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Warriors without weapons - Learning youngsters to change their own community and environment
Start date: Dec 1, 2010,

Sending organisation Stichting Commundo offers a group of 15 youngsters from the Netherlands the opportunity to do voluntary work in Brasil. They will participate in the Warriors without weapons-program during one month. This methodology is developed by host organisation Instituto Elos. It relies on the main idea that we can change the world, starting right away, with the resources that are available, only we are not aware of. It is time to change our perception about how to collaborate in a collective way, to build a better world and to do so with pleasure. In order to do that, we use the global knowledge of all involved, directly or indirectly, and by the end of a month, we transform a collective dream into reality, even better than we first imagined.Our goal is to introduce youth of action in the way of the Warrior Without Weapons. We aim, through practice and experience, to offer each participant to propose solutions and develop projects in their cities, regions and countries, answering to urgent social and environmental issues we share, respecting the unique identity of each community. So the main theme is urban/rural development.For a month the participants work in a community in Santos, Brasil, and they execute a project using local construction techniques and attending to real needs of the tenants. During the program the participants are part of a group rich in cultural, social and economical diversity. There will be youth from different parts of the world participating, cooperating in a common challenge. In this way, we contribute to another main objective: to gain more understanding and cooperation between youngsters from different social, cultural and economic background.The other main theme is minorities. Six of the Dutch volunteers will be youngsters with fewer opportunities, because their social, economic and cultural background. In Brasil, they will participate in the project in a poor neighboorhood, where many minorities are living. In this way, it is not only creating awareness of equality and unity, but truly experience this sense of unity AND having learned how to take positive action.The experiences of these EVS activities will have a deep impact on the lifes of all young people and the local community involved and we are convinced that this project generates positive effect on their perception of participation of people from underpriviledged background, realising that everyone is able to change their own world, that they use this experience to change their own community.Also the objective is to enlarge the personal and social development of both the Dutch and the Brasilian youngsters and to give rise to their mutual interest in two themes: Urban/rural development and minorities.
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