Brazil’s Edu Lyra, founder of NGO Gerando Falcões that brings opportunities to favela slums, is one of the most influential African descendants in the world
Noted from BBT: The Brazilian slums and peripheries of large cities could be a huge source of talent and potential. I’ve known of numerous examples of poor Brazilians coming from these underprivileged regions and I’ve seen enough success stories that show that all the residents of these areas really need is opportunity.
In reality, the experiment with racial quotas for black, brown and poor to attain access to some of the country’s best universities is just example of what people can do with the opportunity and the right guidance. The story of Adriana Maria Queiróz is one example. Queiróz went from being a cleaning lady to a magistrate judge in the southern region of Goiás state. Judo artist Rafaela Silva, also from a poor background, earned Brazil’s first gold medal in 2016 Olympic Games held in Rio de Janeiro.
Then there’s the story of Rene Silva. In 2005, he created the independent community newspaper Voz das Comunidades, meaning ‘voice of the communities’ in the morro do adeus region of Rio’s north zone. After distributing thousands of copies of the newspaper and attaining over a million hits on the paper’s website, Silva was cited by no less than Forbes magazine for being a part of a team that is helping to re-invent Brazil. In 2018, Silva was chosen one of the Most Influential People of African Descent in a ceremony in New York. There are countless other stories like these.
Joining Silva on the list of Most Influential People of African Descent is another young innovative mind, this one from a suburb of the megacity of São Paulo. Check out his story below.
Founder of an NGO is one of the most influential Afro-descendants in the world
Brazilian Edu Lyra, founder of the organization Gerando Falcões, has just joined the list of the 100 most influential Afro-descendants in the world. Another 10 Brazilians are also on the list
By Juliana Lima
Eduardo Lyra is a journalist, founder and CEO of Instituto Gerando Falcões, a civil society organization (OSC) that works in networks in the peripheries and slums of Brazil, promoting professional training and social integration for children and young people through culture and sport. This year, he also became one of the 100 most influential African descendants in the world.
The list, promoted by the Most Influential People of African Descent (MIPAD), aims to honor people of African descent who are references in their areas of activity throughout the world, thus forming a progressive network that recognizes and values the African continent and Afro-descendant populations in general. The initiative also has the support of the United Nations (UN).
Brazilian Edu Lyra joins the 2021 list in the “activism” category with filmmaker Viviane Ferreira. The other ten Brazilians who are also on this year’s list are: São Paulo councilwoman Erika Hilton (PSOL) in “politics”; CNN Brasil journalist Luciana Barreto in “media”; the creator of AfroGooglers Christiana Silva Pinto in “business and entrepreneurship”; singer Margareth Menezes in “music”, the host of Trace Brasil Ad Junior, economist and former reality show participant Gil do Vigor and director and documentary filmmaker Claudia Alves in “media and culture”; and actors Taís Araújo and Lázaro Ramos in “TV and Films”.
About Edu Lyra and the Gerando Falcões
Eduardo Lyra was born and raised in a community on the outskirts of Guarulhos, of the Greater São Paulo region. With the encouragement of his mother, he studied and dedicated himself to social projects from an early age. In 2011, he had the idea of creating an organization, the Instituto Gerando Falcões, which was consolidated in 2013.
The objective of the CSO has always been to bring opportunities for socio-emotional and professional education to young people living in slums and suburbs, so that they could become leaders in the future. In addition to partnerships with the private sector to finance the actions, Edu Lyra was also inspired by this sector to better organize his strategies.
Currently, the institute has the support of large companies and maintains a series of projects that reach more than 720 favelas throughout Brazil.
It’s not the first time that Edu Lyra is recognized for his performance in the third sector. He has already been named by the World Economic Forum as one of the 15 young Brazilians who can improve the world and elected by Forbes Brasil Magazine as one of the 30 most influential young people in the country. Now, it also earns the honor of being one of the 100 most influential Afro-descendants in the world.
Source: Observatório do Terceiro Setor