By Naomi Yakawich
A local community in Goiania, Brazil is transforming their neighborhood through service to bring security and life back to streets once overwhelmed by crime and drugs.
The Viver Cidade (Live City) program was initiated by an intern at Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Brazil and employs the efforts of professionals and the passion of locals to create neighborhood spaces where children and families can come together for sports, entertainment and fellowship. PROPEB (Professionalization and Education Project Ebenezer) partnered to organize a festival fundraiser to raise money for the community spaces on October 7.
The festival is the second community event to support the initiative. Local vendors, businesses and youth groups came out to supply food and music when they heard about the effort to combat the violence in the region. Donations raised at the festival will continue to fund the construction of a space where youth can play sports and participate in activities enhancing their leadership, teamwork, and sense of community, ultimately helping them stay away from groups that continue the cycle of drugs and violence in the neighborhood.
PROPEB students and volunteers with GPF Brazil assisted in the setup and coordination of the festival. Other partners included AJUDE (Legal Assistance for Development and Education) and LEAM (Leadership and Development by Music).
The Civil Police of the Goias State and the Fire Department were both present with demonstrations on safety. Local businesses provided vision tests, medical check-ups, woman’s beauty training and barber services throughout the event.
Viver Cidade is a model for grassroots transformation, not just in Brazil but also around the world. With the concerted efforts of businesses, local government, youth and families, neighborhoods can be enriched under a common vision for peace.
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