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US Treasury recognizes IDB project using performing arts to train at-risk youth in Rio de Janeiro

Multilateral Investment Fund’s “Galpão Aplauso” partnership readies young Brazilians for workforce

An Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) project in Brazil that uses a performing arts program as an avenue to employment for at risk youth was recognized for its development impact by the U.S. Treasury at an awards ceremony today.

The 2014 United States Treasury Department’s “Development Impact Honors” awards were presented by Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew. IDB Executive Vice President Julie T. Katzman received the award on behalf of the Bank.

Galpão Aplauso (“Applause Warehouse”), based in Rio de Janeiro, was founded in 1998 to create opportunities through the arts for disadvantaged youth from the city’s slums, also known as favelas. In 2009, the IDB’s Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) formed a partnership with Galpão to increase employment and income through a vocational training program for Galpão’s participants, using performance activities such as dance and theater, to teach key life skills like cooperation, trustworthiness, and leadership. The program also delivers intensive training in literacy, numeracy, and workplace skills to prepare youth for jobs in in-demand sectors like construction and the service industry.

“Building opportunities for young people is one of the IDB’s highest priorities,” said Katzman. “One in every five people in the region between 15 and 29 years of age, 32 million in all, neither attend school nor work. Ensuring a bright future for the region means making sure young people, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, can succeed in the workplace. Galpão Aplauso shows how to do that by teaching both technical and life skills with creativity and enthusiasm.”

Galpão Aplauso has had a significant impact on its graduates: over 500 young people have completed the program, with 85 percent of them finding jobs. Participants were 33 percent more likely to be employed and earn 27 percent more than youth in the control group.

About the Inter-American Development Bank

The IDB is a multilateral financial institution supporting Latin America and the Caribbean’s efforts to reduce poverty and inequality, and to bring about development in a sustainable, climate-friendly way. Established in 1959, it is the leading source of development financing for Latin America and the Caribbean, with a strong commitment to achieving measurable results.

About the MIF

The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, is funded by 39 donors and supports private sector-led development benefitting low-income populations and the poor –-their businesses, their farms, and their households. A core MIF mission is to act as a development laboratory in order to build and support successful micro and SME business models.

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