Vote for CatComm’s Idea and Give Every Brazilian a Chance to Wave Their Flag Proudly at the 2016 Olympics
Earlier this month, Rio de Janeiro celebrated an extremely exciting moment, not just for the city, but for Brazil and South America. For the first time ever, the Olympics will be in South America, in the “Cidade Maravilhosa” Rio de Janeiro. However, some cariocas (Rio de Janeiro residents) are weary. How will the city handle the problems of drug trafficking and violence? Will Rio will adopt an even harsher and more violent policing policy? How will Rio build the infrastructure in areas already home to many communities? Does this mean that Rio will uproot many communities?
The answer is yes. Some communities will be razed, others invaded by police, and finally others will be gentrified. All of this is due to happen in Rio de Janeiro’s infamous favelas (squatter communities) in order to prepare for the much-celebrated 2016 Olympics. And what is worse is that many times these communities aren’t being heard.
But now you can help give these favela leaders a voice. You can help give the chance for every Brazilian to feel proud of their country during the 2016 games. How? VOTE! (For instructions, click here)
Catalytic Communities, an NGO that has nine years experience working with Rio’s favelas, is now in the final round of the ideablob competition to win $10,000 for their idea: “Rio Olympics: Ensuring a Powerful Legacy for Rio’s Favelas.” And they need our help to vote. Its easy and quick, and the idea with the most votes wins.
If CatComm wins, they will train 200 community leaders from across the city of Rio de Janeiro in creative use of social media, which will amplify their voices so they are heard by the municipal authorities, the media, and the global community. Rio´s current administration is very sensitive to media and foreign opinion, so there is a lot of power in CatComm’s approach.
Why do I think this is so important? This summer I visited Asa Branca, and I was amazed by their leadership, initiative, and community organization. (You can read my post about it here.) Asa Branca is a peaceful favela and free of drug trafficking and militias, and almost all of their children are in school. Rio plans to build a highway over this community.
Another favela, Villa Autódromo, is the first community the city plans to remove in order to prepare for the Olympics. Villa Autódromo is also a peaceful community with almost full employment and most of their children in school. Municipal authorities are not consulting the community.
One resident from Villa Autódromo speaks: “The emotion for the Olympics isn’t worth the pain from the removal of the people of Villa Autódromo. The Olympics shouldn’t be able to just erase our past, our history… I’m not against the Olympics. I know that they will bring benefits for the city. We will have more jobs, but also more money going to the politicians pockets. Here, we don’t have drug trafficking, we don’t have militias, and we don’t do harm to anybody.”
I have been excited and hoping for Rio to have the chance to get the Olympics and make something out of the opportunity. It will take work to make sure that Rio makes a lasting effect on the city as a whole, and now you can make it happen by taking 2 minutes to vote. VOTE! –
- Go here and click “VOTE”.
- If you haven’t already registered, you will need to register. Registration takes putting in your email address and confirming it’s your address by one click. That’s it. Anyone with an email address, regardless of your country, can register.
- Once registered, login and vote for Catlytic Communities before October 31st.
- Blog, tweet, and facebook about it! Try and recruit at least five friends! Together we can make sure that all Brazilians feel proud to wave their flags in 2016!