By Maria Paulina Mendoza
Salomon Moreno in Managua, Nicaragua, and Britannia Woods in Ottawa are both low-income communities where youth struggle to deal with marginalization and the corresponding risks of falling into crime and violence. A new short film, Enhancing Youth Social Capital, depicts these challenges, as well as responses to them that can counter alienation, steer youth away from crime and improve lives.
The 15-minute documentary was created as part of a project by Faculty of Education professor Richard Maclure and research partner Melvin Sotelo Aviles, which was funded by Canada's International Development Research Centre.
“Often the public sees youth who live in marginalized neighbourhoods as potential delinquents,” Maclure said. “But if young people are supported and treated with dignity, they can do wonders for themselves and their communities.”
Maclure conducts research on education and international development. Combining intercultural learning and social justice has been at the heart of a career that has taken him to the Northwest Territories, Central America and West Africa. His current research examines government and civil society support for the rights of children and youth.
The film shows how education, recreation and mentorship, along with support from local government and civil society, can truly make a difference in shaping young lives for good.
Watch the documentary (in English and Spanish).