Puyanawa village in Acre celebrates the conclusion of workshops of the School of Community Networks in the Amazon

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May 4, 2022 / Education, Culture and Communication

The workshop held in the Puyanawa Village in the far west of the state of Acre, interior of Mancio Lima, was the last of seven field actions carried out in territories of the Legal Amazon. The next stage of the international program Connecting the Disconnected, which in Brazil is led by the Projeto Saude e Alegre, includes classes and training for students from seven institutions

The team of the School of Community Networks of the Amazon was received with great enthusiasm in the last institution to receive the project’s field actions. The workshop held in the Puyanawa Village, in the state of Acre, included the participation of a community leader and young indigenous people who participate in communication activities in defense of their territory.

The Puyanawa are organized into two villages: Barão and Ipiranga. Together, they gather 717 people who seek to strengthen their cultural identity, defending the rational use of natural resources in their territory, considered the People of the Frog, guardians of nature. The community has as its main source of income and subsistence the family production of flour (one of the largest productions of cassava in the Juruá Valley) and in sustainable production by reforesting fruit and forest seedlings. The Village also has as one of its main goals the rescue and strengthening of its living culture and its ancestral knowledge, promoting the incentive to the ATSÁ Festival and exchanges.

Aldeia is one of the seven organizations that are members of the School of Community Networks of the Amazon, which from April 30th to May 1st received the field actions of the project. The teacher and the young leaders moved from their homes, some of them far from the indigenous school, to participate in the workshop with the objective of reflecting and dialoguing about the territory, mapping strengths, challenges, and dreams, and designing community communication strategies for the region.

Young people present mandalas elaborated on the potentials, strengths, and needs of the territories. Photos: Elis Lucien/PSA.

“I am very happy to have participated in this workshop. This is very important for us young people, we have a base of knowledge about how this teaching works. We are embracing the project” – said young Kauã da Silva.

The process, conducted by teachers Adriane Gama and Elis Lucien, accompanied by the local liaison Puwe Puyanawa, discussed important issues for territorial activism, such as alternative communication strategies to defend the environment and the territory. Through the methodology used in the meeting, the young participants were encouraged to reflect on their biggest needs and dreams, such as having an internet signal tower (although wi-fi is already paid for in most homes), improving the access road to the Village, having a communication plaza, more computer courses, and the construction of a forest university. “I am learning a lot. It was really cool to be learning with other people’s reality” – said the young Luiza de Lima Puyanawa.

Saude e Alegria concludes the School’s actions in seven territories

Based on the face-to-face meetings concluded in the seven participating communities, the board of the School of Community Networks of the Amazon is composing the curriculum of the training that will take place from July to December – seven specialists and seven leaders from each organization involved are part of the board.

Three young students from each institution will represent the three states of the Legal Amazon (Acre, Amazonas and Pará) in the first class of the School of Community Networks of the Amazon. The classes will start in July 2022, based on thematic contents collectively designed to strengthen the networks involved.

In February, the School of Community Networks of the Amazon started field activities with the Solimões village, in Santarém. In March, it was the turn of the Guardians of Good Living and the village Marajaí, in Médio Solimões. In April the school team arrived at the Wayuri Network in Alto Rio Negro, Formigueiro in Amazonas, Águas do Cuidar Network in Ilha de Caratateua, Outeiro District – Belém-PA and closes the round with the Puyanawa village.

“We left this last workshop with positive results in terms of empowerment of community communication. We thank all the regions for the welcome and reception. From now on we are going to systematize all the information we were given, with a lot of trust and respect, and together we are going to pursue the school of strength, with many actions in this process of training these Amazonian communicators”, emphasized Adriane Gama, from the School’s management team.

For the project’s coordinator, Paulo Lima, the integral initiative and project coordinated by the Association for the Progress of Communications (APC), is aligned with a fundamental strategy to guarantee the rights to communication of the indigenous, riverside and traditional populations of the Amazon. Through the trainings, young people will be able to multiply the knowledge in their regions and potentiate their communication. “We are very pleased with the engagement of the communities and villages, and, encouraged to hold trainings that seek to strengthen community communication initiatives such as community radios, telecenters, public and free internet access points in the communities for a better and more qualified use for health, education, and family agriculture” – he said.

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