Thanksgiving Message from Kilmarnock Enterprise

October 7, 2016

I have had the privilege of learning about Brazil and its unique culture over the last 10 days.  I have also learned about the challenges facing Brazil, many of which are very similar to the ones we have in Canada.

The most impactful part of our International “action” module, was a visit we took to a social enterprise project (Galpoa Aplauso – Warehouse Applause in English) that has taken 11,000 youth in the last 12 years from the favela slums of Rio and successfully transitioned them into the working world with a very unique methodology.

There are over 3 million people living in over 800 favelas in Rio alone.  Twenty five percent (40 million) Brazilians are either illiterate or functionally illiterate.  In Rio alone, there are over 16 homocides daily and over 60,000 thousand annually across Brazil.  These are staggering numbers.  And yet, it took the courage of one woman (Ivonette Albuquerque, the founder) to say enough, we must do something with this problem.

The program at Galpoa teaches the youth from the crime ridden favelas the necessary skills to become sought after employees in the local industries.  Along with art, dance, drama, and music these youth learn Portuguese, Math, Values and Virtues, Trades, and Meditation. 

Here in Canada, less than one per cent of the population is illiterate.  Unlike Brazil’s failing education system, we have one of the best education systems in the world.  Our students have access to education throughout their most important developing years.  This means that our workforce has the skills and training to become world class contributors to society.

As a global society, we have so many things in common despite our differences.  We can learn so many good things from each other.  Most important, however, is to be thankful for the things we have in our own country, particularly the opportunity for a good education.  For this, we should all be profoundly grateful.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving with your families and friends,

Isabelle Graveline

Thanksgiving Message from Kilmarnock Enterprise