CDI MobilidadeBacked by Instituto TIM, CDI Mobilidade is a pilot project that teaches young people aged between 13 and 19 years from six communities in the city of Rio de Janeiro to create mobile apps. The purpose of the project – an initiative of the NGO Committee for Democracy in Information Technology (CDI) – is to contribute to increase social engagement in communities. Once a week, for two months, the youths attend classes of the “First steps for developing apps” course. It is expected that about 500 young people graduate by the end of the year.

“The greatest legacy we want to leave, besides the empowerment of the youths, is the development of abilities: social and behavioral skills, technical skills and problem solving,” says Marcel Fukayama, CEO of CDI. The classes are given by residents of the communities. “The focus is for them to speak the same language and have greater empathy with students,” he explains. During the course, students perform a task of analyzing, planning and developing apps. There is a competition at the end of the year, in which the group that has developed the best app of the year wins a special prize. The youths who undergo the training are also invited to join the CDI’s tech-activists center.

The idea of the project is for the apps to be maintained after the end of the course, as a kind of legacy for the community. “We can support them to invest in this app, so that it keeps on evolving, bringing new features to the creation,” he explains. The first groups of the project began their studies in May. The next classes are already scheduled for early September, with the goal of reaching 10 communities in 2014.

For now, the six communities that are part of CDI Mobilidade are Cidade de Deus, Morro da Providência, Complexo do São Carlos, Santa Teresa, Santo Amaro and Querosene.

CDI has been carrying out projects related to the use of technology for social change for 19 years, empowering communities and stimulating entrepreneurship and citizenship. The NGO has units distributed in approximately 715 low-income communities in 10 countries. The “First Steps for developing apps” course is an adaptation of the “Apps for good” project, held by CDI in England. This is the first time the course is held in Brazil. 

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