SPEAKING TO THE WORLD

Valéria Barbosa
Posted April 29, 2015 from Brazil
Journal of the agenda of meeting
Employees of the Journal of the City of God
No more domestic violence
No more domestic violence: Participating in the launch of the booklet on domestic violence in Epsicopal Church of God City (1/3)

I was born and raised in favelas. In these spaces I learned to value the few resources, both natural and financial, and to survive the issues that I noticed by, as a child, could not yet resolve. Even so, I knew that violence against children and women was not normal behavior, I suffered with what I saw, I felt in my own body those beatings.

At first, I confronted the fury of my father, but later realized that I could deal with my wounds without questioning or arguing with my father. I did this by learning to read, to write, to communicate.

After this learning period, I came to recognize communication as a key to my liberation, to my way of guaranteeing my rights and strengthen my responsibilities.

I was raised working, and at age 16 became a pre-school teacher at the Chisto Rei Kindergarten in the City of God, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This school was part of the Anglican church. The children with whom I worked today are 40 years old and I stay in touch with some through Facebook. But more importantly, many of these are now strong women and two have followed in my footsteps as an educator and three others in my more recent function as a communicator.

I believe that my great achievement was discovering that to be silences was to imprison my pain. In order to become liberated from oppression it is necessary to speak about harm; the more people who know your truth the greater your chances of discovering a solution.

I decided to do what I most love: write.

Poetry has had a very important role in my life. I have been able to participate in meetings with various communities reciting my poems whose primary theme is the social situation experienced by poor communities in Rio de Janeiro and Brazil in general.

In these meetings, I always bring my largest tool, the Newspaper that we founded in 2011, “Newspaper the News for who Lives.” It is a newspaper that tackles important questions and that values the community. We do not need and do not even want to use our newspaper to speak about what traditional media already does, misrepresenting the facts. We write about the facts in the way that we feel, valuing people in this community, questioning issues of the local social order and of rights, we bring the community to reflect about each of our stories. We are a group of 10 women and one man, we have become a site of research by local graduate students studying Social Communication and Journalism and by academic places such as the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, the State University of Rio de Janeiro, and Pontifical Catholic University. It has been the subject of Masters and Doctoral Theses.

What is behind our work? The desire and the certainty that we are contributing to local development. We are helping the community reflect on their own value as people within a context in which they live and valuing actions that help and strengthen this development.

I know this choice is a collective commitment. It is not possible to have community communication without the participation of the group, but I also know that prioritizing one person’s voice is not part of our responsibility. Each participant leaves behind a little of themselves to be taken up by others, to contribute to the community. We are all volunteers with multiple tasks for the well-being of the newspaper.

The City of God has, according to the Demographic Data from the Institute Pereira Passos, based in IBGE (the national census bureau) Demographic Census (2010) 14,742 residences and a population of 47,795. http://www.riomaissocial.org/territorios/cidade-de-deus/

It is for this population that we write, although we know that we are far from reaching 10% of the population, first because of the geographic size of the community and the limitations in printing the newspaper.

Our newspaper has a bimonthly circulation of 3000 copies and all our publications can be found on the site http://www.cidadededeus.org.br:8080/cdd

The Newspaper the News for who Lives was borne out of an extension course offered in 2010 by the Technical Solidarity Nucleus (SOLTEC/UFRJ) in the City of God: the course “Critical Analysis of Means of Communication.” The idea of the course came up during a meeting from the Community Portal, in which the institutions present highlighted the challenge of producing materials for the Portal, due to the lack of time and the habit of writing. For this reason, we thought about organizing a course open to residents of CDD, to think together about the actual community residents. In addition to this, the idea was to have more residents submitting pieces to the Portal of CDD, which was open to contributions from the community.

In this way, we were able to discuss the kinds of communication we wanted in the City of God. We reflected on how the traditional media has a prejudiced view of poor communities and how they do not truly understand what happens inside these communities (or try to understand). For this reason, they only write stories of bad things, the violence, the problems.

We also use our meetings as forums for debates of topics related to the community and offer to the community workshops on photography and writing in partnership with UFRJ. We have been working to increase our partnerships, we conducted a campaign on the internet, as well as in community events and raffles to afford to maintain the newspaper. In this way we have managed to maintain our efforts in community communication in the City of God.

For these reasons, we decided to prioritize in our newspaper the good things about the City of God, while still presenting some of our problems, but based on the perspective of our own residents, for discussion CDD is to discuss Rio de Janeiro and Brazil.

I have participated for four years writing articles for various editions of the newspaper. I conduct interviews, write stories, collaborate writing about issues related to the community with the objective of bringing to light the local culture, of registering the cultural memory of the community and provide them necessary information.

Translation from Portuguese to English by: Anjuli Ferreira Fahlberg

Attachments

Copy of our newspaper.
Copy of our newspaper.
The Path to Participation Initiative from World Pulse and No Ceilings

Comments 18

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ruthibelle
Apr 29, 2015
Apr 29, 2015

"to be silent was to imprison my pain" - that is a very powerful line. Poignant and poetic.

I had a look at the newspaper, but, since I don't know Portuguese, I didnt know what I was reading. I looked at pictures though :)

Valéria Barbosa
Apr 29, 2015
Apr 29, 2015

... Ruthibelle Dear , it was easy you understand the value of poetry , word, writing, communication . We have very similar feelings , social , poetry I think we're sisters heart .  

Kiss

Valéria Barbosa

libudsuroy
Apr 29, 2015
Apr 29, 2015

Dear Valeria, Your stories are proof enough how community-based media and the cultural arts and popular culture are strategies for confronting the many challenges of development on the ground. I envy your success in sustaining your endeavors so far. Your experiences teaches us a lot about the daily details of leadership and empowerment.

With gratitude and wishes for continued achievement,

Valéria Barbosa
Apr 30, 2015
Apr 30, 2015

Dear grateful for the words. We know that this work is daily . To my happiness next week will be starting another form of communication. The City of God is inaugurating a Web Radio, and I'll have a weekly one hour , the program name will be CDD poetic (City of God poetic ) and this program will be able to present the poetic talents of the community, classical poets , and thus raise debates about situations that bother the eyes and feelings. I am very happy. Hugs .  

Lylinaguas
May 02, 2015
May 02, 2015

Hello Valeria,

Wow! Congratulations! What your group is doing is indeed commendable. You have communicated issues that society needs to be aware of and has to address. You have made it happen and people have responded. There are so many challenges the world has to take on and your group has provided the means and the information for your community to focus on these issues. 

I enjoyed reading your article. It's an initiative that has come to fruition and you have made it possible. My best wishes to you and your group.

Valéria Barbosa
May 02, 2015
May 02, 2015

Hello dear Lylin.

Already we made several stories about issues that resonated positively to the community. All materials are hosted on the site of the Community Centre of the City of God, but are written in Portuguese.

The big challenge now is to build a website or Journal own blog and for every article written in Portuguese have the translation into English. I think this way we can share more, beyond our fronterias our ideas, our questions and the solutions we have managed to facilitate communication between the people of our community, our state and country, mittee of the world.

It is a very complex exercise you communicate about issues surrounding critical issues without physically present and have your speech prohibited. Because of our meticulous write in order to bring the community to the process of reflection, in fact we write to the other read, think and draw your own conclussões. From the month of May will be with a program on a Web radio, I will have a 1 hour show to talk about poetry. It is poetry, music among other forms of expression for me are valuable tools for communication, discussion and ways to touch the wound corrodes human life.  

Thanks for the attention

Hugs, Valéria

Obisakin Busayo
May 04, 2015
May 04, 2015

You and your group are doing a great job Valerie. keep speaking and the world must listen. I am so glad I am able to read your wonderful piece.

Thank you for sharing with us!

Sending  Love

Busayo

Valéria Barbosa
May 05, 2015
May 05, 2015

Dear friend Busayo, thank your affection 

Kiss Valéria

Tamarack Verrall
May 06, 2015
May 06, 2015

Dear Valeria,

Despite facing few resources and prevalent violence against girls and women you have emerged with such beautiful leadership and energy, and accomplished the seemingly impossible. Your wise words, of the importance of writing and of providing opportunities to "think together", your description of the development of community meetings and a good community newspaper, all speak of your lifelong committment, not only to delving into every aspect of your own capabilities, but also to how one woman can influence so many others to take part as well. Thank you for such an important piece on building community.  

With love and deep respect,

Tam

Valéria Barbosa
May 06, 2015
May 06, 2015

Dear Tam, grateful for his words. I admire people like you to protect children and adolescents. 

I had the opportunity to work for 12 years with families of children and adolescents victims of domestic violence. 

Working within the Neighborhood Association of the City of God favela in Rio de Janeiro. I worked with a team of multidisciplinary. We served families, did home visits, the family was treated and only where risks were seeking assistance from the government to remove the child and / or mother from inside your home to ensure their lives.

The attacker was reported. There was a large length of the government to take a stand is none of these parents were arrested. But I could the woman could get support in other ways and stop being victimized.

Today after more than 40 years working in the City of God I dedicate myself to work with various forms of media. Information is liberating. We have the Journal - The News For those who live, the Community Portal of City of God and is now a web radio.

All employees are volunteers. In fact we have achieved donations for the three thousand copies of the newspaper to pay for hosting the radio and center. I can not measure the population of the City of God who know of our existence as local communicators, but I think beyond my imagination since we have reflections in other communities and falvelas of Rio de Janeiro, have been cited in master's theses in undergraduate work in media, in order're already point stages to academics. What I lack, and must reverse is not knowing English and having to use the translator. I know that translation is not always true to communicated idea. Hugs and God bless.  

Louise Paré
May 06, 2015
May 06, 2015

Valerie,  

As a woman who continues to weave together education, social activism and the arts especially music, poetry and movement/dance I was very moved by your essay.  I am also inspired by your dedication over 40+ years to use all that you have experienced from the domestic violence in your own home to becoming a teacher and now to playing a major role in creating ways to "speak to the world" through your organization and newspaper.  I think it is exciting that you are going to have your own radio program.  Fantastic!  

Another sentence in your article that reminded me of the writing of Paulo Friere is: "We are helping the community reflect on their own value as people within a context in which they live and valuing actions that help and strengthen this development."

Thank you for your dedication, creativity, and persistent commitment to shining the light on the positive things that are happening and being accomplished.  I am grateful that I was able to read your story.    

Louise

Valéria Barbosa
May 07, 2015
May 07, 2015

Louise Hi , I appreciate your affection.

Kiss.  

annadassa
May 07, 2015
May 07, 2015

Valeria,

This a proof that with little you can do much, it's not easy but yes you can! You have demostrated through your group and yourself a way to bring your past expierience through a news paper and other means. That's just awesome!

It's not good to go through different kinds of painful expirience but the result of this process is the most beatiful poetry!

Keep up this great work,

Annadassa

Valéria Barbosa
May 08, 2015
May 08, 2015

Dear Anna thank you for your attention. I would very much like there was a way to wake up early on a poetry look in people.

Poetry is magic and he can comfort the emotions as well as being reflective . See life through the eyes of the soul, creates alternatives to go to Search troubleshooting.

Before a Community communicator , a poet . Poet since childhood . It was to be poet who found the words hope and discovered very early on that they would strengthen me and take me to survive.

I could not speak , shout , caught as much, but he could write and there on paper reveal all my pain and self heal my suffering.

My father was illiterate and could not even imagine everything I wrote in those roles.

For them only indecipherable signs .

I could not help but be grateful to poetry because it was my lifeline.

Kisses and much poetry in your life.  

Dani26
May 11, 2015
May 11, 2015

Dear Valeria

Thank you so much for sharing your story, what great work you have done with your community. I think you raise a really important point which is the importance of identifying the strengths and positive aspects of communities, not just negative aspects which mainstream media often focus on. I loved reading about your community driven approach, and really enjoyed looking through your newspaper (although I don't read Portuguese, I loved the colour and photos used).

Sending you best wishes for your continued work,

Dani

Valéria Barbosa
May 11, 2015
May 11, 2015

Dear Dani I'm glad you liked the newspaper. I'm thinking and trying a person who becomes responsible for the translation of our Journal , in this way could post to everyone and show what we discussed on our community . Thanks for the attention. hugs  

Valéria Barbosa
May 14, 2015
May 14, 2015

Dear sisters of the Philippines .Estou with sinking heart the death of Manila workers. May God comfort the hearts of friends and family and the authorities require companies worthy safety conditions for workers in the Philippines.

Fraternal hugs.

Anita Kiddu Muhanguzi
May 17, 2015
May 17, 2015

Dear Valeria,

You are doing a great job and i know how much commitment you have put ito this work. Wooow i am speechless please continue to follow your heart and share more of the stories of your organisation. Be very blessed and have a lovely day