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Networks Drive Change in Latin America

The spread of network initiatives in Latin America has enabled the region’s social organizations to greatly improve the quality of their work. These networks, which are known for their diversity, originate from the strategic partnerships and alliances that are built on the shared goals of a number of social actors. In light of this, they promote a rich and productive exchange of experiences among their members and present real opportunities for learning and acquiring new knowledge. In Latin America, numerous successful networks are supported by the Kellogg Foundation as part of its change strategy – in both its promotion of regional development and its general programming (find out more about the Change Strategies on the website www.wkkf-lac.org) The Network of United Youth for Central America (REJUCA), consisting of social projects from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala,Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama, is one such initiative (read more later in the issue). Its purpose is to foster regional development though youth protagonism. The network is part of the Kellogg Foundation’s efforts in the region.

Another example of an initiative geared Social organizations seal alliances to strengthen their action and accomplish their missiontowards youth empowerment is the Youth Network, from Brazil, which is made up largely of government and non-government organizations from the northeast of the country. The network operates in the fields of public policy, labor, income and communication,with the objective of encouraging youth participation in guaranteeing their rights.

ANDI (News Agency for Children’s Rights), one of the organizations that forms the Youth Network, is another example of success from working within a network. Its goal is to improve the quality of public information on decisive topics for the promotion of the rights of children and adolescents. To accomplish its mission, the agency engages with the media, sending story ideas and providing information and statistical analysis on the press coverage of these issues,besides holding professional training and awareness seminars and workshops for journalists. Thanks to the quality of its work, ANDI has become a reference in communication for rights and social and human development. The ANDI Brazil Network, established in 2000, has produced results. In 2003, the ANDI Latin America Network was created, consisting of organizations from nine countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia,Ecuador,Guatemala, Paraguay and Venezuela.

ANDI Places Rights of Children and Adolescents on the Region’s Press Agenda

Veet Vivarta, the executive secretary of ANDI Brazil, explains how the strategy of action aimed at improving the region’s press coverage of the rights of children and adolescent is paying off.

How has ANDI overcome the resistance of the press to reconsider its coverage?
Without being imposing, and with plenty of dialogue and patience. To begin with, six years ago, we sent out suggestions about what to report on, but nobody paid much attention. This changed when we defined our three strategic thrusts: mobilization, monitoring the press and qualification.

What are each of these?
The mobilization that led to the creation of ANDI aims to raise awareness among journalists about the rights of children and adolescents. The monitoring of the press, consisting of a daily systematic analysis of Brazil’s 60 leading communication media – and now 120 across Latin America – has given us more credibility. The professional qualification of journalists on these topics has improved through seminars, courses and ANDI’s own products, such as book.

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Published in Interaction nº 18

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