Meet a Connector: Renato Orozco in Belo Horizonte, Brazil

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Renato (in blue) and his Nossa Cidade team and volunteers.
(photo courtesy Júlia Duarte)

Renato Orozco describes himself as “an idealist who works each day to build something that makes my country a better place.”

To this end, he devotes his time to his project Nossa Cidade, a movement to transform small towns.

“I love to plant seeds. For me, planting seeds means connecting people, resources and ideas so that the seeds grow. I’ve always been interested in this – it’s who I am and a big part of my life has been recognizing it and doing it with my work,” he says.

Renato believes the moment is ripe for the Idealist Network to help his city.

“Belo Horizonte is awakening. People are interested in making change and are taking more initiative,” he says. “There’s already an atmosphere of change, of more activism, and this network can catalyze and activate things that already exist.”

For Renato, a big selling point of the Idealist Network is an emphasis on the face-to-face connection.

“Making progress on projects and ideas is hard. To have an online space is fine, but I believe you have to try to leave the virtual space as soon as possible,” he says. “For this to happen, people need to experience the pleasure and energy that comes from working with others. This happens most effectively face-to-face.”

Live in Belo Horizonte? Join the Team! Live elsewhere? Look for a Connector Team near you or start one of your own.

Renato Orozco es de Belo Horizonte, Brasil. Se define como “un idealista que trabaja cada día para construir algo que haga de mi país un lugar mejor. Quiero conciliar mi carrera con la generación de impacto”. Sin duda su compromiso es claro y de manifiesto lo pone su proyecto Nossa Cidade.

No hay duda que para Renato el papel de conector encaja con su personalidad: “Me gusta plantar semillas. Para mi plantar semillas significa conectar personas, recursos e ideas para que las semillas crezcan. Siempre fue algo que me interesó, es quien yo soy y la gran clave de mi vida fue reconocer esto y hacer de esto mi vocación”.

Él siente que esta red puede ayudar al momento en que se encuentra su ciudad. “Creo que en Belo Horizonte esta ocurriendo un despertar. Las personas están más interesadas en hacer un cambio y ser más proactivas. Ya existe una energía de cambio, de volverse protagonista y esta red puede ser una manera de catalizar y activar lo que ya existe”.

Con respecto a esta nueva red apunta “Tener un espacio en línea está bien, pero creo que hay que tratar de salir del o virtual lo más rápido posible. Es cuando conectas con otros que encuentras la motivación. Llevar adelante algunos proyectos e ideas es difícil. Para que esto ocurra las personas tienen que experimentar el placer de estar trabajando juntas y eso se consigue mayormente cuando las cosas pasan cara a cara”.

¿Vives en Belo Horizonte? Únete a este equipo. O si vives en cualquier otro lugar, encuentra el equipo de Conectores más cercano o crea el tuyo propio.

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Today's picks: Want to work in community development?


Photo via Flickr user Brooke Anderson

Every day hundreds of new listings are added to Idealist, but sometimes, even I’m surprised by the number and variety of ways to get involved with an issue you care about. I ran a search for “community development” and came up with more than 37,000 results. Here’s a small sampling of what I found.

Today’s area of focus: community development

Job: Senior Project Manager – Real Estate
Organization: North Shore Community Development Corporation
Location: Salem, MA
In their own words: “Our work is focused on combating the challenges and struggles that low-income residents face by advocating for and developing affordable housing and fostering community empowerment. We are committed to neighborhood revitalization, advocacy, effective programming, and green housing development.”

Volunteer Opportunity: Piano Teacher
Organization: Shih Yu-Lang Central YMCA
Location: San Francisco, CA
In their own words: “We build strong kids, strong families, and strong communities.”

Internship: National Conference Coordination Intern
Organization: Coalition for Smarter Growth
Location: Washington, D.C.
In their own words: “Our mission is to ensure that transportation and development decisions are made with genuine community participation and allow the region to accommodate growth while revitalizing communities, providing more housing and travel choices, and conserving our natural and historic areas.”

Event: Drops of Good Service Week
Organization: Rebuilding Together Greater Los Angeles
Location: Los Angeles, CA
In their own words: “Join us as we help restore the Watts Labor Community Action Committee. This community project will be a huge event where RTGLA will be doing a special makeover for WLCAC’s Howard Bingham Center; which takes place Monday, September 12th, through Wednesday, September 14th.”

And for you internationally minded folks, here are Community Development jobs in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Oceania.

Search thousands of other listings filed under Community Development, or post an opportunity of your own.