Recycling for life – Centro Marista de Inclusão Digital: An Innovative Project from Brazil

The Centro Marista de Inclusão Digital (CMID)

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is based in Santa Marta and supported by the Colegio Marista. Nova Santa Marta is one of 40 barrios in Santa Maria, RS Brazil and most of its inhabitants live below the poverty line. the CMID is an innovative initiative that ‘recycles’ old electronic and computer material and involves children and adolescents in a range of activities, including the refurbishment of computers, digital art, design of robotic equipment and even assistive technologies (e.g. electric wheelchairs).

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The Centre offers instruction in how to reuse materials, engineering, software design and information retrieval and sharing. Pupils learn individually and in teams how to design and use IT products. They acquire skills that are highly sought after in the labour market and they receive certificates of attendance for classes. What they develop does not only work well, it is significantly cheaper than any commercially refurbished product. This in turn benefits those who have limited means and would otherwise never be able to afford computer equipment or certain assistive technologies. The staff at the Centre are supportive, highly engaged and creative. Their initiative pays off in terms of advanced skills in the young generation.

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