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DPNA/DFAF Forging Leadership Workshops

Volta Redonda, Brazil

August 27, 2003.

Site:  Two workshops were held on the same day in the new DEXTER hotel, a site chosen by our local partner, Neusa Jordao, Director of the NGO GAIA, a Councilwoman and the Mayor's Office.

Volta Redonda (1996 population 232,287) is located in eastern Brazil, in Rio de Janeiro State, on the Paraíba River. It is a model industrial city founded on the site of an earlier village in 1941.   It  has one of the largest steelworks in Latin America. The products of privately owned industrial plants supplement those of the government-controlled steel complex that dominates the economy of the city. .

Presenters: The presenters for both events were Neusa Jordao, Guillermo Fernandez, Mario Biscaia, Salomao Bernstein (a doctor of Nova Friburgo who is the main guy for Preventive Cities in his region), Alexandre da Fonte Jr. (who made a presentation on the importance of sports for drug prevention) our international coordinator, Mina Seinfeld de Carakushansky. Mina's presented about  RIPRED, the Preventive Cities concepts and the need for working in a comprehensive way to promote drug demand reduction. The training distributed two types of different materials (spiral bound books), one for each group.

Content:  The first workshop, titled "Forging Leadership, Looking to the Future" involved 92 young leaders of the city. These students came form universities, social voluntary groups, high schools and other organizations. Student interaction was excellent, as the group appeared very interested and participated very actively sharing opinions and making suggestion.. Dr. Mario Biscaia, a psychiatrist, an specialist on Marihuana addiction spoke about the "The Myths Regarding Drugs".  His low- key presentation received  high marks from the audience due to his frank delivery and his many years of experience working with youth.

The second event, "Forging Leasdership , Volta Redonda - Preventive City" took place later the same day.   One hundred local public and business leaders participated.  One of the participants, Dean of the City University, commented that he was impressed to see that there is such a movement in Volta Redonda.