RIO DE JANEIRO – Coca-Cola Brazil trained 15 young people from low-income favelas to support the company’s on-site hospitality program and venue operations during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, giving them valuable work experience and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of the Olympic Games in their home city.
Coletivo Events – part of the broader Coletivo Coca-Cola initiative – included two weeks of behavioral training and hands-on learning to prepare participants for what was, for many, their first employment experience.
“We focused on communication skills, body language, facial expressions and more,” said Vivian Assis, Coletivo Events coach. “We talked about how we build our perception of the world and how can we use some techniques to change our reality.”
By the second day, Asiss noticed a significant change in the participants. They were more outgoing, poised and secure.
“I’ve noticed an extraordinary change in myself,” said Beatriz Vieira da Silva, 18, while greeting guests at the Coca-Cola Brazil office. “My behavior, my speaking manners, my positioning, everything is better in a way I never imagined. And not only in my professional life, but also in my personal life.”
Palome Lima de Alonso, 20, shared a similar sentiment. “Today I feel more confident,” she said. “I’ve learned how to carry myself in interviews and towards people in public.”
Coletivo Event crew members, who are between the ages of 18 and 25, will welcome and assist guests at the hospitality areas at Coca-Cola Brazil’s Rio headquarters and inside Olympic Park. Additional participants were hired to support Coletivo Events partners, including Coca-Cola customers, suppliers and partners, during the Rio Games. After the Games, these young people will have the opportunity to apply for additional Coletivo jobs.
Coletivo Events previously trained young people to work at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2015 Rock in Rio music festival. For many participants, the program leads to their first job.
“Coletivo opens doors,” Assis said. “It connects these young people with the corporate world, with new opportunities to build a new life completely different from their backgrounds. These young people are coping directly with drug dealing and a lack of job and educational opportunities. They come from diverse parts of the city, some as much as 50 kilometers away from Rio.”
Founded in 2009, Coletivo aims to build both local communities in Brazil and the Coca-Cola business through technical and life-skills education and access to jobs and economic opportunity. Coletivo today includes seven programs spanning Coke’s value chain and tackling some of Brazil’s greatest societal challenges – from retail and recycling, to arts and entrepreneurship. One program even connects superfruit harvesters in the Amazon Rainforest to Coca-Cola suppliers, while promoting environmental conservation. All models contribute to The Coca-Cola Company’s 5by20 commitment, and women account for 70 percent of Coletivo participants.
Coletivo reaches more than 150,000 people across Brazil. While each Coletivo program includes distinct employment-based training, all emphasize life skills and self-confidence to help participants build their own futures.
Local governments support the Coletivo model, and the program partners with more than 500 local NGOs and recycling cooperatives to host classroom space, support recruitment and operations. More than 300 businesses support Coletivo as employment partners, including Coca-Cola retail and foodservice customers.