and transformations for young people.  The relationship with each group’s circumstances and territory, reflections about funding origins, power relationships and difficulties accessing information, which particularly affect groups historically impacted by social inequalities, were all up for debate.


The activity was supported by graphical systematization by Monica Santana

The meeting also provided a way to encourage this sector to send projects to the “Young People and Digital Rights” funding stream, organized by CESE with support from Bread for the World (Brot für Die Welt). The funding is aimed at young people, to support projects that respond to young people’s problems and objective needs and their relationship with digital rights.  Applications close on 17 June.

In all, 20 projects will be supported by this funding. Five projects, at a value up to BRL 20,000, will be ring-fenced for proposals from organizations that work nationally.  The other 15 projects will receive up to BRL 15,000, for proposals from groups, organizations, networks and coalitions that plan to carry out regional and/or local activities.


Workshop – Urban Youth and Drafting Social Projects 

Fifteen organizations, from eight states in the Northeast and North, participated in the meeting: Ilê Axé Torrun Gunan (representing youth from an African-origin religion); Popular Youth Uprising Sergipe (Levante Popular da Juventude); Fruit of the Favela (Fruto de Favela); Daughters of Vento (Filhas do Vento); Paraíba Low-income Housing Union (União por Moradia Popular da Paraíba); Alliance of Baptists of Brazil (Aliança de Batista do Brasil: ABB) /@lternative Youth (Juventude @lternativa); the Young Indigenous Communicators Network (Rede de Jovens Comunicadores Indígenas) of  the Coordination of Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon (Coordenação das Organizações Indígenas da Amazônia: COIAB); Organized Movement of Urban Workers (Movimento Organizado de Trabalhadores Urbanos); Movement for the Struggle in the Neighbourhoods, Villages and Favelas (Movimento de Luta nos Bairros, Vilas e Favelas: MLB); Youth Group Freedom Now (Grupo de Jovens Liberdade Já); Ilé Àṣẹ Ibà Oladeji Ìjíomi (representing youth from an African-origin religion);  National Network of Anti-Prohibition Feminists (Rede Nacional de Feministas Antiproibicionistas); National Coalition of Young Black Feminists (Articulação Nacional de Negras Jovens Feministas); Cajazeiras Activist Youth (Juventude Ativista de Cajazeiras); and Reggae Revolution Benevolent Cultural Association (Associação Cultural Beneficente Revolution Reggae). The groups work on themes including: territory and housing, culture and art, decarceration, communication, violence against black youth and women, indigenous people in the cities, and religion.

Taila Sena, member of the Reggae Revolution Benevolent Cultural Association, highlighted the relationships made and the knowledge provided by the workshop. “I was able to improve my knowledge, which wasn’t that extensive, about young people drafting projects and to think outside the box during the construction process. Both I and the association will definitely now enter a new phase, we’re looking forward to putting everything we’ve learnt into practice.”

João Vitor da Silveira Santos, also from Reggae Revolution, declared that the aim of the meeting chimed with his dream. “My dream is exactly what is happening here now: to have young people from interconnected arenas, these participatory young people, because I really believe in the capacity of everyone from the favelas and I believe in ending this system of exploitation.  What motivates me is my faith in the end of this carousel of the bourgeoisie.”

Anderson Teles, a member of COIAB’s Young Indigenous Communicators Network, highlighted his identification with the video from the “Fighting Ground” web series.  “At the network, we identify with the idea of adapting to the urban context, where opportunities are more difficult to access.  And we face these questions together, collectively helping the groups.”