Brazilian development project RODA being copied in the Netherlands

July 2004 -

The Brazilian development project RODA, which organises cultural activities for problem youth, has recently acquired a Dutch sister organisation with the same name. The financiers are ICCO and Solidaridad. They launched their collective initiative during the Festival Mundial, on Saturday 19 June.


ISH, DA KREW! (Photo Serge Ligtenberg), source

‘It is good that we can also learn something from the experiences in a developing country’, says Barbara Feres of ICCO. ‘People there are just as creative and have equally successful ideas.’ Of course, the program can’t be just copied indiscriminately. After all, the culture of extreme poverty and violence in which many Brazilian street youth grow up transcends the problems of their Dutch contemporaries. But Feres also sees similarities: ‘In particular the feeling of being excluded, the fight against prejudice. Such feelings are also quite strong among young people in the Netherlands who have fewer opportunities.’

The Dutch RODA wants to support socio-cultural projects that focus on young people from disadvantaged neighbourhoods and can increase their level of self-confidence, such as workshops with professional graffiti artists, hiphoppers, skaters and street dancers. In addition, RODA wants to stimulate their interest in Development Collaboration.

Building up a national and international network of socially critical artists and disadvantaged young people plays a large role in this, for example via the web site The first Dutch partners have already been found: Caramundo from Den Haag and the skate dance group ISH from Amsterdam.

The development project is starting with a budget of 20,000 euro for one year. ICCO and Solidaridad are eagerly looking for extra financing. Feres hopes that in the future other countries will follow the Brazilian and Dutch example. ‘So that ultimately a worldwide network is created. That is our big dream.’