Low-income students are learning how project management can provide hope for an escape from poverty

Low-income students are learning how project management can provide hope for an escape from poverty

4th December 2017

A non-governmental organization, the Center for Digital Inclusion (CDI) is headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. CDI’s mission is to mobilize individuals, transform communities and improve the quality of life through technology. CDI is the recipient of more than 60 awards, including recognition from World Bank, The Tech Museum and UNESCO. CDI began partnering with PMIEF in 2011 to address poverty-related issues by teaching technology and project management skills.

CDI operates in communities around the world—but specifically in Latin America—where people lack access to technology. “There are people who have never seen a computer, or if they have, they cannot access it. Bringing technology to them can help them realize new opportunities,” says Thiago Nascimento, CDI’s institutional development officer.

CDI believes that giving youths access to technology can help break the cycle of poverty and prepare them for employment and future success in life. CDI utilizes a five-step methodology in all of its courses to help students better understand and improve their everyday realities. The five steps are:

  1. Read the world
  2. Research the facts
  3. Plan a social change action
  4. Take action
  5. Evaluate the path taken

In partnership with PMIEF, this semester CDI began using its methodology alongside PMIEF’s Project Management Skills for LifeSM resource in São Paulo secondary school classrooms. Volunteers from the PMI São Paulo, Brazil Chapter are actively involved in teaching the material to show students how to use project management concepts in order to effectively take action and solve problems. PMIEF provided the funding to support the program and translate PM Skills for LifeSM into Brazilian Portuguese.
Previous courses have proven effective in empowering youths to tackle the daily issues in their communities. One example is how local youths recognized a rat problem in their community and then identified that garbage was the source of this problem. Once they mobilized the community to organize a location and pick-up time for trash collection, the rat problem disappeared.

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