Isolated by the pandemic of Covid-19, elderly people welcomed by institutions in Rio de Janeiro, Pernambuco and Rio Grande do Norte received letters with words of affection and motivation, sent by Neoenergia employees. The action, called Smiles (Sorrisos in Portuguese) was promoted by the company's Volunteering Program. 90 elderly people were benefited, with 110 letters. The initiative took place together with the delivery of basic food baskets and hygiene products from the donations to the Transforma Brasil fund, for which more than R$ 1 million were allocated by the company.
"At that moment, solidarity is even more urgent and necessary. For this reason, Neoenergia´s Volunteering Program sought new ways for employees to continue making a difference in the lives of the people who need it most. The Smiles action brought together two indispensable things: the supply of basic food and hygiene material needs and psychological support, very important at this time", says Clayton Urbano Freire, Neoenergia's Internal Communication manager and program coordinator.
In Rio de Janeiro, the letters were sent to the 33 elderly women living at Lar Mãe Ritinha, an institution that has been operating since 1976, in the Irajá district of the capital. In Pernambuco, 16 elderly people were benefited by the Abrigo Espírita Batista de Carvalho, in Recife. "It was a very important work, especially now. The elderly women were happy and surprised by the letter, by having this moment to receive so much affection and attention," says Sonja Freire, coordinator of the Pernambuco institution.
In Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, 41 elderly women from Lar da Vovozinha received letters from 53 volunteers. "We've been in a tough time since March, with no visitors. To prevent the coronavirus, we shut the house down completely, even for relatives. An action like this had never happened before, it was very important to them, who kept the letters as a great gift", says the coordinator of the institution, Lila Carvalho
The letters were delivered with the donations of basic food baskets and hygiene products, guaranteed from contributions made to the Transforma Brasil Fund, coordinated by the Transforma Brasil institution, Neoenergia's partner in the Volunteering Program. The company donated R$ 1 million and its employees, almost R$ 60 thousand. Employees were also able to suggest institutions to be benefited, of which 22 have already been contemplated and a further 32 will be by July. Overall, the Fund has already helped about 250 thousand families across the country.
In partnership with Transforma Brasil, Neoenergia also has other volunteer projects connected to the five Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) proposed by the UN, with a special focus on SDG number 7, which ensures access to energy in a reliable, sustainable and affordable way for everyone, and SDG 13, which focuses on actions to combat climate changes and their impacts. In addition, there are projects focusing on SDG 4 (quality education), 5 (gender equality) and 10 (reduction of inequalities).
This initiative is part of the Iberdrola group answer to Coronavirus .