“Our first goal was to establish a productive female empowerment group in the community. In the beginning, we had no financial resources, but we wanted to gain qualifications, to work and to generate income to support ourselves and our children”
Two years after the first meeting, the group established partnerships and collected the necessary resources to build a headquarters for the project. In the Women of Salgueiro house, which today has three floors and is on the same street as the community nursery, people can learn sewing, handicrafts, IT, English, telemarketing and other courses.
“I didn’t have any expectations for the future. My life had stalled. Through Women of Salgueiro, I managed to open my mind, conquered a profession and can support my family on my own. Today, my four children look at me and see a fighting woman who never gives up despite the difficulties. The power to change is within us!”
Despite the initiative’s name, male participants, youngsters and teenagers are also most welcome.
“Our goal is to convey the techniques and concepts of entrepreneurship to as many people as possible. Our movement is strong, structured. Together we will manage to transform this crisis scenario.”
Circular Economy, citizenship and social development
Around 90% of the material used in the classes is recycled. PET bottles, milk cartons, newspapers and fabric scraps gain new formats and uses in the hands of the participants. In addition to the students themselves, some partners help to collect the recyclable materials. Enel already bought bags and other products made from the company’s old banners and uniforms:
“We have been investing in income generation projects and promoting circular economy not only in Salgueiro, but within other productive groups. Sustainability is present throughout the Enel Group’s value chain. In addition to the Women of Salgueiro project, we have supported other female empowerment initiatives to promote the role of women in our society”
The Women of Salgueiro association is also part of Enel Brasil’s Luz Solidária (Solidarity Light project). As well as lightbulb replacement, the project will run new sewing and handicrafts workshops focusing on sustainability and financial empowerment.