Now Reading:

Learning for the future in Brazil

learning world

Learning for the future in Brazil

In partnership with

Social ventures are often at the heart of the world’s most innovative education initiatives, and behind them are often social entrepreneurs driven by a desire to make a positive impact on society.

This week we take an in depth look at Brazil where social conditions are amongst the harshest in the world – in the big cities of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo it has been estimated that a third of people live in slums.

In Rio we met Rodrigo Baggio who is spearheading efforts to bridge the digital divide.

Next to a project in Sao Paulo which aims to turn the entire population – 11 million people – into teachers, so that everyone is educating each other and building better lives.

In Rio de Janeiro’s longest established Favela or shanty-town, Rodrigo Baggio has a dream. In 1993 he left a successful career in IT and two years later founded CDI – an NGO making IT available to the world’s poorest people – not just in Brazil but all over the developing world.

Wanderson Skrock, 21, spent years dealing drugs and in and out of prison. Now he is a youth worker at CDI. He said: “The first time I went into a computer suite, I thought: ‘I’m a drugs dealers, I don’t need computers, I’m not going to sell drugs over the internet!’ But then the CDI teacher showed me how I could change my life and he said you know what, if you don’t learn something and change your life, you’re going to die.”

For more information see

In Brazil’s largest city, Sao Paolo, living in anonymity can be an inevitable fact of life, but the Barrio Escola movement is trying to change that. This innovative action-based programme is getting people involved at all levels mobilising them to create a network between schools and local neighbourhoods.

Sao Paulo is home to more than 11 million people – and the Aprendiz Project was founded in 1997 with the aim of turning slum quarters into learning centres but encouraging interaction between schools and local people.

Helena Singer, a teaching director at the Aprendiz Project said: “The aim of Aprendiz is to promote networks. The local area can be a teacher, because all local areas have something to teach. Young people learn all the time, at school, in the street, at home, wherever they find themselves – and once people in a local area realise that fact, we start to think about proposing education.”

If you would like to see all the Learn World reports, they are available on-line at

Next Article

learning world