The contribution of volunteering in a cultural centre to the development of young adults in Salvador, Brazil. Overcoming obstacles related to race, gender, religion and class oppression.
In a highly unequal society, many young Brazilians suffer oppression based on their class, race, gender, sexual orientation and religion. In the transition to adulthood, a period that is already marked by important changes, this brings along specific needs that need to be met. This research answers how ICBIE, a cultural centre in Salvador da Bahia, tries to meet those needs by providing a
space for young people to participate in activities and volunteer. Young adults from the region and volunteers of ICBIE have participated in a survey and in-depth interviews to find the answer to the central question of this thesis:
“How does volunteering at ICBIE contribute to the personal and professional development of young adults living on the Itapagipe Peninsula of Salvador, Bahia?”. Their answers, insights and stories were complemented by observations and were compared with, and analyzed through the lens of
national data and concepts from Robert Havighurst, Social Justice Theory and Anti-Oppressive Practises. The results show that young adults face a multitude of obstacles, mostly related to oppressive practises. Classism is the form of
oppression that stood out, connecting almost all of the respondents. And while ICBIE can’t directly change the root of these oppressive practises, it mitigates the harmful effects caused by them, by creating a place where volunteers can
learn, take up responsibility, open their view on the world, create meaningful bonds, feel safe and loved, and cultivate hope and resilience for the future.