Directly impacted families:
San Lorenzo de Mata is part of the city of Recife, in Brazil, which has suffered from violence and crime. The Creative Youth Institute is dedicated to providing courses and workshops to young people to keep them safe and off the streets. The institute has become a space where youth can play sports, join activities, and develop skills to give them more opportunities. They can be involved in tourism and cultural activities, such as making souvenirs.
Tourists can visit the Casa de Fariña, where a traditional food of the Pernambuco region is produced. Fariña is made from cassava, and at the location visitors can observe the entire process, from harvesting to the final product. In addition, there is the chance for travelers to participate in the making of clay objects and utensils.
Involvement of V Social
Several partners work together to support the institute, including VSocial and others like Lufthansa’s Help Alliance. Since 2019, we have provided several workshops in tourism and business, donated thousands of euros, and helped generate aid in the midst of the pandemic.
Directly impacted families:
Support for Institute du Juventude Creativa
EUR 3,000 - Participation at the first V Social Encounter
Anderson, young leader at the Institute, participated in the inaugural annual gathering of projects funded by V Social in Colombia in November. During this event, 16 projects hailing from various corners of Latin America convened in person to engage in discussions about lessons learned and to strategize for the upcoming year, 2024. Our primary goal was to empower the beneficiaries with a more influential role in decision-making within V Social, allowing them to shape the organization's priorities and focus areas. This approach placed a greater emphasis on the voices of those we serve. Notably, for many participants, this event marks their first opportunity to travel outside their home country, adding an extra layer of significance to this transformative gathering. The allocated amount for this support is an estimate derived from the total costs incurred in organizing the gathering.
EUR 500 - Financial support for the implementation of hygiene measures during the pandemic
After an initial state of shock during the pandemic, we, together with our cooperation partner Travolution, developed COVID-19 behavioral guidelines for our projects as early as March. We also provided financial support to implement these guidelines in practice.
San Lorenzo de Mata
The most important impact from this project is the inspiration and opportunities it gives the young people of the region. With strategies such as exploring economic alternatives through tourism, at least 60 young people have benefited, along with their families and the community they live in. Hundreds of local people are involved in producing food and offering services related to tourism efforts.
Liliani is head of her household in Sao Lorenzo da Mata, though she does not have a stable job. With four children to take care of, she has always managed to make sure there was food on the table. When she became unemployed recently, she decided to climb the olive trees and sell what she was able to pick.
Although Liliani is not unfamiliar with poverty, her children give her extra incentive to change her circumstances. She wants them to be educated and to have a better life. With this in mind, she visited the Creative Youth Institute to see how they could help her kids during their free time. The institute was able to offer help with schoolwork as well as activities like boxing. With the extra time, Liliani could devote herself to earning a living.
She has a spot where she sells her olives, though the days are long and the police sometimes ask her to leave and confiscate her wares. Even climbing the trees, which can be up to 5 meters high, is risky at her age. She is paid the equivalent of 70 cents for a container of 15 olives. On a good day, she might make $17 total. Although the work is exhausting, she is grateful that her family does not go hungry. If it was not for the institute, Liliani says, her children would be vulnerable and might stray into delinquency or drug use.
It is her hope to have a better job with more income and time to spend with her children. She is excited about the possibility of getting involved with tourism efforts, where she can share her knowledge and lead tourists through streets she knows so well. This is something she believes her children would be good at too. Dreaming is free, she says, as she prepares her olives to sell. In the meantime, Liliani appreciates the work of the institute and support from groups like VSocial. It has allowed her older children to attend high school and for her to buy them clothes and study supplies.
Liliani's story is like so many others of the parents whose children come to the Creative Youth Institute. This is why it is such a vital space for the young people of Sao Lorenzo da Mata and their dreams of a better life.