Trained community leaders impact crisis management in territories and reduce inequalities

Posted in: 05/05/2023

Community leaders play a fundamental role in the development of communities, as they act in the claims of rights , in the organization and presentation of demands to the public power and in the representation of the residents in search of social development . 

As a way of strengthening and qualifying community leaders, the United Nations (UN) has trained people to act as multipliers and multipliers. Among UN initiatives, indigenous trans and migrant women , who act as community leaders, were trained to guide women in their communities on gender violence prevention . 

In Guinea-Bissau, the Organization also trained young people in community leadership . The project, from 2019, aimed to turn young leaders into agents of peace , that is, to consolidate peace in the country based on the work of trained young people from the local communities themselves . 

Young black man with baby on his lap. Community leaders. Unicef_Zehbrauskas
UN trains young people in community leadership Photo: Unicef/Zehbrauskas

The role of community leaders in the pandemic 

During the Covid-19 pandemic, community leaders were essential to minimize the impacts of the disease and the already accentuated inequalities in Brazil, through the distribution of basic food baskets, personal hygiene materials, support for families and relationships with organizations capable of contributing in times of crisis. 

The Solidarity campaign in Manguinhos was an example. There, community leaders and FioCruz researchers gathered to raise money, which was converted into necessities , including: 660 basic food baskets, 660 hygiene and cleaning kits, 190 cloth masks, 400 snack kits and almost 3,000 units of geriatric diapers. 

Six people holding hands, community leaders. Photo: Adobe Stock
Community leaders were essential to minimize the impacts of the disease and inequalities. Photo: Adobe Stock

The performance of the leaders, who are also residents of the territories, is a way of giving voice to those in need and serving as a link between the population, the authorities, people and institutions willing to help. 

Female leaders drive social development 

In the neighborhood of Lavras , in Guarulhos (SP), the resettled families, led by women , assumed social responsibility by taking care of the condominium environment, which contributed to the evolution of living conditions and better integration of the residents of the Lavras Housing Complex . 

Women in the Lavras Housing Complex. Community Leadership.
Resettled families, headed by women, assumed social responsibility by taking care of the condominium environment. Photo: Synergia

The participation of women in community leadership is not new. During the period of slavery, Dandara, Tereza de Benguela, Aqualtume, among others, were significant for the struggle of enslaved peoples for being at the forefront of battles. 

Thus, it is possible to observe that women have always been present in movements and leadership positions , conquering social space for themselves and for other people who also claim for their rights . 

SDG10 – Reduced inequalities
SDG16 – Peace, justice and strong institutions

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