IT IS NEVER LATE TO SPEAK OUT
Kind reader, so here we are. Thank you for your good company. Let me tell you, in a few words, who I am:
I have grown up in the countryside of Brazil, in a small town with indigenous origin Tupi-Guarani. One day, desiring to discover the world, I bought a camera, packed up my stuff and travelled from the Horn of Africa to the gardens of Cannes. Notwithstanding the barriers found, I have graduated in Law and chosen the city of Rome as the perfect destiny to make me fall in love for the Diritto Alimentare.
I am Giuliane Bertaglia Correia, a young Brazilian student trying to break new ground in the Roman lands. With great homesickness of the bossa nova and the skyscrapers of São Paulo, I am attending a Master program in Food Law at the education institution LUISS Guido Carli.
I confess that although I have lived in the dolce and bella Italy, my roots are in a city of the Brazilian west whose name means “a large quantity of the araçá fruit” (or, Araçatuba). In the 1960s, they also called it the “national capital of livestock”.
My journey started there, where I got in touch with most of the elements representative of a well-developed rural life. I saw the plantations of sugarcane, the extensive cattle ranching and the pastures scattered on all sides. Over the years, because of the expansion in the agro-industry sector, I saw the fire burning the land without any mercy.
It almost went unnoticed, but I saw it. My eyes were not blind for those big farms. I still remember that the glance could not reach them (not only for reasons of perspective). Crossing the river, I also found the small farmers who used to go to the church and pray for a rainy day, necessary to ease the sweltering heat.
It was in this land that my connection with life was born. In this small piece of the world, I learned how to appreciate the natural landscapes, the sunset and the summer times. One day, however, I started to wonder if my cultural vision could be considered very limited. I found myself committed to discover new destinies and to experience new realities. I was holding a camera in my hands, loving the art of photography. It was the time to pack up my stuff and get to know other countries.
It was 2010 when I took an airplane and traveled to Hawassa, Ethiopia. At that time, I was 16 years old and felt very privileged to take part in a photo workshop organized by UNICEF and led by photojournalist and humanitarian, Reza Deghati. At the occasion, I met young people like Redeit Kebede from Boditti Town, who inspired me to add the first words to the photos and, ultimately, to turn them into posts.
I wrote, six years ago, using a conserved poetic manner. The post was about the food insecurity affecting families in Africa, seen by the Brazilian photographer’s perspective Sebastião Salgado. It made me understand that I wanted to roll up my sleeves and contribute with my efforts to promote a change in response to that problem. I did or, better saying, we did.
Coming back to my country town, we organized a local promotion of the Campaign “UNICEF Urgent Africa”, through a crowdfunding event whose purpose was to provide humanitarian aid to children and families living in the Horn of Africa. The region suffered the most severe drought in its last 60 years, affecting nearly 12.5 million people. According to what I read and studied at that time, the warming of the Indian Ocean was contributing to more frequent and intense droughts in the Horn of Africa. People felt the global warming effects. So did I. Since then, I have been fascinated by the idea of committing myself freely to a job and to projects in order to contribute with the built of a better and ecologically balanced environment.
I was worried about the inequalities in my city, the unfair distribution of food around the world and our negligent attitude towards the environment. Not by chance, during this time, I discovered the pivotal work of international organizations like FAO, World Trade Organization and IFAD, which are committed to solve international issues that I am interested in learning about, such as nutrition security, rural development, climate change and international regulation of the food trade.
I found my passion. I understood the reason why I could get out of the bed every morning. No one should be left behind. “Why are people still dying of hunger?”, “Why do we still have unfair conditions for trading food worldwide?”, I thought. In the following years, by attending the School of Law at the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo, I got acquainted with the Environmental and International Law, with social responsibility programs and with policies and practices related to the food and agriculture systems, which fueled my interest for those subjects. The good intention was only the first step. I was open to learn from all the sources available. Aiming to improve my skills, I started to work as a Law Clerk in the practices areas of Environmental Law and Real Estate Law at Lobo & de Rizzo Advogados and Mayer Brown LLP.
For nearly 2 years, I had the pleasure to be closely involved in several projects related to the agri-food market. I was given the chance to develop my skills in drafting legal opinions about rural development, as well as in advising domestic and international companies’ representatives on the implementation of projects with impacts on food security. Afterwards, I got my diploma and moved to Italy. Now, in a new country, I felt empowered to share my life and academic experience abroad with other students, by posting articles on the @EstudarFora Portal. Since last year, I also took the initiative to take part in the @EmpowerWomen movement, created as a channel to eliminate the cross-border barriers between communities and to promote women’s empowerment. I joined the group on social networks. I commented. I heard seminars. I read stories that inspired me. I learned a lot.
By doing so, as a young activist, I decided that I would encourage the discussions about our challenge in guaranteeing the right to food. And what about my actions in addressing the climate change? In guaranteeing the women’s land rights? In strengthening our shared responsibility to take care of our planet? These thoughts are with me, with my decision that I will become a lawyer who contributes to the sustainable development.
I am Giuliane Bertaglia Correia and you should not be surprised if I will end this text saying I am ready for the 8th edition of the Global Landscapes Forum, to be held at the World Conference Center in Bonn. I write about the issues that we will have the opportunity to discuss. In my future, I will keep writing about them. I hope that, after sharing my vision, we will become less indifferent to the challenges we face in our world.
Name, nationality and age: Giuliane Bertaglia Correia, Brazilian, 23
Country in which you currently live: Italy
Which organization you work for, or which university you study at: LUISS Guido Carli (Rome)
Your mother tongue: Portuguese
Other languages you are fluent in: English
This blogpost is an online application for the GLF Youth Ambassador Program. This application will be rated on the amount of comments and views it gets.
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