Mandou Bem: Empowering favela youth

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'Mandou Bem', which is portuguese for ‘good job’, is a website that aims to showcase, inspire and incentivize youth activism in the favelas of Brazil. Through our online platform, we will challenge the youth of these communities, through design props and interventions, to engage in small social change campaigns focused on their neighborhood. Challenges such as ‘create a logo for your community’ or ‘make a cartoon about your school’, will inspire the favela youth to become active citizens in their informal settlement, as well as demonstrate to the rest of the world how much they have to offer in these often stigmatized places.

Meagan Durlak
Meagan Durlak
347 786 3373

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February 27, 2014
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Mandou Bem is an organization that empowers, inspires and incentivizes the youth of favelas to engage in social change, through designed props, urban interventions and an online platform.
The youth of the favelas are driven, passionate and optimistic. Mandou Bem seeks to amplify the positive social impact that these teens are already engaged in.
Our website will act as a space for the youth of the favelas to network, showcase their positivity and challenge one another to engage in positive social change through designed objects.
While we were in Sao Paulo, we did field research in a series of favelas. Perhaps the most influential to our project, was our visit to Real Parque, where we met a phenomenal youth group.
As part of our research, we used the human centered design method of self-documentation to start to gain more insight into the daily lives of the youth in these informal settlements

Favelas are incorrectly stereotyped as crime-ridden and dangerous places. Through our research and visit to the favelas, we discovered that favelas are also filled with a cultural vibrancy and an unstoppable urge to improve their community. It is, in fact, these negative perceptions that are holding back progress.


Mandou Bem aims to better connect the favelas of Sao Paulo by challenging young people to become involved with social change. Our online platform will incentivize and showcase youth driven social impact design projects, in order to humanize the favelas and to help change the widely held negative stereotypes.