April 6, 2022

ADRA Opens Youth Centers for Training Young People in Brazil’s Capital

Digital marketing, massage therapy, and baking are among the vocational courses offered.

Rafael Brondani for the South American Division, and Adventist Review

Offering professional opportunities for young people ages 15 to 29 is the goal of an Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) program in Brasilia, Brazil’s capital city. The initiative, carried out in partnership with the government of the Federal District through its Youth Secretariat, will offer vocational training to young people in the communities of Samambaia and Recanto das Emas.

Ana Vitória Venceslau, 16, and Mateus Alves, 19, have something in common: both have been admitted to professional courses at the Samambaia Sul Youth Center, which opened on March 21, 2022. Venceslau wants to study medicine and join the Military Police. Alves is preparing to take the engineering course.

Meaningful Places

Even before the official opening, the new centers had young people attending. These are individuals who, just like Venceslau and Alves, have found in the new program a way to start fulfilling their dreams.

Besides the South Samambaia Youth Center, the Recantos das Emas Center opened its doors on March 24, focusing also on 15- to 29-year-olds. 

Brasilia and Goiás ADRA director Jeconias Neto, who is also a youth ambassador for the United Nations, stressed that spaces like these new centers will provide vulnerable young people with better opportunities. “The centers are important because we have a high rate of youth unemployment, homicide, and drug use. These locations are an answer to that reality,” Neto said. “ADRA wants these centers to be a place of refuge for young people, an extension of their own homes.”

A Space for Vocational Training 

The two ADRA centers will host the living spaces that provide leisure activities, sports, culture, and professional training for teenagers and young people. Such centers were created to keep adolescents and young people away from situations of risk and social vulnerability, with opportunities that favor personal and professional training.

More than a thousand young people and teenagers will be served at the locations. The courses offered at both units are focused on employability and future professions such as domestic economy; eyebrow design; hair styling; computing; digital marketing; futsal; Jiu Jitsu; functional training; massage therapy; and bakery and confectionery.

“These youth centers have provided young people from the Federal District with a different life, as well as training and qualification. Today, more than ten thousand young people are assisted in the three existing centers,” the Secretary of Youth of the government of the Federal District, Luana Machado, said. 

ADRA leaders said that registration is free and that the goal is social integration. “We are working to integrate young people in need into the community through initiatives that foster economic growth across the region,” they said.

The original version of this story was posted on the South American Division Portuguese-language news site.