Stimulate participation by young people and teenagers in community health issues, based on the principles of equality and social participation – this is one of the objectives of the “Being a Child” project, run by the Vale Foundation in partnership with the Health Promotion Centre. Launched in August 2013, the project is taking place in three areas of Canaã dos Carajás: Vila Planalto, Vila Bom Jesus and Nova Jerusalém. So far, the project has benefited 160 young people.
The project operates in three fields, including participatory community mapping. In addition, a partnership with the public sector is contributing to the qualification of professionals working in the heath, education and welfare secretariats, and to strengthening community participation in social monitoring.
In the latter area, the Young Health Promoters project has been created – a 43-member group that circulates around the town based out of a “Being a Child tent,” carrying out fun activities to raise residents’ awareness of subjects such as healthy habits, sexuality and vaccination.
At the end of last year, the initiative gained international visibility due to the participation of two members of the project in the second Pan American Forum for Children and Adolescents, which took place in Brasília. Maria Caroline Ramos Moura and Mailson Cruz, both 18 years old, were selected to talk to the events’ participants about the young people of Canaã dos Carajás’ engagement in the drive to improve the community’s quality of life through the Being a Child project. (Click here to read about the young people’s participation in the forum).
In 2015, the project will take new steps to expand health promotion actions. The goal is to extend activities involving young people to all the neighbourhoods of the municipality of Canaã dos Carajás.