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 Digital Opportunity through Technology & Communication Partnerships

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IT Training for Disadvantaged Brazilian Youth: dot-ORG
[Issue II: Fall 02]

Programa para o Futuro:
Brazilian youth learning for the future.In partnership with USAID/Brazil, dot-ORG has stated a new 18-month project to develop and carryout an innovative IT training and employability program for disadvantaged Brazilian youth in Recife, Brazil. To implement this challenging project, dot-ORG is partnering with four Brazilian NGOs via sub-agreements. Also, with help from USAID/Brazil and EGAT/EIT/IT, the project team, comprised of staff from dot-ORG and the four collaborating NGOs, is establishing public-private partnerships with local, national and multinational companies to help with this initiative.

Partnering for Development
Providing disadvantaged youth with the needed combination of marketable technical skills, positive attitudes and behaviors, experience in the modern workplace, strong basic education knowledge and creative problem solving abilities is extremely difficult and challenging.

To achieve these essential objectives in Brazil, dot-ORG is partnering with the following four very professional Brazilian NGOs:

Casa de Passagem logo
Casa de Passagem
CDI Logo
PortoDigital logo
LTnet Logo

Each of these partners will play an integral role in planning and implement the project. The following illustrates a few of the many activities that each of the partners will be engaged in.
  • Casa de Passagem will coordinate the employability and life skills education activities as well as ensuring that the program addresses the special needs of disadvantaged girls and young women.

  • CDI-Pernambuco will take principal responsibility for creating the training facility which will include space for hands-on experience with computer software, hardware and networking, different aspects of IT instruction, supplemental Portuguese, math and English education, and to learn essential work-place and life skills.

  • PortoDigital will provide free high-speed Internet access to the training facility and help develop and coordinate the e-mentoring activity that will connect participating youth to IT professionals in Recife and around Brazil via a mix of Internet communication tools and help organize the guided internships that will provide the youth with their first formal work experience.

  • LTNet-Brasil will coordinate the development of the curriculum and the training-of-trainers activity for the integrated training program. A resident Brazilian Project Coordinator will facilitate the complexity of daily activities as well as working, in partnership with dot-ORG staff, to establish and expand private sectors partnerships for critical project inputs and internship and employment opportunities for the youth.
Partnering with the private sector is a key element of the design of this project. Discussions are underway with a rich set of Brazilian and US companies to see how each can contribute to the project. For example, the Bank of Brasil has agreed to provide the physical space for the training facility on the 10th floor of their modern building in the historical district of Recife.

Preparing Youth for the Modern Workplace
The IT portion of the training program will focus on providing the youth with a broad spectrum of skills to enable them to succeed as entry-level technical support specialists in small, medium and large companies, NGOs, schools or government offices. The training will be on hands-on and experiential with a focus on strengthening problem solving skills and creating abilities for self-managed life-long learning.

To build team work skills, the youth will be organized into learning teams. The members of these teams will collaborate on project-base learning activities over the six to eight months of the formal training program.

About half way through their IT training program, youth will select a specialization in one of four areas, web sites and graphics, databases, local area networks and Linux. Two of the four hours that the youth are in the program each day will be spent engaged in a dynamic mix of supplemental education and employability learning activities that support their IT training activities and us the IT skills they are learning.

At the end of the formal training activity, youth will join local companies as interns for about three quarters of the work week. During the remaining quarter of the work week they will return to the training facility for ongoing learning and skill enhancement, to share their experiences with their internships among themselves, and take advantage of counseling services.

Toward the end of the program the youth will compete for jobs from a pool of opportunities offered to them from local companies. All aspects of the program will be integrated and designed to imitate aspects of the real-world work environment.

AED was awarded the Brazil Project which starts on November 1, 2002 for a period of two years (Award No. 512-A-00-02-00017-00 under the dot-ORG Leader Award No.GDG-A-00-01-00014-00.)

For more information

Eric Rusten, Deputy Director, dot-ORG
Tel: +1 202 884 8714

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