The pathway of youth protagonism 

The pathway of youth protagonism 
The greatest joy that I discovered was that I can be the author of my own story and still help others to have a new look upon and posture towards life. 
Video Duration: 
Joyce Santana
Thursday, July 27, 2017

My name is Ana. I am 15 years old, with many dreams. I believe that I will fulfil each one of them; even though there was a time when I thought that to be impossible. 

I live on the outskirts of Salvador, in the part of the city that has nothing to do with the one shown on postcards. 

The lack of a reputable school, increasing violence, public transport that does not function and the lack of public playgrounds are some of the problems that those in the poor districts of the city know only too well. 

Not to mention that many think that people my age have nothing to offer. But I assure you one thing: we have a lot to contribute, a lot to say! 

 At the beginning of last year, I was invited by an educator from the Community Centre in my district to participate in one of the projects of the Pastoral do Menor in Salvador. 

The VIDA Project caught my attention right away and I went. 

It is always good to get to know new people and in addition, I am a person who likes challenges, new things, that's why I put myself forward! Right at the beginning, we were told about youth protagonism. I had never heard of it, but thought it was cool. 

 At each meeting, I saw that it was just what I was looking for: an open space to participate in, to put forward proposals, to debate, to expand my knowledge so as to guarantee my rights and fulfil my duties. 

We learned in a very interesting and practical way in the workshops about citizenship, identity, communication and oral and written language. 

Besides this, we are able to take a different look at ourselves and our community. We rediscover our riches, our worth and we can even propose what we want; what we find best for ourselves and for the community in a concrete way in newspapers, poetry, postcards and videos that we learn to make. 

 We have space. We are listened to. We are respected as we are. I even feel like I am an artist. We have even appeared on a stage in a theater. 

The work does not stop here, because I have taken on the responsibility of multiplying everything I have learned with other adolescents and young adults in my community. Little by little a network is being formed. 

Translated by Michael Mc Laughlin


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