What does it mean to be a young person in a quilombola community? A quilombo is a Brazilian hinterland settlement founded by people of African origin, and their identity is a really important issue. That´s why Viração, together with Enel Green Power – a renewable energy company – are working the issue of territory and culture with young quilombolas from the brazilian states of Piauí and Bahia.
The project is called Youth Generation and offers means to help the young quilombolas to find theirselves in the context they are in. They develop critical thoughts to participate more in their comunity.
The activities started in October 2016 with a contest that selected 3 young quilombolas to go to the 12th United Nations Conference of Youth about Climate Change, that took place in Marrakesh, Morroco, in November. The winners represented the communities Araçá-Cariacáv (BA); Riacho do Anselmo (PI); and Lage dos Negros (PI) during the event and brought back new ideas on susteinability, betting on their capacity of changing the world.
José, one of the winners, said the experience was an opportunity to build strenght. “Now I feel like I can go there and express my thoughts to my community and help them. Together , we are strong!”, he sais.
Apart from the winners, other 100 young quilombolas are involved in the Youth Generation project. They take part in meetings and workshops about identity and youth, and discussed their actions in their communities.
The theme of one of the meetings was the value of quilombo´s cultural identity. The participants told stories about their community and debated black culture in Brasil. In another meeting, they talked about citizenship and youth rights.
All activities were executed by Viração during monthly encounters. Also, the participants kept in touch throught social networks, doing activities online.
The project will go on until July, 2017.