CataSaúde Viraliza is an online capacity building project for waste pickers (organized and autonomous) in Brazil during the COVID-19 pandemic. The project is financed by the Open Society Foundation and WIEGO. The project was codesigned and is being implemented by partners including WIEGO, MNCR (the National Movement of Waste Pickers in Brazil), INSEA (Nenuca Institute for Sustainable Development), ORIS (The Observatory for Inclusive Recycling), Núcleo AlterNativas de Produção-UFMG and Pimp my Carroça. The online capacity building course seeks to discuss themes such as:
- Decent work and reduction of risks during the pandemic;
- Challenges in the context of the pandemic;
- Economic impacts and the recycling chain beyond the pandemic;
- Current threats and strategies regarding incineration, extended producer's responsibility, amongst others; and
- Mapping of advocacy strategies.
The project also seeks to encourage and strengthen solidarity among organized and autonomous waste pickers. Beyond Brazil, CataSaúde Viraliza will promote exchanges among waste pickers in Latin America in hopes of sharing experiences and strengthening regional solidarity.
CataSaúde’s Governance Structure
The project is internally organized through a general coordination group with representation from partners and through Working Groups, such as:
- Pedagogical Working Group: with participation from the general coordination group and pedagogical team, this working group is responsible for the general review of content and format of the project.
- Content Working Group: this working group is responsible for the planning of content and learning tools for the waste picker groups. This working group holds weekly meetings on content and organizes workshops with the online whatsapp facilitators and waste pickers’ mobilization team.
- Communication Working Group: this working group is responsible for producing communication materials and for providing technical and operational support on social media platforms such as Whatsapp, Facebook and Youtube. It co-produces materials with the waste pickers’ mobilization team.
- Communication/Mobilization Working Group: this group is composed of representatives of organized and autonomous waste pickers who provide tutorial and communication support.
In addition, the project also has a team working on the curation of art education materials, which is composed of the coordination and representation from waste pickers and an art educator.
How it Works
The online capacity building takes place in three distinct online platforms. The classroom is on Whatsapp where there are specific moments for discussion of content and interactions. The second platform used is Facebook, which acts as a library for all content produced and for complementary materials. The third platform involves open, and interactive YouTube or Facebook Lives, which enables the exchange of experiences and quality content on thematic issues (with specialists) for a broader audience of waste pickers. The Lives always begin with short clown skits that are playful and educational.
The course is divided into four modules:
- Living with the pandemic in the waste picking sector;
- Improving selective waste collection systems and protecting waste pickers during COVID-19;
- Beyond the pandemic: economic strategies for waste pickers; and
- Building connections among waste pickers in Latin America.