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Penny.Plan.Arcos Casestudy


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Penny spent a month in the Northeast of Brazil working with the organization Plan and the host agency Arcos. The original brief for the placement was to promote the ‘Communicating Children’s Rights’ project, a project run by the children from the local community Cabo. A secondary outcome was to give the children who had taken part in the programme a higher social standing within the municipality of Cabo. If these children, who had learnt so much from the programme, were looked on favourably by the community they would be able to effect change much more successfully.

This appeared on the face of it to be a very straightforward project. Penny thought they would be able to raise awareness of the scheme quite easily and believed it would be as simple as promoting it in the local schools within Cabo. This wasn’t the case. Penny found the placement challenging, but extremely rewarding at the same time. Penny made a tremendous difference to the organisation Plan and to the children involved with the many projects that Plan offers.

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Penny.Plan.Arcos Casestudy

  1. 1. Case Study: Plan Penny Brough in Brazil
  2. 2. Background Where: Recife in NE Brazil Dates: November 1st – November 30th 2007 NGO: Plan International ( Local Agency: Arcos Communicacão ( Objectives 1. Develop communications to promote one of Plan’s community based projects - Projecto Comunicando os direitos da crianca e do adolescente (Communicating Children’s Rights). 2. Provide the children who had taken part in the programme with a higher social standing within the municipality of Cabo so they are looked on more favourably by the community and therefore able to effect change more successfully. Brazil Brazil is a federal republic stretching over more than 8 million square kilometres, encompassing 5,564 municipalities and a population of approximately 190 million, 61 million of whom are children and adolescents. Brazil is divided into five regions, all are tremendously diverse in demographic, economic, social and cultural characteristics and as a result Brazil suffers from extreme inequalities. Although Brazil has the 7th largest economy in the world, 22 million children live below the poverty line, often living on less than $2 per day. The urban areas in Brazil, especially in the Northeast, are characterised by excessive violence. In these areas human life is considered cheap. Between 1979 and 2003, the number of adolescents murdered by gunshot grew by 416%. In 2003, 16,345 youth in Brazil were murdered by guns, accounting for 1/3 of all deaths of adolescents between the ages of 15 and 24. (UNESCO, 2004). Black boys from poor families in urban areas are the most likely to be killed. Homicides often result from conflicts for territorial control linked to drugs and arms trafficking, with some involvement of law enforcement agents. While adolescent boys are most likely to be victims of homicide, adolescent girls are most affected by sexual exploitation. Poor, black, and indigenous girls are eight times more likely to be sexually abused than the average adolescent girl. (UNICEF 2005) Children To try and address this, the Statute for Children and Adolescents came into force in 1990. It states that it is the duty of the family, society and state to assure the rights to life, health, food, education, recreation, professional training, culture, dignity, respect, freedom and family & community life. In addition to safe guarding them from all forms of neglect, discrimination, exploitation, violence, cruelty and oppression. The reality is that change is very difficult to implement in such a large, diverse country. 2
  3. 3. Plan Background Plan is a non-governmental organisation created in 1937, now working in 66 countries across the world. Through its field work, Plan assists over 1.2 million children in the world, relying on the support of more than 1 million individual donors. Established in Brazil in 1997, Plan now sponsors about 22,000 children. This sponsorship is used to develop projects in local communities. Plan’s child centred community development is a rights based approach in which children, families and communities are active participants in their own development. This means they follow a bespoke development plan created by each community, including the youth and their families. They believe this approach enhances the opportunities to work together with the community, to address the structural causes and consequences of child poverty at all levels. Projecto Comunicando os direitos da crianca e do adolescente (Communicating Children’s Rights) In 2004 Plan set up the Communicating Children’s Rights project with 90 teenagers between 12 to 18 years old, from Cabo de Santo Agostino. The objective of the project was to educate the community about the rights of children and themes that are covered include: • Violence in the community • Violence in school • Young pregnancy • Domestic violence • Street children • Sexual exploitation and abuse The project consists of a series of workshops - audio-visual, radio journalism and radio theatre. Outputs of the project include videos of the realities of the teenagers who take part and radio programmes, which run weekly on the local community radio. 3
  4. 4. Challenges for the TIE placement Challenges – What is Plan? A very limited number of people seemed aware of Plan at all. Within Cabo itself, where the project was taking place, they knew of Plan but there was confusion as to who or what the organisation actually is. Some people within the community thought Plan is part of the government, or their sole responsibility is to sponsor individual children, handing over the cash directly for food. As a result many were not aware of the community development they provide, let alone the over arching goals: Vision Plan’s Vision is of a world in which all children realize their full potential in societies which respect people’s rights and dignity. Mission Plan strives to achieve lasting improvements in the quality of life of deprived children in developing countries through a process that unites people across cultures and adds meaning and value to their lives by: • Enabling deprived children, their families and their communities to meet their basic needs and to increase their ability to participate in and benefit from their societies • Building relationships to increase understanding and unity among peoples of different cultures and countries • Promoting the rights and interests of the World’s children Therefore, each piece of communication needed not only to support a specific project, in this case the Communicating Children’s Rights project, but also start to build a picture of Plan’s role within the community. Challenges – Realities of life By communicating children’s rights we are discussing difficult or uncomfortable subjects people would often rather ignore. The films generated by the Communicating Children’s Rights project, reflect the realities of their lives and so it’s hard to interest the community in watching them. They’re already living it. However, what they are often not aware of is how they can change this reality and what their actual rights are. We needed to ensure a wider understanding of children’s rights as a whole, make the topic interesting and inspire people to want to get involved. Challenges – Target Audience Previously Plan had only concentrated on youth to youth communications. Although this had achieved some success, it was not as far reaching as they had hoped. Moving forward they had agreed that they needed to talk to both the youth and their families to ensure the messages were as widely spread as possible. This meant whatever communications were developed they had to appeal to both audiences. 4
  5. 5. Communications Strategy Communications Objective After a lot of discussion as to what the objective of the project should be, it was decided that just promoting the project was too small. We agreed that the overarching objective for the project should be: Raise awareness and generate interest in Children’s Rights in the municipality of Cabo. It was understood that this was a long term objective and the communications developed within the scope of this placement would be a starting point as opposed to the complete solution. Communications Recommendations We wanted to make use of the tools that we already had at our disposal and also involve the youth of the project as much as possible. So we recommended holding a film festival in Cabo. Film is universally enjoyed and a great way to encourage the maximum number of people to attend the event. It also provides a platform to promote the films the young people have created and the young people themselves. We proposed to cover all of the key areas by setting up the event with several sections: 1. Introduce Plan At the beginning of the evening show a film introducing Plan, giving us an opportunity to explain their role in the community further. 2. Show one of the children’s videos per evening Communicating the key themes of Children’s rights and also promoting the youth that have created the films 3. Hold a debate on a children’s rights theme Interesting speakers from NE Brazil will facilitate for example the filmmakers, writers and musicians from the local area. 4. Show a mainstream film To ensure maximum attendance we wanted the event to have a slightly lighter side of entertainment. The event will be promoted for two weeks post carnival across the entire municipality of Cabo. The event itself will take place each evening between 27th and 29th February 2008 5
  6. 6. Creative Development The creative team wanted to develop work that would stand out but was also reflective of the people who lived in Cabo. Their concern was that any advertising which felt too refined would not resonate with the local community and that they wouldn’t feel the messaging was directed at them. The work needed to be simple and unsophisticated, taking references from graffiti and hip hop graphic styles from the local area. The creative took inspiration from these graphic references: 6
  7. 7. The Work To ensure the campaign had maximum impact in the community the placement of the advertising also had to be relevant to the local area. For two weeks before the event we intend to blitz Cabo with the message with communications in: • Schools • Internet cafes – Posters – PC Screen surrounds – Each terminal set so the event webpage is the home page • Community centres • Outside supermarkets – Flyers – Posters • On the local community radio stations – Daily updates as part of the programming – Traditional advertising • Billboards 7
  8. 8. Posters 8
  9. 9. Flyer 9
  10. 10. Fly Poster 10
  11. 11. Bus Back 11
  12. 12. Outdoor 12
  13. 13. Web Page 13
  14. 14. Internet Cafe Screens 14
  15. 15. Personal Outcomes The time I have spent here has been a great experience, it has been good not only to experience another culture from a work point of view but also from a personal one. Brazil is a complicated place, at times frustrating, but overcoming challenges of language and culture has been hugely rewarding. Everything has been a learning curve, from the simple things, like getting on the right bus to working out that someone saying yes in Brazil doesn’t actually mean yes, it just means OK I’ve heard you. But I feel like I have seen a bit of the real Brazil. Living as part of a family in a community, whilst tiring at times, tested my language learning skills to the maximum. Going to street parties, listening to the maracatu, trying and failing to play one of the rattle things in time with the music, watching capoeira and being dragged into a circle to dance, (when you’re not so sure of what the hell you are doing) was all part of the experience. The best bit though, surprisingly for most of the people who know me and my fear of children, was working with the teenagers themselves. It was a challenge to feel accepted at first, what do I know of the realities of their lives coming from a comfortable life in the UK? So when I finally felt like they were opening up and were interested in the communications project it felt brilliant. They were incredibly bright, receptive and made intuitive suggestions which really helped the planning of the campaign and the media selections. Plan undertakes amazing work in Recife, but it is little known and definitely little understood. Anything that can be done to promote this NGO and their projects will be hugely beneficial in the community. I am looking forward to hearing about how the event went and what future communications projects they are embarking on. Penny Brough Account Director W+K - London 15
  16. 16. Document Title Document Subline The International Exchange Brazil office Rua 27 de Janeiro, 197 Olinda Pernambuco CEP: 53120-000 +55 99676325 UK office 54 Grove Park London SE5 8LG +4407950 726 043