Quilombola Internship Program welcomes volunteers

Launched in 2017, the Quilombola Internship Program is led by the Association of Remaining Quilombo Communities of the Municipality of Oriximiná (ARQMO), and is supported by Amazon Conservation Team (ECAM) under the Sustainable Territories Program (STP). The initiative arose from the need to involve more people, especially youngsters, in the daily life of the association, and to develop new leaders.

In August 2019, the program was expanded so that others could voluntarily join the activities of the association. Initially, only young people attending secondary, technical or higher education institutions were eligible to participate. 

“During the course of our activities, we realized that young people and adults who were not enrolled in formal education also wanted to be part of the program. So we started wondering how we could involve them, and that is when the idea of volunteering came up," explained program coordinator Muryel Arantes. “The activities require local knowledge and the ability to deliver fast and efficient services to the population, as well as people with enough time for that. Thanks to the volunteer program, now we can also benefit from the experience of the senior population,” she concluded.

In just two years, the program has already borne fruit. Gabriela Cardoso joined the program in 2017 as an intern, and after graduating she took over as ARQMO's Internship Supervisor and Women's Coordinator. In addition to developing leadership, another important aspect of the program that has been expanded through volunteering is the involvement of young people in their communities. “Our students always invite other youngsters to participate in the activities, bringing them closer and closer to the association, which can help us ensure its continuity,” says Muryel.

The Internship Program is under the Quilombola and Social Capital actions of the Sustainable Territories Program, an initiative led by Agenda Pública, the Amazon Conservation Team (ECAM) and the Amazon Institute of People and Environment (IMAZON), with the support of Mineração Rio do Norte and the United States Agency for International Development – USAID. Read more about this initiative on the ECAM website.