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Youth Participation Grows in Latin America

The final quarter of 2005 boasted a wealth of accomplishments by social projects associated with youth in Latin America. In Ceará state, important events were held with the participation of youth: the 4th Expo Brazil on Local Development, in Fortaleza, and the 2nd Youth Communicator Seminar, held in Iguatu.

A highlight of the Expo was the workshop entitled “Youth; a Strategic Partner in Local Development”, organized by the Aracati Social Mobilization Agency and the Social Development Academy – two projects supported by the Kellogg Foundation in the region. The seminar, meanwhile, debated the use of communication as a tool for promoting sustainable development.

During the event, youth from the Médio Jaguaribe region of Ceará discussed strategies to strengthen their communication initiatives. This micro-region is comprised of the municipalities of Acopiara, Jucás, Orós and Quixelô, where the Elo Amigo Institute, one of the organizers of the seminar, runs programs. “We were able to find common solutions for our problemns,” said Gilmar Silva, a member of the team of youth communicators from SERTA, in Pernambuco.

The state of Maranhão – also in the Brazilian Northeast – hosted the 1st Meeting of Local Youth Forums, which gathered 180 people, social organizations and the government of Palmeirândia and neighboring towns to discuss, among other topics, youth participation in the formation of public policy. The Young Citizen project, which is supported by the Kellogg Foundation, was one of the organizers of the event.

In Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, representatives from the Comprehensive Clusters of Projects of Ancoraimes, Chuquisaca, El Alto and Mancomunidad Azanaques met at the end of November with government officials and Kellogg Foundation consultants in the seminar entitled “Working with Youth”. Successful initiatives were presented and the working methodologies employed in the programs conducted by youth were evaluated.

The purpose of the event was to facilitate articulation and strengthen ties between the actors of Bolivian Comprehensive Clusters of Projects.

Youth and Development – The growth of youth participation demonstrate youth’s motivation to influence social development in the region and deliver innovative solutions for their problems. “Youth possess a natural impulse towards change,” said Argentine sociologist Bernardo Kliksberg at the Latin American Seminar of Kellogg Foundation (read more on this event in the text below).  
The Kellogg Foundation’s strategy for Latin America and the Caribbean revolves around youth. Its support for youth training and participation projects and initiatives targets youth empowerment and the breaking of the intergenerational cycle of poverty as an essential condition to bring about social change in the region.

Kit Documents 75th Anniversary Latin American Seminar

Youth were the topic and also the key actors of the Kellogg Foundation 75th Anniversary Latin American Seminar. Entitled “Partnering with Youth to Build the Future”, the event was attended by 250 people – the majority youth from 20 countries in the region. The seminar, held in the Latin American Parliament, in São Paulo, took place from May 30 to June 1, 2005.

To lend continuity to the debates on the topic, the main results of the seminar have been documented in a brochure published in Spanish, English and Portuguese, which will be available shortly on the website of the Foundation.

Seminar participants will receive a printed copy of the brochure together with other materials pertaining to the event: a book containing the documents that served as the basis for the debates, a CD-ROM containing the 100 most representative photos of each stage of the conference and a printed copy of the event’s official photo.


Published in Interaction nº 14


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