By Naomi Yakawich
Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Brazil is halfway through its two-year term as sitting President of the State Committee for Social Pacification (CEPAZ). CEPAZ is an association of thirty-six organizations representing the public, private and social sectors to monitor and address social issues pertaining to peace and security in Brazil.
In the last year, CEPAZ has assisted in the implementation of a key program called Goias for Life. GPF Brazil and the Ministry for Education are major partners for the program, which aims to overcome institutional barriers to reduce crime and increase social stability at the state level.
Madson Ribeiro, the Manager of Institutional Articulation, Secretary of Public Security and Prison Administration of Goias, Goiânia, Brazil, presented the innovative program at the 2017 Global Peace Convention in Manila, the Philippines. By combining support from government, community and academic institutions, the Goias for Life project concentrates efforts to support a healthy school environment since statistics show that an alarming 95% of those incarcerated in the state did not obtain an elementary education.
Educators and administrators hope to increase student interest and participation in education by providing new technology equipment, support family engagement in school activities, implement Fire Brigade inspections for alcohol and drugs on and near school grounds, and promote local and regional sports competitions like the “anti-drug street races.”
GPF Brazil will continue to chair CEPAZ for another year during which time the committee will focus on partnerships with the Department of Education for the City of Goiânia, programs facilitating rehabilitation of the homeless and mediate State Secretariat cooperation for educational reform and immigration.