A Vida Na Favela (Life in the Favela)
As an intern teaching English and Spanish in Recife, Brasil at the community school Movimento Pró-Criança from January to June of 2005 I had the opportunity to gather a variety of resources reflecting the views of Piedade residents on youth development in their favela. My research includes photographs of the community and transcribed tape-recorded interviews with a variety of the local youth, students, elderly, parents, and public school teachers. My project also references the photographic auto-biographies created by students in my Spanish class, poems written by students in my English class, reflections on the adolescent girls sex-education discussion group I co-founded, a story written by one of my 11-year-old students, the Government meetings I attended in Recife’s city center, research I conducted outside of Brasil, the proposal I co-wrote with a group of Pró-Criança students in hopes of negotiating improved funding at local public schools, and many other experiences and relationships that shaped my research. My thesis focuses on five issues affecting youth development in Piedade: 1) Poor public school quality creates an institutionalized disparity between poor and rich Brazilians, and a lack of opportunities for youth in the favela community; 2) The history of the Favela and the life threatening conditions which continue to affect its youth; 3) Effects of institutionalized violence and political corruption on youth development in the favela; 4) History and causes of violence against women in Brazilian favelas and in popular culture; 5) The Role of favela youth in an everyday cycle of hardship, violence, exclusion, and neglect. I found these to be the five issues most frequently discussed and emphasized by people involved with the community of Piedade.
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