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Carried out by Hydro in the city of Barcarena (PA), where the company concentrates a significant part of its operations, the Community Leadership Strengthening program arose from the process of listening, learning and deepening dialogues with local leaders. The initiative is carried out in partnership with the organization EcoSocial and currently has the participation of representatives from 27 communities.

Started in 2020, the program has the duration of one year and promotes two training fronts. The 'Leading from the Future' project, aimed at leaders who already work in the communities, and the 'Young Agents of the Future' project, which encourages selected young people from the communities to become future leaders. Young people signed up and participated in a selection, which resulted in 34 participants.

"In both cases, the objective is to encourage, support and strengthen the role of leaders in the territory of Barcarena through training cycles, considering, in the current scenario, the fundamental work that leaders perform in assisting the community and contributing to the development of the municipality”, explains Fádwa Andrade Mohamadieh, Senior Social Responsibility Manager at Hydro.

Schedule maintained online resumes in-person classes this month

The trainings are divided into modules, which have been carried out in online formats, and more recently with the improvement of indices related to the pandemic, in person. Among the learning formats, series of conversation circles, group dynamics, plenary sessions, individual listening and practical activities are promoted, both with formal leaders and with young people, addressing topics such as individual development, relationship with the community, social entrepreneurship, among others. Online mentorships and podcasts on the main topics covered complement the content and are part of the activity agenda.

One of the participants is Angela Jesus, president of the San Francisco community, who joined the program in February this year. Angela is already applying the lessons learned with other members of the neighborhood association. As a social manager, she is developing the capacity for articulation with the different publics involved. “During the meetings, I learned teamwork skills, dividing tasks and encouraging other members to participate in decisions. A practical example was the collection of rubble and household garbage from the community. After extensive work to raise awareness, today the residents understand the importance of collecting and are ensuring the cleanliness of the community. It's been a very enriching experience. All leaders together for a cause. A movement of collaboration and organization in favor of the community”, says Angela.

To reinforce the engagement of participants, amid remote activities, the Hydro Social Responsibility team carried out face-to-face visits to community leaders, following all sanitary prevention protocols to Covid-19, for the delivery of printed handout kits to reinforce the concepts and keep participants engaged with the program's learning objectives.

Another community leader, who has participated in the training since 2020, is Fátima Solange, president of the Jardim São José community association. Working for more than 15 years as a community leader and serving around two thousand people, she highlighted what she considers the best part of qualifications: “They teach us how to better handle certain situations in contact with people in the community. I found all the themes presented remarkable. We participate in the training, learn and even refresh our minds when we interact with other leaders”, she believes.

With activities planned until November 2021, the program intends to promote the union of leaders and young people in the last two modules of the training cycle. The resumption of in-person classes began on September 17 and 18 and will continue into November, valuing the exchange of learning and experiences, in line with the proposal to encourage actions with the communities of Barcarena.

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