Inaugural class marks beginning of the trainings of the School of Community Networks of the Amazon 

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June 21st, 2022 / Education, Culture and Communication / Community Networks

Students from three states of the Legal Amazon (Acre, Amazonas and Pará), participated in the School’s welcome meeting last Saturday (June 18th). First training module will be about free software next Saturday (06/25)

Twenty-one students from the School of Community Networks in the Amazon reflected on the importance of popular communication for the defense of their territories. The inaugural meeting was attended by the PSA coordinator, Caetano Scannavino, Father Edilberto Sena from the Amazon News Network and Joelma Viana – teacher and social communicator from the Amazon News Network.

Edilberto Sena, coordinator of the Amazon News Network asked the youth about “who generates information for the Amazon? what and how have they communicated? and what are the various means of communication that exist for and in the Amazon?”

The social communicator and teacher Joelma Viana presented the Amazon News Network and highlighted the importance of the space for popular communication that works in partnership with social movements: “we place ourselves as amplifiers of the voices of the leaders so that they can talk about their problems, struggles, and what they are doing differently in each space”.

During the opening ceremony, PSA’s coordinator, Paulo Lima, welcomed the students and contextualized the need to enhance communication in the villages and communities, to echo the local anxieties. “This is a moment of great joy for our School team. For a little over a year, we have been collectively planning each stage of the trainings, and now, we are starting a new phase.

The School is the training pillar of the project “Connecting the Disconnected” promoted by the APC and Rhizomatica organizations and executed in Brazil by the Projeto Saúde e Alegria. The initiative seeks to connect disconnected communities through the development of models, capacities, and forms of sustainability for populations with a focus on technical assistance, training, advice for advocacy, and community mobilization.

The general coordinator of PSA, Caetano Scannavino, spoke to the students and congratulated them for their resistance and youth empowerment in defense of their territories: “I am happy that it is a communication movement. For me you go ahead and I follow you. This is what gives me hope and a certain comfort that I will soon be able to pass on this baton”.

The inaugural class was a moment for the young people to get to know the other members and share common expectations and challenges. Samira Dias, from the Formigueiro Group, evaluated: “It was very productive. We talked about many points that are necessary for our region, which many are excluded for being inland. And we can see that this is not an exclusive reality for us. Erivelton Guimarães, representative of the Guardians of Good Living, thanked for the meeting “on behalf of the collective, I would like to thank the network for the opportunity. Even more so in our territory that has many difficulties” – he said.

Between March and April, the School of Community Networks team visited the seven territories that are part of the project.

The students represent three states of the Legal Amazon (Acre, Amazonas, and Pará). The first theme discussed will be the philosophy of digital culture and free software, with professor Tarcísio Ferreira.

The class schedule is distributed between the months of June and December 2022. The following themes will be covered: community communication; community and environmental journalism; communication protocols and autonomy; data security; technological innovation and communication entrepreneurship; standing forest media activism; the history of indigenous peoples and afro-descendants in the Amazon; the total diversified area (electives and options); podcast/audacity workshop; radio transmitter workshop; digital media workshop; community radio/webradio workshop.

At the end of the training, the students will elaborate social communication business plans that will be submitted to a public call for support, made available by the project.

The selected communities that have members who will participate in the training are: in Pará, the Aldeia Solimões and Guardiöes do Bem Viver in PAE Lago Grande – both in the municipality of Santarém – and the Rede Águas do Cuidar/ Casa Preta in the Ilha de Caratateua, greater Belém. In the state of Amazonas, the Marajaí Village, municipality of Alvarães – Middle Solimões; the Formigueiro Group of Vila de Lindóia in Itacoatiara; and the Wayuri Network in São Gabriel da Cachoeira. In Acre, the Puyanawa Village in Mâncio Lima.

The School has a council of experts formed by Beatriz Tibiriçá (General Coordinator, Coletivo Digital), Georgia Nicolau (Director of Projects and Partnerships Pro Common), Jader Gama (Researcher – UFPA), Doriedson Almeida (Professor – UFOPA), Karina Yamamoto (Researcher – USP and Jeduca), Guilherme Gitahy de Figueiredo (Professor UEA – Tefé – AM) and Carlos Afonso (Executive Director – NUPEF Institute).

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