IT Employability Training Begins for Disadvantaged Brazilian Youth

Photo of female and male Programa para o Futuro trainees working hard at computer exercises. On May 5, 2003, the USAID/Brazil funded Programa para o Futuro, (Program for the Future) officially started training activities in Recife, Brazil. The initiative will prepare the participating youth for employment opportunities as ICT technical support staff in small and medium enterprises, NGOs, and the public sector.

This project is being carried out by dot-ORG in partnership with four Brazilian NGOs, Casa de Passagem, CDI-Pernambuco, PortoDigital, and LTNet-Brasil.

50 boys and girls from disadvantaged communities in Recife are taking part in this integrated IT employability training program which includes supplemental education in Portuguese, math, English, work place and life skills, creativity, and citizenship strengthening activities. A strong internship and e-mentoring program will provide on-going support to these youth during and after the training portion of the program.

Partners Give Support and Critical Resources
Students in their new uniforms, and their parents, taking a tour of the training facilities during the Programa para o Futuro orientation. The uniforms display the logos of the core partners, such as USAID, AED, IBM, Bank of Brazil, and others. A core strength of Programa para o Futuro is the partnerships the team has developed with both private sector companies and public sector agencies to provide critical resources.

The Bank of Brazil, for example, is contributing two rooms in their Recife office for training facilities. IBM-Brasil has contributed 19 desktop computers, two servers and seven laptops to the project, and provided the funds for the student's uniforms and peripherals. The students are also using IBM's Learning Village on-line collaborative environment as part of the program.

Microsoft Brazil is providing all software for the training facilities. ABA (Brazil and America's Association), is providing two English teachers to strengthen the English language skills of the 50 youth.

The State Government of Pernambuco will provide sponsorship funding for the youth internships and first jobs. The Ministry of Justice is providing sponsorship funding for four participants from the Ministry's first offenders program.

Other local and international companies and organizations will be providing support via the project's internship and e-mentoring activities. These close relationships with the local private sector additionally benefit the program by ensuring that the training is kept aligned with the current needs and requirements for the Brazilian job market.

Opening Day Event
The fifty youth, wearing their new uniforms, attended the opening day event with at least one parent or family member. For many of these family members, attendance meant missing time at work or organizing child care, which few could easily afford. The large turnout by parents demonstrated the importance they place in their children's involvement in this program.

During the event, one of the youth read the commitment letter that all the youth signed, pledging to do their best and achieve success for themselves, their families, the program, Brazil, and their future. The parents also committed to supporting their daughters and sons to create new futures for themselves and their families.

During the tour of the training facility, youth and their parents clearly showed their excitement, anticipation, and gratitude for being selected to participate in this program that gives them great hope for their future.

Project-Based Learning Training Approach
The program is using an integrated project-based learning approach to build the variety of "hard" and "soft" skills needed to successfully find meaningful employment in the difficult job market in Brazil. Collaborative learning projects integrate Portuguese language, writing and oral communication skills with IT skill developing activities focusing on setting up and upgrading computer systems, installing software, managing computer networks and troubleshooting computer problems.

The youth and teachers also use an on-line learning software, TelEduc that was developed by the University of Campinas in São Paulo (UNICAMP/SP) to create and edit their own content. To improve their presentation and communication abilities, the youth present their work using PowerPoint, to their fellow students and visitors.

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, Contact:
Eric Rusten
Project Director, Programa para o futuro
Academy for Educational Development
Tel: (202) 884-8714

Tania Ogasawara
Project Coordinator, Programa para o futuro
Academy for Educational Development
Tel: +55 81 3419-8014

Related Resource Partners
Related DOT-COM Activity
Brazil - Programa Para o Futuro
Related DOT-COMments Newsletter Articles
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Core funding for the DOT-COM Alliance is provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Bureau for Economic Growth, Agriculture & Trade, Office of Infrastructure and Engineering (EGAT/OI&E), Office of Education (EGAT/ED), and Office of Women in Development (EGAT/WID), under the terms of Award numbers: GDG-A-00-01-00009-00, dot-GOV; GDG-A-00-01-00014-00, dot-ORG; GDG-A-00-01-00011-00, dot-EDU.
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