Brazil

Franciscans Network in Brazil

The work of Franciscans Network has evolved over the past eleven years to focus part of its attention on the educational formation of young lawyers in Brazil. We provide funds to a few young local students to study law in order to give legal assistance to landless and homeless people in the area around Uberlandia.

Recently, 700 homeless families occupied an unused site in the outskirts of that city. The lawyers, whom we trained, are assisting in the negotiations with city officials to “legally” secure that land so that 1406 homes can be built for the landless settlers.

Two young men, Jose and Dhyego, are in various stages of law school in Brazil in a five-year program that grants a Law Bachelor’s Degree. When they complete the law degree they must work full-time for the landless people while they continue to prepare for the Brazilian equivalent of the Bar Exam in the United States.

The students supported by Franciscans Network also have their own personal struggles. While attending law school; Dhyego lives with his family on a communal farm settelement. he must work and live in the Agrarian Settlement while completing classes 5 nights a week. he balances the labor of the farm with studying and has found the discipline to do both.

The education and empowerment of local young people is the backbone of this Franciscan Network’s project. Young people develop skills to be attorneys and they then advocate for the rights of their own people to sustain and improve the quality of their lives.

Environmental Justice

Watch the video “Other Worlds” describing the efforts of the Landless Workers Movement: