By Naomi MacMurdie
The LEAM (Leadership and Development by Music) project was first established by Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Brazil in December 2016 with only four students hoping to address the vulnerability of youth caused by family instability, drugs, and poverty.
More than 300 people, young and old, joined the LEAM program through 2020, fostering a sense of community and solidarity under the vision of One Family under God.
After COVID-19 struck, schools were forced to close. However, the LEAM project would start up again quickly for the 2021-2022 academic year, being implemented in a state high school with 1,800 students. The project was supported with funds provided by the Consul for teens and children’s affairs of the city of Goiania. This particular high school faced serious challenges. In a previous year, one student was stabbed and killed by another student, causing a system and institutional management crisis in the city.
Since that tragedy, GPF Brazil was invited to apply its peacebuilding methodology through the LEAM program, which includes seminars on restorative conflict, preparatory courses for entering university faculties, introductory courses on the job market, courses on family values, volunteerism, international relations, and the role of youth in democratic development in the country.
In March 2022, GPF Brazil hosted an online musical cultural exchange program between students at the Goiania high school and American students from New York.
Thanks to the LEAM project, negative confrontations among students ceased and the relationship between students and teachers improved. The program also created a more active and direct involvement by parents in the education of their children. The impact has been so positive that the Secretary of Education of the municipality has since requested the implementation of the GPF Brazil project in 507 elementary schools through a 3-month pilot project, to start training and multiply the teachers who will apply the peacebuilding methodology in their classrooms under the supervision of GPF staff. The new program will start in August 2022.
Learn more about our peacebuilding projects in Brazil.