This article was written and published in Spanish and has been translated into English via Google Translate. Click here to read the original article.
The danger that characterizes the favelas is the main repellent for many services. Uber was no exception, until this year.
The more than 200,000 inhabitants who reside there need to walk to a good section to find a transport service. Having access to Uber was not an option either for users, or for drivers, because of the same crime situation and territoriality of the criminal organizations that operate there.
But more than six months ago, in an effort of the same residents of Heliopolis and Uber, the conversation spaces were opened for a unique and pioneering project in the world: boarding points in a favela.
The "Central Única das Favelas" (Cufa) of Heliopolis, representing the inhabitants, achieved a harmony and acceptance of the project along with the accompaniment of Uber until it became possible to install the points for application in the territory.
The mission included the approval of the criminal leaders to respect these points of embarkation and disembarkation in which the arrival of the driver without danger. In total, seven points surrounding the favela were established.
For the communal leaders this represented an advance, since the inhabitants had a great need to improve their access to mobility. But the good reception has also been given not only for the benefit it represents for residents, but also because many of them are now drivers under the application.
"Since we installed the points, we have not had a single security incident, because it was a joint effort with the community that managed to get Uber," said one of the leaders of Cufa in this favela, during a visit by journalists .
Celso Athayde, Founder of CUFA and CEO of Favela Holding, also accompanied the visit of local and international press, and stressed that this is the only favela in Brazil that Uber has.
This successful initiative that approaches technology and services has been called "Feito em Heliópolis" (Made in Heliópolis), a name that was also given to the information campaign on the opening.
Kiosks with Wi-Fi
Selecting the "call" points was key in the conversations, for that they included the stores and businesses that stood out in the area as a first step of trust, because the owners of these are inhabitants of the favela and recognized inside.
But that was not all. The points that are a kind of kiosk were decorated with paintings and art by the locals themselves, many of them young, to create a sense of belonging.
And to make the experience practical and possible, free Wi-Fi connection has also been provided, only in these spaces and only to contact Uber or download the application. "Otherwise they would be full of locals checking their networks," the leaders joke.
Heliopolis is still a favela, yes, but one that now sounds like an example in Brazil and outside it because of the connectivity it offers to its inhabitants.
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