Hello! I expect to submit it on January 8. It will be wonderful if I can receive inputs from experts here. Thanks a lot!
scholarship application essay
My name is XXX, I was born and live in Brazil. I have always seen access to a sustainable environment as an essential human development factor. This is more urgent than ever in the context of the current health, social, and economic crisis, a milestone in world history. Throughout my undergraduate course, the theme of sustainable development and work in the urban environment has always been what caught my attention.
Looking for an experience towards these subjects during graduation, I had the opportunity to participate in a research group coordinated by an experienced researcher in these subjects, who would later become my mentor. For about two years, we researched the recycling, disposal market, its industrialization processes, and consequences for different groups within society. Through field research, I had closely monitored the deactivation process of the Estrutural City dump, a suburb of Brasília, and the reorganization of the work of recyclable material collectors, which was now conducted by companies, through the local government.
Until the end of the last decade, the city of Estrutural was home to the largest open-air dump in Latin America, with a complex network of social, environmental, health, and ethical issues common to several other countries on this continent. The site had about 2000 informal workers who guaranteed their subsistence through the collection, reuse, and sale of recyclable materials discarded every day in the dump. Contrary to what could be expected from the dump closure, it has simply been diverted to another city on the periphery, where a landfill was built. Only a small number of workers were able to be employed in industrial warehouses, earning extremely low wages, while the other workers were thrown into unemployment and extreme poverty. Whether from a social or environmental point of view, the problem has not been solved, but it has gained other complexities. The amount of recyclable material that arrives in industrial warehouses is negligible compared to what is thrown away every day, and still exposes the workers to medical waste for example, which means that the selective collection works in a really restricted and noxious way. As such, there is not a profitable financial return sufficient to pay workers precisely, and all this potent material is being buried, drastically polluting the environment and putting the local population at health risk. Besides, there is a very low investment in industrial warehouses, which often do not have the appropriate physical structure or basic machinery, thus operating in a very precarious manner. But, if we look at other examples within the country, it is possible to glimpse other realities. The reorganization of recyclable material collectors in cooperatives is an intelligent solution for the insertion of these informal workers in the industrial environment, with great chances of being successful, as examples from the country already prove.
Another experience of great relevance to the design of my goals was as a researcher beginning in the Environment and Health research in the Pyrenees Region, Surrounding the Federal District - A multidisciplinary approach to living and health conditions in small territories, resulting in a namesake publication. For a year I did fieldwork in 5 cities on the health and disease conditions of local populations, thus providing a crucial database for planning interventions in urban and rural areas with a high level of vulnerability. The research's role was not only to contribute to a better quality of life but also to aim at the empowerment of the community to fight for their rights.
I also had as an important professional experience the work of cultural mediator at Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, one of the most relevant cultural centers in the country. I had the opportunity to use my background not only in sociology but also in environmentalism, arts, and education to develop projects, activities, and lectures with exceptional professionals from different areas. The center received spontaneous visitors, schools, and needy associations, making it possible to disseminate issues such as human rights and sustainability to various audiences through rich mediated visits to the environmental preservation area of the center and its museum.
My master's dissertation would discuss the insertion of recyclable collectors in industrial environments through cooperatives, using comparisons between some successful cases and unsuccessful ones. The study would also cover the impact of these processes on the local communities, concerning health conditions, environmental changes, political engagement and participation, and social well-being.
Coming back home I intend to found a Social Incubation focused primarily on presenting sustainable business models for associations such as recyclable materials cooperatives, focusing on points such as professional training for insertion in industrial environments, technical advice, assistance in generating jobs, and offering methods and practical corporate governance tools, thus making associate members managers of their own business. I also want the Social Incubation to develop projects to resolve social and environmental issues, contributing to the improvement of democratic processes essential to guaranteeing human rights, through awareness, articulation, strengthening, and dialogue with society, so that it can influence the spaces of national and international governance. This will be a bet for the creation and promotion of creative and self-sufficient cities in the peripheries of the capital of Brazil, enabling them to transform the disposal carried from the center to their cities every day into a source of economic, social, and cultural enrichment.
This ambition led me to apply for the Global Markets, Local Creativities - Industrial Dynamics and Sustainability pathway desiring to use my Sociology background to the limit, and I know this opportunity will also allow me to deepen in other varied knowledge, thus building an interdisciplinary look that provides me with tools to achieve my personal and professional goals.
Being selected for a master's degree in a consortium of prestigious universities around the world would strengthen my country's relations with other countries, bringing new knowledge of a high academic and practical level to solve local problems, while contributing with our experience to the global knowledge.
I sincerely hope the admission committee finds my profile suitable for this transformative opportunity.