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Dozens of residents from different communities in Barcarena started receiving technical training in November for the production of non-medical face masks for protection against coronavirus. The initiative aims to support the generation of income for seamstresses whose activities have been affected by the pandemic, to contribute to the development of the local economy, in addition to collaborating with the prevention of coronavirus. The initiative is carried out by the Todos pela Trabalho, Alunorte and Albras Program, with support from the Sustainable Barcarena Initiative (IBS). The project also has financial support from the Hydro Sustainability Fund (FSH) and PPA Solidariedade. The consultancy Synergia Socioambiental is responsible for the implementation of this project front.

As a result of the sewing and entrepreneurship cutting workshops, around 120 sewing professionals linked to local associations will produce approximately 150 thousand non-medical protective masks by June 2021. All the material used in the making of the units, such as fabrics, trims and packaging, will be made available by the initiative. In addition to generating income for professionals, who are paid for production, all masks produced will be donated to community associations in Barcarena, in partnership with IBS.

The action is part of the Travessia Barcarena program, the result of the FSH's articulation with multidisciplinary partners to bring humanitarian aid to families and organizations in the region, giving priority to contracting services and purchasing local products and providing technical training for communities. The program has a total investment of R $ 3.8 million.

“Hydro has teamed up with local and international partners in search of effective solutions to the needs of the municipality at this challenging time. This is an action aimed at the sustainable development of Barcarena and the empowerment and income generation for these women ”, says Eduardo Figueiredo, director of FSH.

During the project, participants will receive technical guidance on cutting and sewing, on the specifications and requirements for the production of non-medical masks, including guidance with health professionals on coping with covid19. In addition, notions of entrepreneurship and business will be offered.

“The initiative is contributing to the organization of a sewing and sewing network. With integrated actions, it will be possible to create a scenario for the empowerment of these producers ”, points out Miriam Armelin, implementation consultant for Synergia Socioambiental.

The training program will feature virtual modules, in which students will learn more about the use of digital tools to promote dialogue between members of the production chain and access to information. Thus, the course provides tools to improve local production and expand the market in which it operates, generating the continuous development of new products and the sustainability of business in the post-pandemic region.

Angela Araújo, a resident of Vila Nova, maintains a family tradition in sewing and sees the initiative as an opportunity to achieve her financial autonomy. “I saw my mother support the family with sewing and my intention is to become professional and earn my living. When I understood that sewing allows me to work and take care of my son, it gained strength ”, reinforces Angela, who already participates in the first training modules of the project.

About Travessia Barcarena

The Travessia Barcarena Project was articulated by the Hydro Sustainability Fund with financing partners, implementing partners and local partners and will last for 10 months. In addition to the income generation front for seamstresses in the region and prevention for Covid, it will support 90 farmers selected by the Ativa Barcarena project. The latter is a broader initiative by Hydro and will contribute with rural technical assistance for organizing agricultural production, implementing or improving production infrastructure, in addition to purchasing part of the agricultural production available in group cooperatives and donating these foods to communities social vulnerability in the municipality. It will also install mobile sinks at the Barcarena Producer Fair as a way to improve the hygiene and prevention conditions for Covid-19 in marketers and fair goers.

The financial contribution to Travessia Barcarena totals R $ 3.8 million - R $ 2.5 million will be invested by the Hydro Sustainability Fund and R $ 1.3 million via the PPA Solidarity Fund, formed by USAID partners, NPI Expand, Partners for the Amazon Platform - PPA and SITAWI Finanças do Bem.

About Hydro Sustainability Fund

It is a non-profit organization that promotes sustainable development and supports community-based projects and participatory dynamics. Established in 2019, the Hydro Sustainability Fund was born from a joint commitment by the companies Hydro, Albras and Alunorte to invest R $ 100 million to leverage initiatives and actions that contribute to the sustainable development of Barcarena (PA), over a period of 10 years . Investments in this territory are the starting point of FSH's trajectory.

The guidelines for investments made by the Hydro Sustainability Fund are defined in partnership with organized civil society, in participatory processes, and through open dialogues. In Barcarena, the first partnership is with the Sustainable Barcarena Initiative (IBS).

PPA Solidarity

USAID, NPI Expand, the Partners for the Amazon Platform (PPA) and SITAWI Finanças do Bem have teamed up to create a partnership to help combat COVID-19 in Brazil. The “PPA Solidarity: Response to COVID-19 in the Amazon is an initiative that engages the private sector in strategic partnerships to leverage innovative and scalable solutions to strengthen the rapid response to emergencies and combating COVID-19. The initiative will work with civil society and private sector partners on four lines of action: Mobilize communication campaigns on risks and community engagement in mitigation and protection measures to address COVID-19 and empower vulnerable communities and / or isolated to protect against exposure and transmission of COVID-19; Promote measures to prevent and control infections by COVID-19 in health facilities and communities; Support the local health system (hospitals, health posts and community health units / services) to respond and control COVID-19 through health and surveillance services; Support entrepreneurs, small social impact businesses and startups, producer groups and cooperatives with small financial contributions, business advisory services and access to low interest loans or microcredit.


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