Every human being is part of a community, whether rich or poor, privileged or not, communities are made up of diversities, and that’s exactly what makes everything so beautiful. But diversity calls for equality and that is where the problem lies, everything has to be the same for everyone, but at the same time, each community has its particularity, something special that makes it unique.

Living in Sao Paulo, I realised that a single city can have many communities and it is in this context that I see myself, a 19-year-old young man who lives in one of the largest favelas in the city, Heliópolis.

I have seen so much here, like any favela in Brazil, my “quebrada”, as popularly called, suffers from a lack of public policies, which does not make it less important than an upscale neighbourhood in São Paulo. We struggle to show our difficulties and how much they need to be overcome, but as a community, our problem will hardly be solved from the perspective of someone other than a resident.

Therefore, I am in favour of public policies that have the participation of the community. It is important to understand that all places have different contexts and it is necessary to look at them carefully so that we have equal rights for everyone, at all times.

That is why the world I want in the future is a world in which people have equal rights, regardless of their particularities, in which the opportunities and the expression of their voice are the same for anyone, a world where each community has autonomy and support to meet their needs, a world where access to education for a kid from the favela is the same as that of a young man from a wealthy neighbourhood.

Consequently, this is the UN that I also want, not just an organisation that brings together all countries to talk about the world, which is also important, but an organisation that approaches all communities to discuss, support, and assist in solving local problems, listening from the leadership of a poor neighbourhood to an expert in international sociology. To invite the middle-class young man, who can speak other languages and the young man who speaks local slang. Because, in my opinion, the UN has to contribute to each person and every community to transform the world into a more equal and better place for all!

João Victor da Cruz de Paula Pinto

João Victor da Cruz de Paula Pinto is a 19-year-old student of Phonographic Production and Biomedicine and a resident of Heliópolis, the largest favela in São Paulo. He is passionate about culture and arts, and since childhood,  has been engaged in the social environment. Since then, he has worked on social issues, especially as a researcher at the “De Olho na Quebrada” Observatory in Heliópolis.


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