VCU.br was a community media livelihood program that Video Volunteers ran in Sáo Paolo, Brazil, from 2009-2011, with the NGO Casa Das Caldeiras. VCU.br gave young people from favelas (slums) the skills to to set up media businesses and become ‘favela media entrepreneurs.’
Brazil was the perfect location for such a program: Brazil has one of the largest and most vibrant community media scenes in the world. There are thousands of young people from favelas participating in NGO-run ‘media empowerment’ programs, which Video Volunteers was eager to study and learn from. And yet at the time there was little focus in Brazil on enabling these young media makers to become professionals in the media industry. Video Volunteers had experience in India in developing sustainability model for community media projects, and so decided to launch in Brazil.
VCU.br worked with favela youth who already had basic media training from NGO workshops yet had failed to find jobs in the media. The aim was to give these youth the skills they need to compete in a competitive media market, and to help them become entrepreneurs.
By the end of one year, the members of VCU.br decided to form a community media collective where the entrepreneurs pool their resources and work together on pursuing clients and executing projects. The young people were able to able generate a significant percentage of their incomes from media work after the training.
Learn More about VCU.br:
- Project Overview
- Background: community media in Brazil
- Rethinking Disadvantage: Community Producers as Entrepreneurs
- Being an Activist and Chasing a Profit: A Contradiction?
- The results: a model of community media entrepreneurship
- Meet the Community Media Entrepreneurs