In Brazil children are using music which is one of their country's best strength to fight their country's greatest shortcomings: poverty, racism, and police violence. The musicians are part of Group Cultural Afro Reggae which empowers children from Rio de Janeiro shantytowns through workshops of music and dance. With the music, Afro Reggae tries to keep young people alive. A 25 year old taxi driver was organizing reggae dance party’s downtown with three friends. The four of them found two volunteer teachers and began offering classes in Afro-Brazilian dance and drumming in a small courtyard in the favela. The group works in a new cultural center with more than 350 children and offers classes in everything from flamenco and ballroom dancing to public health and citizenship. Afro Reggae has the ability to use culture to steer youths away from drug trade and provide them a way to communicate with society. This has the attention of national and international foundations, governments, and the media.
A third of Rio's 5.5 million people live in favelas, and Brazil had a big gap between rich and poor. Drug mafias have taken over the favelas in the early 1980's, they govern with automatic weapons. Rio's military police kill an average of 14 civilians a month. I think this is pretty awful because many people get killed. I didn't know that this was going now especially that the police was also killing people whom I thought that the drug dealers where the ones killing people, but also the military police also. These people that have made this group to help the society learn some other thing about culture than about drugs. I think that this way many youths will leave the drugs and learn more how to dance or play Afro Reggae with other types of dances.