André Sobrinho

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2007


This profile was prepared when André Sobrinho was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2007.
The New Idea
André mobilizes youth to become involved in the public policy decisions that affect them most. His organization, Canto Jovem, works with existing youth groups to steer young leaders toward political participation, and helps them see their participation as an important strategy for social transformation in Brazil. Canto Jovem not only encourages young people to take part in the political arena—particularly guardianship councils, which set policies that impact youth—but also devises strategies to help them get elected, and prepares them to fully participant by educating them about a wide variety of issues, both related to youth and not. In this way, Canto Jovem ensures these young leaders have a broad view of social policies and can work effectively as members of their councils.
The young people Canto Jovem trains also dedicate themselves to assessing and monitoring the work of guardianship councils, presenting from the needs of communities, and following up to ensure compliance with council-initiated policies. Canto Jovem also works to improve communication, in order to increase the visibility of local problems, raise awareness of social issues that impact young people, and propose solutions.
André disseminates his strategy to other parts of Brazil at yearly regional youth meetings, where young people and the organizations that serve them build a common agenda, exchange methodologies, and monitor local policies. To further strengthen the position of young people who work with guardianship councils, André is developing a national network of young council members, which will help spread his strategies and solutions nationally, and lead to effective changes in youth-oriented public policies across Brazil.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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