Women entrepreneurs in Brazil recycle used cooking oil to produce artisanal soap, generating income for their vulnerable islander community

Material Information

Women entrepreneurs in Brazil recycle used cooking oil to produce artisanal soap, generating income for their vulnerable islander community
Fiestas-Nunez, Carlita ( author )
Physical Description:
1 online resource (79 pages) : illustrations ;


Subjects / Keywords:
Sustainable Development Practice field practicum report, M.D.P
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent) ( marcgt )
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )


Most people pour used cooking oil down the sink, polluting water and soil resources. Women entrepreneurs in Porto Alegre, Brazil, however, are recycling used cooking oil to produce artisanal soap, which has become the main economic activity that supports families involved in the Ilhéus Ecológicos Association in Ilha das Flores. This field practicum aims to contribute to the social, environmental, and economic sustainability of the association by supporting the artisanal soap production, as it continues generating income for the vulnerable families on the island. The methodology consisted of 1) Thirty-six semi-structured interviews to develop a community diagnosis; 2) Fifty interviews of customers and visits to organic fairs to develop a market study; and 3) Three participant action research (PAR) activities to contribute to strengthening the group dynamics. The semi-structured interviews aimed to produce a community diagnosis of the island that will contribute to a sustainable partnership between my host organization and the association. The interviews of customers reflected a strong local support for artisanal soap sales and will contribute to expanding sales outlets. The PAR activities allowed for better interpretation of the artisanal soap group dynamics. Artisanal soap is a powerful income source activity that vulnerable communities can work on to improve their current economic situation and thus, their livelihood conditions. However, stronger governmental support for artisanal production, and for the islanders' community, is needed so that families are able overcome the economic barriers they deal with every day.
Includes bibliographical references.
General Note:
Major departments: Latin American Studies, African Studies.
General Note:
Major: Sustainable Development Practice.
General Note:
Advisor: Wilkie, Ann C..
General Note:
Committee member: Williams, Rebecca.
General Note:
The MDP Program is administered jointly by the Center for Latin American Studies and the Center for African Studies.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Carlita Fiestas-Nunez.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
036874628 ( ALEPH )
LD1780.1 2019 ( lcc )


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Carlita Fiestas Nunez A Field Practicum Report submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Master of Sustainable Development Practice Degree at the University of Florida, in Gainesville, FL USA May 2019 Supervisory Committee: Ann C. Wilkie, Chair Rebecca Williams, Member Women entrepreneurs in Brazil recycle used cooking oil to produce artisanal soap, generating income for their vulnerable islander community


"! !Acknowledgements I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the Ilhus Ecolgicos Association in Ilha das Flores, Porto Alegre, Brazil. Endless recognition and gratitude to Juramar, Snia, Vanessa, Andressa and Silvia. Thanks for welcoming me to your community with open arms, and for making me feel like a friend to you all. Thanks for your patience with my Portuguese and thank you so much for your time. Thanks for the work you do because you all are making the world a better place. I would also like to express my appreciation to Dr. Carlos Moraes, Dr. Feliciane Brehm, and Dr. Regina Modolo in the Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos for their constant support and guidance in the development of my field practicum. Special thanks to Cynthia Silveira for welcoming me to her lovely home, for showing me how to survive in the city of Porto Alegre, and for always providing advice and support for my academic and personal life. Thank you all so much for welcoming me to your team, your families, and your country, and making my stay in Porto Alegre an amazing learning experience. You are all truly appreciated. Many thanks to the Instituto Venturi, Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in Porto Alegre, focusing on solid waste management research, and environmental education and policy. Without them, I could not have had the opportunity to collaborate with the team at the Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos. I am sincerely grateful to Arlinda Czar for welcoming me to her home and transmitting to me her leadership skills in the field of waste management. I would also like to acknowledge with gratitude to Dr. Ann C. Wilkie, Soil and Water Science Department, UF-IFAS, my committee chair, for her friendship and professional support. Dr. Wilkie has wisely guided me throughout my journey in graduate school and has always shown great concern for my personal and professional life. I would also like to thank Dr. Rebecca Williams, my committee member for her insightful comments and suggestions before and during the development of my field practicum. Thank you to both for their constructive comments and warm encouragement throughout my graduate program. I have also had the support and encouragement of Glenn Galloway and Andy Noss in the Master of Sustainable Development Practice (MDP) program. Thank you for the constructive feedback and kind support. I am particularly grateful for receiving generous financial support to conduct my field practicum from the Tropical Conservation Program and the MDP program. I would also like to express my gratitude to the Center for Latin American Studies for selecting me to receive the Foreign Language and Area of Studies Fellowship, which allowed me to learn Portuguese. Knowing Portuguese certainly made my field practicum less difficult, and it allowed me to have a closer relationship with Brazilians. Last but not least, I owe my deepest gratitude to my family and my partner. Endless admiration to my parents for leaving behind their families and country in order to give their three daughters a bright future. It is thanks to them that I am completing my masters degree. Special thanks to my partner for his supportive feedback, and for his kindness and sense of humor during the most difficult times of graduate school.


#! !Table of C ontents ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""! #! LIST OF TABLES """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""" $! LIST OF FIGURES """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""" %! ABSTRACT """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""! &! I.!INTRODUCTION """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """"""""""""""""""""""! '! II.!CONTEXTUAL BACKGROUN D """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """"""""""""""""""""""""" ()! 1.!AREA OF STUDY: ONE ISLAND, ONE BRIDGE, AND ONE RIVER! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""! ()!2.!LEARNING ABOUT THE PA ST TO UNDERSTAND THE PRESENT! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """"""""""""""""""! ()!3.!THE CONSERVATION AREA: DELTA DO JACUI STATE PARK! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""! (#!4.!SOCIOECONOMIC FACTORS OF THE ARCHIPELAGO NEIGHBORH OOD! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """! (*!4.1!POPULATION! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """! #$!4.2!BUILT ENVIRONMENT! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """"""""""""""""""""" #$!4.3!HEALTH! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""! #%!4.4!EDUCATION! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""! #%!4.5!ECONOMY! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """"""""! #&!5.!SOCIO-ECONOMIC CONCEPTS! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """! (&!5.1!ECONOMIA SOLIDRIA! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """"""""""""""""""" #'!5.2!ARTISANAL AND ORGANIC FAIRS! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" ""! #(!5.3!GENDER DYNAMICS! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""" )*!5.4!BOLSA FAMILIA! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""" )*!5.5!SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP PARTNERSHIPS! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """"""""""""""! )#!6.!THE ILHUS ECOLGICOS ASSOCIATION! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""! #(!6.1!THE ARTISANAL SOAP AN D ITS SOCIO-ENVIRONMENTAL APPLIC ATION! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""! ))!6.2!THE IMPORTANCE OF THE ARTISANAL SOAP! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""! )+!III.!FIELD PRACTICUM SCOP E """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""" #$! 1.!HOST ORGA NIZATION! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """"""""""""""! #$!2.!OBJECTIVES: """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""" #$!2.1!GENERAL OBJECTIVE! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """"""""""""""""""""""" )%!2.2!SPECIFIC OBJ ECTIVES! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """"""""""""""""""""""" )%!3.!CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """"""! #%!4.!CONTRIBUTION TO SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """"""""""""""""""""""! #&!IV.!METHODOLOGY """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""! #+!


$! !1.!LITERATURE REVIEW! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""! #+!2.!SEMI-STRUCTURED INTERVIEW S IN THE COMMUNITY! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""" ,)!3.!PARTICIPANT/ETHNOGRAPHIC OBSERVATION! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """"""""! ,(!4.!PHOTOS DOCUMENTATION OF SOAP PRODUCTION: """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""" ,#!5.!INTERVIEWS AND INFORM AL CONVERSATIONS! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """"""! ,,!6.!PARTICIPATORY ACTION RESEARCH (PAR)! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """"""""""""! ,,!7.!INTERVIEWS OF CUSTOMERS! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """"! ,*!8.!ONLINE RESEARCH ABOUT OTHER ORGANIC FAIRS! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" ,$!V.!DATA ANALYSIS & RESU LTS! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""" ,&! 1.!FIELD NOTES ABOUT PARTICIPANT OBSERVATION AND INFORMAL CONVERSATIONS! """""""""! ,&!1.1!RESULTS! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""! +&!2.!PARTICIPATORY ACTION RESEARCH ANALYSIS & RESULTS! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""! *)!2.1!RESU LTS! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""! $#!3.!SEMI-STRUCTURED INTERVIEWS ANALYSIS & RESULTS! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""" *$!3.1!RESULTS! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""! $,!4.!INTERVIEWS OF CUSTOMERS ANALYSIS AND RESULTS! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """"""""""""""""""""""""""" $&!4.1!RESULTS! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""! %&!5.!ONLINE RESEARCH AND V ISITS TO ORGANIC FAI RS! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" $+!VI.!DISCUSSION """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """"""""""""""""""""""""! %#! 1.!COMMUNITY DIAGNOSIS OF ILHA DAS FLORES! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """"""""! %#!2.!MARKET STUDY FOR THE ARTISANAL SOAP! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """"""""""""! %$!3.!ECOLOGICAL SOAP GROUP (ESG) DYNAMICS! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""! %%!VII.!CONCLUSIONS AND RECO MMENDATIONS! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """"""""""""""""""""""""""""" %'! AP PENDIXES """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" ""! &)! REFERENCES!"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" &$!


%! !List of Tables Table 1. Representation of the population in the Archipelago neighborhood. Source: Table developed by author from Souza, 2014 ................................................................................................................................................................... 14 Table 2. Percentages of families in the Archipelago having basic services. Source: Table developed by author from Souza, 2014; and Observa Porto Alegre (POA), 201 8. ............................................................................................... 14 Table 3. Education achievements (percentages of population) in the Archipelago neighborhood compared to the city of Porto Alegre. Source: Table developed by author from Comin et al. (2006); Ferreira & Menezes (2017); Human Development Atlas in Brazil (2019). Note: Human Development Index (HDI) as defined by the United Nations is calculated by using mean years of schooling and expecte d years of schooling. ............................................................ 15 Table 4. Contrast of economic indicators between Porto Alegre city and the Archipelago neighborhood. Source: T able developed by author from Ferreira & Menezes (2017); Observa Porto Alegre (POA) (2018); Souza (2014); Human Development Atlas in Brazil (2019). Note 1: Gini coefficient measures economic inequality in a nation. Note 2: 1 US$ equals 3.8 Brazilian Reals. ................................................................................................................................... 17 Table 5. Results gathered from interviewing members of the Ilheus Ecologicos Association, complemented with informal conversations. Table developed by author, 2018. ........................................................................................... 37 Table 6. Main findings and quotes obtained from PAR #1. Table developed by author, 2 019. ................................... 41 Table 7. Main findings, quotes and pictures obtained from PAR #2. Table developed by author, 2019. .................... 43 Table 8. Main findings, quotes and pictures obtained from PAR #3. Table developed by author, 2019. .................... 44 Table 9. List of major findings related to infrastructure in the island. Table developed by author, 2019 ................... 47 Table 10. List of major findings related to education and personal development in the island. Table developed by author, 2019 .................................................................................................................................................................. 49 Table 11. Community issues named during the interviews. Table developed by author, 2018. .................................. 54 Table 12. Two important factors affecting islanders. Table developed by author, 2018. ............................................. 55 Table 13. Other po pular organic fairs that customers mentioned they visited in town. Table developed by author, 2018. ............................................................................................................................................................................. 59 Table 14. List of organic fairs selected to visit. Table developed by author, 2018 ........................................................ 60


&! !List of Figures Figure 1. Map of the Archipelago neighborhood in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Source: Souza, 2014 ...... 10 Figure 2. Timeline of the Archipelago neighborhood's development. Figure developed by author from Bauer & Carrion, 2016; Ferreira & Menezes, 2017; Prefeitura do Porto Alegre, 2018; Oliveira et al., 2018; and Souza, 2014. ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 11 Figure 3. Map of Delta do Jacui state park. Source: Marques et al., 2003 ................................................................... 12 Figure 4. Ilha das Flores and its delineated APA area highlighted in blue. Source: Google Earth, 2018 .................... 13 Figure 5. Schooling by age group achieved by islanders (in pink) in 2010 compared to the state (in grey) and the country (in green). Source: Human Development Atlas in Brazil, 2019 .................................................................... 16 Figure 6. Percentages of people older than 25 years old and their level of education in the Archipelago neighborhood. Source: Human Development Atlas in Brazil, 2019 .................................................................................................... 16 Figure 7. Labor force division in the Archipelago population. Source: Human Development Atlas in Brazil, 2019 17 Figure 8. Principles of Solidarity Economy: Cooperation, Solidarity, Self management and Economic activity. Source: De Araujo & de Oliveira, 2017 ....................................................................................................................... 18 Figure 9. The concept of Solidarity Economy illustrated by Mure B. in the article Solidarities Economies, winter 2017. ............................................................................................................................................................................. 18 Figure 12. Location of the Ilheus Ecologicos Association in Ilha das Flores. Source: Google Earth, 2018 .................. 21 Figure 13. List of technological incubators currently supporting the association. Fi gure developed by author ......... 22 Figure 14. Aloe Vera artisanal soap made by ESG. Photo by author, Porto Alegre, 2018 .......................................... 23 Figure 15. Stand of the ESG where artisanal soap is sold in the Bom Fim organic fair. Photo by author, Porto Alegre, 2018. ................................................................................................................................................................. 23 Figure 16. Conceptual fram ework of my field practicum. Figure developed by author. Note: SO1 means specific objective 1, and SO2 means specific objective 2. .......................................................................................................... 26 Figure 17. Main SDGs my field practicum contributes to. Figure developed by author, 2019. Source: United Nations website (2018) ................................................................................................................................................. 27 Figure 18. List of methods applied during my f ield practicum to achieve each objective. Figure developed by author. ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 29 Figure 19. Semi structured interviews conducted in Ilha das Flores. Photo by author, Porto Alegre, 2018. ............. 30 Figure 20. Ethnographic & Participant Observation 1. Top: Helping in the soap production. Bottom left: Helping to sell the soap at the organic fair. Bottom right: Walking tog ether to the school they received classes from NGO Redecriar. Photos by author, Porto Alegre, 2018. ........................................................................................................ 31 Figure 21. Ethnographic & Participant Observation 2. Top left: Meeting of the regional commission for social assistance in Ilha das Flores. B ottom left: Participation of the ESG in an organic fair at a school in Porto Alegre city. Right photo: Redecriar class at the school in the island. Photos by author, Porto Alegre, 2018. ................................. 32 Figure 22. Snip of the artisanal soap production manual. Figure by author, 2019. .................................................... 33 Figure 23. Three PAR activities conducted in the association site. Top: PAR 1. Mid dle: PAR 2. Bottom: PAR 3. Photos by author, Porto Alegre, 2018 .......................................................................................................................... 34 Figure 24. Interview to customers of the artisanal soap at the organic fair Bom Fim in Porto Alegre. Photo by author, 2018 .................................................................................................................................................................. 35 Figure 25. On the right side, the information of the selected organic fair, and on the left side, a map of organic fairs in Porto Alegre. Source: Municipality of Porto Alegre, 2018 ...................................................................................... 36 Figure 26. Illustration of the recipe for 48 aromatic artisanal soap bars. Figure developed by author, 2018. ............. 38 Figure 27. Final steps of the artisanal soap production. Photos by author, 2018. ....................................................... 38 Figure 28. Representation of Value Chain of the Artisanal Soap Production. Diagram developed by author, 2019 .. 39 Figure 29. Weekly profitability of the artisanal soap production and distrib ution. Table developed by author, 2019 40 Figure 3 0. Drawings created by participants in PAR#1. Picture by author, 2018 ..................................................... 42 Figure 31. Demographic information of participants in Ilha das Flores. Graphs developed by author, 2019 ............. 46 Figure 32. Level of Education of participants in Ilha das Flores. Figure dev eloped by author, 2018 .......................... 48 Figure 33. Work status o f participants. Figure developed by author, 2019. ................................................................ 49 Figure 34. Income source of participants in Ilha das Flores. Figure developed by author, 2018. ................................ 50 Figure 35. Number of households with vulnerable age groups. Figure developed by author, 2018 ............................ 52 Figure 36. Participants interest in joining the ESG. Figure developed by author, 2018. ............................................ 55 Figure 37. Grounded theory diagram for the community d iagnosis. Figure developed by author, 2018 .................... 56 Figure 38. Reasons customers purchase the artisanal soap. Figure developed by author, 2018. ................................. 57 Figure 39. Frequency customers purchase the artisanal soap. Figure developed by author, 2018 .............................. 58 Figure 40. New sale spot for t he ESG in organic fair Quintanda on Thursdays. Picture sent from ESG to me in October 2018 ................................................................................................................................................................. 61


'! Abstract Most people pour used cooking oil down the sink, polluting water and soil resources. Women entrepreneurs in Porto Alegre, Brazil, however, are recycling used cooking oil to produce artisanal soap, which has become the main economic activity that supports families involved in the Ilhus Ecolgicos Association in Ilha das Flores. This field practicum aims to contribute to the social, environmental, and economic sustainability of the association by supporting the artisanal soap production, as it continues generating income for the vulnerable families on the island. The methodology consisted of 1) Thirty-six semi-structured interviews to develop a community diagnosis; 2) Fifty interviews of customers and visits to organic fairs to develop a market study; and 3) Three participant action research (PAR) activities to contribute to strengthening the group dynamics. The semi-structured interviews aimed to produce a community diagnosis of the island that will contribute to a sustainable partnership between my host organization and the association. The interviews of customers reflected a strong local support for artisanal soap sales and will contribute to expanding sales outlets. The PAR activities allowed for better interpretation of the artisanal soap group dynamics. Artisanal soap is a powerful income source activity that vulnerable communities can work on to improve their current economic situation and thus, their livelihood conditions. However, stronger governmental support for artisanal production, and for the islanders community, is needed so that families are able overcome the economic barriers they deal with every day.


(! !I. Introduction While there are common methods to manage solid waste, such as recycling and composting, there is no correct management for liquid waste, such as used cooking oil (Flix et al., 2017). Tons of used cooking oil are produced in households around the world. For example, in Portugal, Canada, and the UK, 43-65, 135, and 200 thousand tons of used cooking oil, respectively, is produced in one year (Chhetri et al., 2008). Many people pour the waste cooking oil down the sink, and its incorrect disposal becomes a problem as it is discharged into the environment, polluting water and land resources (Chhetri et al., 2008; Martin & de Laet, 2018; Neira, 2014;). In urban areas, the waste cooking oil penetrates the sewage systems and complicates sewage purification to return it to water bodies. Furthermore, in places lacking a sewage system, waste cooking oil is illegally discharged into rivers and landfills (Chhetri et al., 2008). Just one liter of used cooking oil pollutes 1000 liters of water, according to Neira (2014) and Martin and de Laet (2018). One solution to this problem is to recycle waste cooking oil and turn it into artisanal soap (Flix et al., 2017). Artisanal soap has been historically produced as a way to reduce animal fat and as a livelihood alternative for low-income families (Oliveira, 2011; Souza, 2014; Umar et al., 2015). Low-income communities are characterized by precarious infrastructure and lack of resources for their inhabitants. They are at higher risk than others to be affected by external events such as adverse weather conditions, and thus, they become vulnerable communities (Ellis, 2000; Passuello et al., 2017;). In different parts of the world, for instance Nigeria, Chile, Brazil, among others, women living in vulnerable communities organize themselves in groups to make artisanal soap, repurposing used cooking oil as a way to generate income (Oliveira, 2011; Souza, 2014; Umar et al., 2015). This income helps their families to overcome the daily challenges presented by different social, environmental, and political factors. Artisanal soap is also an eco-friendly product whose environmental and economic benefits have contributed to its preference in the market. In Brazil, for example, there exists a strong market for artisanal soap. In the South of Brazil, specifically, in the city of Porto Alegre, as a way to survive vulnerable conditions, a group of women entrepreneurs recycle used cooking oil to produce artisanal soap and generate income for their families, based on the principles of Solidarity Economy, an alternative economic model that promotes cooperation rather than competition (Moraes et al., 2018; Silva, 2011; Singer et al., 2014). This group belongs to the Ilhus Ecolgicos Association which politically represents the vulnerable community of islanders in Ilha das Flores (Foresti, 2015). Historically limited by government failures, the basic needs of the community have not been met and so it is characterized by high poverty levels, inadequate infrastructure, low levels of education, and low income (Favero et al., 2016; Ferreira & Menezes, 2017; Foresti, 2015). I conducted my field practicum on this island, with the Ilhus Ecolgicos Association. For 12 weeks and was able to apply a mixed-method approach in order to contribute to the sales expansion and sustainable production of artisanal soap. This document provides in detail on how my field practicum was conducted. The report is divided into the following sections: First, a contextual background that will allow the audience to understand the geographical, social and economic factors in which my field practicum


)! was developed. Second, the field practicum scope summarizes the main objectives and deliverables of this research. Third, a section that explains the methodology used. Fourth, the analysis and results section explaining the analytical process of my methodology, and the results obtained. Fifth, a discussion section aiming to further understand the results obtained, and finally a conclusions and recommendations section that summarizes the importance of my field practicum.


*+! !II. Contextual Background 1. Area of study: One island, one bridge, and one river My field practicum was conducted in the city of Porto Alegre, located in the southernmost state of Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul. Figure 1 shows the map of Brazil on the upper left side, highlighting Rio Grande do Sul, and zooming in to show the municipality of Porto Alegre along with the Archipelago neighborhood. The black circle in the figure indicates Ilha das Flores which is divided in two by the only highway (green line in figure) that connects it to Porto Alegre city. !"#$%&' ( )'*+,'-.'/0&'1%20",&3+#-'4&"#05-%0--6'"4'/0&'7/+/&'-.'8"-'9%+46&'6-':$3;'<%+="3)':-$%2&>' :-$=+;'?@(A To the northwest of Porto Alegre, there is a neighborhood called Archipelago, formed by 16 islands in the Jacu River, of which only five are populated (Souza, 2014; Oliveira et al., 2018). One of them, Ilha das Flores (Flowers Island), is home to the association I worked with, the Ilhus Ecolgicos Association (Ecologic Islanders in English) The Archipelago neighborhood has a rich history that is very important to appreciate in order to understand the reasons people are living in these islands and not willing to leave. 2. Learning about the past to understand the present This section summarizes relevant past events that have shaped the current situation of families living in the Archipelago neighborhood.


**! !"#$%&' ? )'B"C&3"4&'-.'/0&'1%20",&3+#-'4&"#05-%0--6D7'6&E&3-,C&4/ )' !"#$%&'6&E&3-,&6'5F'+$/0-% .%-C' <+$&%'G' H+%%"-4;'?@(I J' !&%%&"%+'G'*&4&=&7 ;'?@(KJ' L%&.&"/$%+'6' L-%/-'13&#%& ;'?@(MJ N3"E&"%+'&/'+3);' ?@(MJ'+46' :-$=+;'?@(A ) 'Figure 2 above illustrates the historical timeline of the Archipelago and its occupation process. There is archeological evidence that Guarani indigenous groups lived on the islands during the 16th century. During the 18th century, African populations taken as slaves to Brazil arrived in Porto Alegre and, as a result, some fugitive slaves found refuge in the Archipelago neighborhood. Later, during the 19th century, fishermen established on the islands, so artisanal fishing became the main economic activity in the islands since then until now. By the 1950s, Porto Alegre started to urbanize following European urbanism patterns: spreading from a center to the periphery (Bauer & Carrion, 2016; Ferreira & Menezes, 2017; Oliveira et al., 2018; Souza, 2014). The city modernization resulted in social segregation and uneven development Specifically, black and poor people were not allowed to live in the areas selected to be modernized (Bauer & Carrion, 2016; Polidoro & Canavese, 2017). These populations were removed from their homes and were given two options: go live in the Archipelago or go to another rural area far from Porto Alegre, called Restinga. Many people fled to the islands because it meant staying closer to the city and keeping their jobs (Bauer & Carrion, 2016; Oliveira et al., 2018). Later, in 1959, the 16 islands that belonged to the municipality of Porto Alegre were declared as the Archipelago neighborhood. The highway called BR116 was also built during that year for connecting the city of Porto Alegre to the islands, whose islanders became the main providers of vegetables and fish to the city (Ferreira & Menezes, 2017; Souza, 2014). By the 1970s, the highway contributed to an increase in migration fluxes, populating peripheral areas of the central city; this in turn, generated an intensive and disorganized growth of the cit y of Porto Alegre. Meanwhile, the islands received low-income families who settled along the BR116 highway because, even though there were no services provided, the island offered an inexpensive lifestyle close to the city. In 1976, the Delta do Jacui State Park was created by the federal government in order to control human occupations and to avoid environmental degradation, and the Archipelago neighborhood became part of it


*"! (Bauer & Carrion, 2016; Oliveira et al., 2018; Pilodoro & Canavesse, 2017; Prefeitura do Porto Alegre, 2018; Souza, 2014). 3. The conservation area: Delta do Jacui State Park The Delta do Jacu State Park, represented as the white area in Figure 3 below, includes 30 islands, 16 belonging to the municipality of Porto Alegre, for which a Management Plan was developed. This plan was created with preservation aims due to the biodiversity and the many environmental benefits the conservation area provide s to the urban population (Oliveira et al., 2018, Favero et al., 2016; Secretaria do Ambiente, 2018), such as: Filtration for water arriving to the city from upstream rivers Absorption of water to protect the city from flooding Conservation of flora and fauna diversity, endangered and endemic species Weather stability for the metropolitan area, regulating temperature and maintaining air quality Recreational, educational, and research purposes !"#$%&' O )'*+,'-.'P&3/+'6-'Q+2$"'7/+/&',+%R)':-$%2&>'*+%S$&7'&/'+3);'?@@O


*#! However, the preservation area was created without considering the human settlements already established in the area. The population did not participate in the decisionmaking process to establish the park (Bauer & Carrion, 2016), yet they are the most affected by the frequent flooding produced by the confluence of four important rivers of the region Ca, dos Sinos, Gravata and Jacu (Secretaria do Ambiente, 2018). Bauer and Carrion (2016) suggest that this lack of consultation was meant to encourage islanders to leave the area, but they did not. This situation created a conflict between the local government and the islanders (Oliveira et al., 2018). In order to address this issue, two types of areas were delineated within the boundaries of the State Park: Permanent Protection Area (APP for its acronym in Portuguese) defined by the state legislation, and the Environmental Protection Area (APA for its acronym in Portuguese) defined by the Environmental Secretary of the state and promoted by the islands leaders in order to protect their right to the land and their properties. This latter area is designated as a unit for sustainable use, so human occupation is allowed ( Oliveira et al. 2018; Secretaria do Ambiente, 2018; Souza, 2014). In Ilha das Flores, only the area along the BR116 highway is considered APA, highlighted blue in Figure 4 below. !"#$%&' A )'T30+'6+7'!3-%&7'+46'"/7'6&3"4&+/&6'1L1'+%&+'0"#03"#0/&6'"4'53$&)':-$%2&>'9-#3&' U +%/0;'?@(M Paradoxically, the declaration of APA to conserve the natural environment ended up promoting development of the built environment in Ilha das Flores and the other islands. During the 2000s, families with high purchasing power started occupying the islands ,-./!0/1!2-3451!


*$! for recreational purposes, building luxurious houses and marinas used during weekends or holidays (Souza, 2014; Favero et al., 2016). This created economic disparities with the traditional islanders, who are characterized by precarious houses and low income. Since the Archipelago neighborhood is located within a conservation area, its socio economic data is different than that for the urban area of Porto Alegre. Therefore, in order to have a more representative understanding of the context in which my field practicum was developed, the following section focuses on the background of the Archipelago neighborhood rather than the municipality of Porto Alegre. 4. SocioEconomic Factors of the Archipelago neighborhood The Archipelago neighborhood is characterized by significant social vulnerability with respect to infrastructure and sanitation, health, education, and income. According to Passuello et al. (2017) and Ellis (2000), vulnerability corresponds to the physical, economic, environmental and social conditions that increases peoples risks during adverse external events. 4.1! Population By 2010, the Archipelago residents presented the following demographic characteristics: Population 8,330 people 48.9% 51. 1 % Children (0 11 years old) 22.28% Teenagers (12 18 years old) 14.45% Youth (19 29 years old) 18.82% Adults (30 59 years old) 34.62% Elderly (60 and more years old) 9.64% B+53&' ( )'8&,%&7&4/+/"-4'-.'/0&',-,$3+/"-4'"4'/0&'1%20",&3+#-'4&"#05-%0--6)':-$%2&>'B+53&'6&E&3-,&6'5F'+$/0-%' .%-C' :-$=+;'?@(A '4.2! Built Environment The rapid and unplanned occupation of the islands gave rise to the current precarious infrastructure which is characterized by a lack of sanitation and inadequate water supply, lack of rain drainage, lack of street lighting, inadequate paved roads, and accumulation of waste (Prefeitura do Porto Alegre, 2018; Oliveira et al., 2018; Favero et al., 2016; Municipal Secretary of Health Porto Alegre 2010; Foresti 2015; Costa & Carrion, 2010). While the majority of households have water from a public provider, t here are still households that get their water from nearby wells, rivers and lakes, and from tank trucks (Souza, 2014). Table 2 below indicates the percentages of households having basic services in the Archipelago neighborhood. Services Electricity 94% of households Built Environment Water 83% of households Sanitary sewer 58% of households B+53&' ? )'L&%2&4/+#&7'-.'.+C"3"&7'"4'/0&'1%20",&3+#-' 0+E"4#' 5+7"2'7&%E"2&7 )':-$%2&>' B+53&'6&E&3-,&6'5F'+$/0-%'.%-C' :-$=+;'?@(A J'+46' N57&%E+V L-%/-'13&#%& W LN1X ;'?@(M )


*%! 4.3! Health Every Brazilian receives free health care as mandated by the Brazilian Public Health System (SUS, for its acronym in Portuguese). However, access to free health care services is challenging for the Archipelago neighbors. According to the Integrated Network for the Protection of Children and Adolescents (RIPCA for its acronym in Portuguese) (2018) in Porto Alegre, there are just three health centers, not hospitals, to cover the five most populated islands of the Archipelago (about 8,330 people). Furthermore, precarious living conditions on the islands make people more vulnerable to illnesses, and as a result, their lifespans are shorter than for other people (Favero et al., 2016; Municipal Secretary of Health Porto Alegre, 2010). Consequently, the health of the islanders is at risk due to lack of sanitation and incorrect disposal of solid waste, increasing the proliferation of vector-borne diseases (Favero et al., 2016). The ObservaPorto Alegre (POA) website, which collects and publishes socio-demographic information of the municipality, includes adolescent pregnancy within the health sphere. In 2012 in the Archipelago neighborhood, 23% of mothers were under 19 years old and 58% had not completed elementary school. For black women the numbers increased to 26% and 82%, respectively (Observa-Porto Alegre (POA), 2018). 4.4! Education The Archipelago neighborhood is characterized by the low quality and low levels of education achieved by islanders (Oliveira et al., 2018; Souza, 2014; Ferreira & Menezes, 2017; Comin et al., 2006). Education Type \ Place Porto Alegre Archipelago Analphabetism (%) 4.1 7.7 High school completed (%) 48.2 28.0 Elementary school completed (%) 74.8 51.9 HDI in Education 0.69 0.54 Number of schools 1,015 8 B+53&' O )'U6$2+/"-4'+20"&E&C&4/7'W,&%2&4/+#&7'-.',-,$3+/"-4X'"4'/0&'1%20",&3+#-'4&"#05-%0--6'2-C,+%&6'/-'/0&'2"/F' -.'L-%/-'13&#%&)':-$%2&>' B+53&'6&E&3-,&6'5F'+$/0-%'.%-C' H-C"4 &/'+3)'W ?@@IX J' !&%%&"%+'G'*&4&=&7 W ?@(KX J' Y$C+4' P&E&3-,C&4/'1/3+7'"4'<%+="3 W?@(ZX ) [-/& >'Y$C+4'P&E&3-,C&4/'T46&\'WYPTX'+7'6&."4&6'5F'/0&']4"/&6'[+/"-47'"7' 2+32$3+/&6'5F'$7"4#'C&+4'F&+%7'-.'720--3"4#'+46'&\,&2/&6'F&+%7'-.' 7 20--3"4#) '


*&! Figure 5 below compares the percentage of people who attend school by age group in the islands, in the state, and in the country. As can be seen, as people grow older, fewer attend school. The Human Development Atlas in Brazil also reported that almost 40% of people older than 25 years old had incomplete elementary schooling and just 3% have completed undergraduate education. See Figure 6. Ferreira and Menezes (2017) in their socio-economic analysis of Porto Alegre, presented to the state government, found that 57.5% of people said they stopped studying to get a job, which clearly illustrates the influence of poverty on the education levels achieved. !"#$%&' ^ )':20--3"4#'5F'+#&'#%-$,'+20"&E&6'5F'"73+46&%7'W"4',"4RX'"4'?@(@' 2-C,+%&6'/-'/0&'7/+/&'W"4'#%&FX'+46'/0&' 2-$4/%F'W"4'#%&&4X)':-$%2&>'Y$C+4'P&E&3-,C&4/'1/3+7'"4'<%+="3 ;'?@(Z !" # !"#$%&' I )'L&%2&4/+#&7'-.',&-,3&'-36&%'/0+4'?^'F&+%7'-36'+46'/0&"%' 3&E&3'-.'&6$2+/"-4'"4'/0&'1%20",&3+#-'4&"#05-%0--6)':-$%2&>' Y$C+4'P&E&3-,C&4/'1/3+7'"4'<%+="3 ;'?@(Z


*'! 4.5! Economy As seen in Figure 7, while 63.4% of the population is employed (economically active), 7.4% is unemployed and a significant percentage, 29.2% is economicallyinactive (not employed nor unemployed). The primary economic activities are as follows: 60% of the population work in Porto Alegre providing services, 16% work in commerce, 8% in construction, and around 16% perform recycling of waste and fishing (Ferreira & Menezes, 2017). The following table illustrates the differences between the main economic indicators of the Archipelago neighborhood in comparison with Porto Alegre city. Type \ Place Porto Alegre Archipelago Economy Average monthly income ( US $) 471.5 82.6 Poverty (%) 3.8 10.26 H uman D evelopment I ndex (HDI) 0.8 0.6 Gini coefficient 0.6 0.46 B+53&' A )'H-4/%+7/'-.'&2-4-C"2'"46"2+/-%7 5&/_&&4'L-%/-'13&#%&'2"/F'+46' /0&' 1%20",&3+#-'4&"#05-%0--6)':-$%2&> B+53&'6&E&3-,&6'5F'+$/0-%'.%-C' !&%%&"%+'G'*&4&=&7 W ?@(KX J'N57&%E+' L-%/-'13&#%&'W LN1X'W?@(MX J' :-$= +'W ?@(AX J' Y$C+4'P&E&3-,C&4/'1/3+7'"4'<%+=" 3'W?@(ZX )'[-/& ( >'9"4"'2-&.."2"&4/'C&+7$%&7'&2-4-C"2'"4&S$+3"/F'"4'+'4+/"-4) [-/&' ?>'(']:`'&S$+37'O)M'<%+="3"+4'8&+37) 'After exploring the major socio-economic characteristics of the families in the Archipelago neighborhood, the next section will focus on how they deal with the challenges they face. This next section will explore important socio-economic concepts or movements that are helping low-income people, not only from the islands, but also from the entire state of Rio Grande do Sul, to improve their livelihoods. 5. Socioeconomic concep ts Rio Grande do Sul has a strong connection to the first socialist era that existed in Brazil. Thus, Porto Alegre has multiple projects tied to the concept of socialism that aim to alleviate poverty in the region. Below, there is a short description of the main concepts this field practicum is connected to for a better understanding of the context in which my field practicum was developed. !"#$%&' K )'a+5-%'.-%2&'6"E"7"-4'"4'/0&' 1%20",&3+#-',-,$3+/"-4)' :-$%2&>'Y$C+4'P&E&3-,C&4/'1/3+7'"4'<%+="3 ;'?@(Z


*(! 5.1! Economia Solidria Solidarity Economy or Economia Solidria in Portuguese aims to enhance solidarity in economic activities, unlike other mainstream economic models that promote competitive individualism (Culti, 2010). Solidarity Economies involve relationships among organizations of urban or rural communities, producers and consumers, based on trust, free association, cooperative work, and autonomy (Culti, 2010, Tygel, 2011; Martinez et al., 2018). There are no bosses or employees per se, rather, all members are owners. Solidarity Economy also promotes local, sustainable, and healthy production (Tygel, 2011). Interestingly, Porto Alegre is the pioneer city for this movement as it held one of the first conferences that would later help it to spread and reach out to other Brazilian communities. Due to the peripheral development of the cities, and the instability of employment between 1970 and 1990, Solidarity Economy was born as a response to the waves of unemployment. It became a strategy for the development of communities that wanted to preserve their autonomy and provide benefits for all its members (Singer et al., 2014; De Araujo & de Oliveira, 2017). After 1980, Solidarity Economy started expanding and supporting small projects that aimed to generate income for people living in poor peripheral areas. These small local projects were known as Solidarity Economic Enterprises (SEEs) (De Araujo & de Oliveira, 2017; Passuello et al., 2017). Consequently, Solidarity Economy has been adopted particularly by low-income, unemployed social groups or by people working in informal markets (Culti, 2010, De Araujo & de Oliveira, 2017). This new production model has been expanding throughout Brazil since the 1990s. In fact, between 2010 and 2012, Brazil had 33,518 SEEs. Furthermore, in 2011, the Brazilian government implemented the National Policy for Solidarity Economy in order to promote Solidarity Economies as a way to reduce poverty in the country (Martinez et al., 2018; Silva, 2011; Singer et al., 2014). SEEs have become a tool for vulnerable communities to develop and increase their sources of income. !"#$%&' M )'L%"42",3&7'-.':-3"6+%"/F' U2-4-CF>'H--,&%+/"-4;':-3"6+%"/F;' :&3. V C+4+#&C&4/'+46'U2-4-C"2' +2/"E"/F)':-$%2&>' P&'1%+$b-'G'6&' N3"E&"%+ ;'?@(K !"#$%&' Z )'B0&'2-42&,/'-.':-3"6+%"/F'U2-4-CF' "33$7/%+/&6'5F'*$%&' <)'"4'/0&'+%/"23&':-3"6+%"/"&7' U2-4-C"&7;'_"4/&%'?@(K)


*)! 5.2! Artisanal and Organic Fairs Artisanal and organic fairs are the current outlets to commercialize the products of SEEs. One of the most important ones in Latin America is the International Fair of Cooperatives (FEIRCOOP for its acronym in Portuguese) that takes place in Santa Maria, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. These artisanal and organic fairs are characterized by selling products that reflect and rescue artisanal production and traditional knowledge of local communities. Oliveira et al. (2012) define artisanal craftwork or artesanato in Portuguese, as the product of tradition and collective efforts to elaborate functional objects that will be used in everyday life; it has a practical purpose. From sustainable food production fairs (Feiras agroecolgicas) to artisanal craftworks fairs (Feiras de artesanato), these artisanal and organic fairs usually attract customers with high purchasing power who are able to pay for the extra care, certifications, and challenges involved in this singular small production (Picolotto & Bremm, 2016). In Porto Alegre, the fairs are regulated by the Municipal Secretary of Industry and Commerce (SMIC for its acronym in Portuguese), and they establish sites and regulations for vendors. Currently, Porto Alegre boasts 40 organic fairs available to its citizens. Vendors mostly sell organically-certified food, thus supporting family and !"#$%&' (@)':/+46'"4'+%/"7+4+3'.+"%'<-C !"C>' c1%/"7+4+3'2% + ./_-%R'.%-C'8"-'9%+46&'6-':$3>'<$F' .%-C'_0-'C+6&'"/)d'L0-/-'5F'+$/0-%;'L-%/-'13&#%&;' ?@(M) !"#$%&' (()'*&4"4-'P&$7'-%#+4"2'.+"%'"4'L-%/-'13&#%&;'<%+="3)'L0-/-'5F'+$/0-%;'L-%/-'13&#%&;'?@(M)'


"+! peasant agriculture occurring in the rural areas of the city. These fairs represent an alternative for the current agricultural model that promotes monoculture, and dependency on external inputs and property (De S, 2017; Picolotto & Bremm, 2016). The most traditional organic fairs in Porto Alegre are the BomFim (Figure 10) and Menino Deus (Figure 11) organic fairs. These organic fairs promote behavior changes among consumers, encouraging them to choose more sustainable food production systems. 5.3! Gender dynamics The Solidarity Economy contributes to both the economy and wellness of people, providing income through job opportunities, and improving the quality of life and social inclusion of its members, respectively. Most importantly, it also opens space for discussion on gender. In its beginnings, in most Solidarity Economy projects, males prevailed in cooperatives and in some cases division of work perpetuated traditional gender roles. For example, of the 1.4 million people involved, 620,000 are women, and 803,000 are men (Simon & Boeira, 2017), and only 4% of all Solidarity Economy projects has taken action to accommodate children during work hours ( Simon & Boeira, 2017). Most women who participate in Solidarity Economy projects have a partner (65.7%) and their participation is either their main or only income source for their family. Participation of women in the workforce has been gradually increasing; 49% are women entrepreneurs (Pereira et al., 2015; Simon & Boeira, 2017; Vieira et al., 2017). In fact, Martinez et al. (2018) reported that women are now the majority in solidarity economy entrepreneurships, reflecting the important role of Solidarity Economy in gender dynamics. Women entrepreneurship results not only in economic independence and socio-political inclusion but also in an increase in their self -esteem, due to their active participation in the public sphere (Foresti, 2015; Pereira et al., 2015; Simon & Boeira, 2017). Therefore, it is evident that even though occurring slowly, Solidarity Economies are contributing to a balance of gender dynamics in Porto Alegre. 5.4! Bolsa Familia The Bolsa Familia Program (BFP) is a national money-transfer program, given only to the mother in the family that has benefited more than 13 million Brazilian families. BFP aims to reduce poverty levels, promoting access to public services, mainly health, education and social assistance (Carloto & Mariano, 2012; Silva, 2011). Monetary support ranges from R$32 to R$242, depending on the income, age and number of children in the household. On one hand, BFP has allowed women to control income giving them some economic autonomy and a voice in household decision-making. On the other hand, Carloto and Mariano (2012), and de Arruda and Levrini (2015), argue that the transfer of money to women has reinforced the traditional role of women: housewives taking care of the children. Carloto & Mariano (2012), in their article Empowerment, work and care: women in family grant programs, argue that what really offers autonomy and empowerment to women is having control over their lives and having a job. The latter gives them dignity and respect along with personal gratification. Consequently, in order to empower more women, the Brazilian government should invest more in providing access to jobs, such as solidarity economies and social entrepreneurship projects (Silva, 2011).


"*! 5.5! Social Entrepreneurship Partnerships Social Entrepreneurship is a social innovation, a new application of entrepreneurship that uses market methods to solve social problems. It aims to create social value, incorporating unmet needs of low-income communities and the most vulnerable social groups, such as students, women, disabled, and unemployed or retired people. It also promotes innovation, proactivity, and risk management considering social, sustainable, and environmental dimensions (Andrade et al., 2018; Estivalete et al., 2018;). Social Entrepreneurship contributes to womens empowerment when promoting their social inclusion, helping them to achieve economic independence using what they already know, and providing them with new knowledge, abilities and opportunities (Andrade et al., 2018; Estivalete et al., 2018;). One important aspect to consider is the important role of the technological incubators, which are mainly universities, NGOs, and different types of organizations that support and promote social entrepreneurship projects such as SEEs in vulnerable communities (De Araujo & de Oliveira, 2017; Estivalete et al., 2018; Foresti, 2015; Silva, 2011; Simon & Boeira, 2017). One representative case of SEE supported by technological incubators is the partnership between the Ilhus Ecolgicos Association in Ilha das Flores, and the Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos (Unisinos for its acronym in Portuguese). This partnership allowed me to successfully conduct my field practicum in Porto Alegre. 6. The Ilhus Ecolgicos Association The Ecologic Islanders Association (Associao dos Ilhus Ecolgicos) was created in 2007 to socio-politically represent vulnerable families in Ilha das Flores. More specifically, according to its internal statute, the association aims to defend the possession and ownership of the islanders properties and the protection of the natural environment for the benefit of community members (Foresti, 2015). As can be seen in Figure 12, the !"#$%&' (@)'a-2+/"-4'-.'/0&'T30&$7'U2-3-#"2-7'1 77-2"+/"-4'"4'T30+'6+7'!3-%&7)':-$%2&>'9--#3&' U +%/0;'?@(M


""! association site is located next to the one bridge formed by the BR116 highway, on the left-hand margin of the island (Favero et al., 2016; For esti, 2015). The association has a committee, one man and one woman who have been friends for a long time, since both started living on the island. They attend government meetings (with other leaders of the community, such as regional social workers, local priest, among others) and are actively involved with local events where the islanders need to be represented. Providing the socio-political representation of the community, the association also receives food and clothes donations from differ ent philanthropic organizations, especially during flooding seasons. They are responsible for distributing donations to the most vulnerable families (Foresti, 2015). The female-led association, with five currently active families, focuses on developing and supporting activities that will generate income for its associated families, and will promote environmental education through diffusion of sustainable activities in their community. Currently, the association receives support from the technical incubators detailed in Figure 13, by year and project: Among the main economic activities that are aligned to the previously explained movements, such as solidarity economy and social entrepreneurship, the association performs the following activities (Avesol, 2015; Moraes et al., 2018): Solid waste segregation Jewelry made from plastic packaging Bags made from umbrella fabrics. Artisanal soap made from the recycling of used cooking oil 6.1! The artisanal soap and its socio-environmental application The most profitable economic activity of the Ilhus Ecolgicos Association is the artisanal soap. The group that produces it is formed by four women, and they call themselves the Ecological Soap Group (ESG). The ESG generates income by producing and selling artisanal soap, made by recycling used cooking oil and using medicinal herbs. The ESG offers a variety of soaps, including aromatic, non-aromatic and powder soap for washing machines, that attract different customers. See the artisanal soap product in Figure 14. Redecriar 2008 Sustainable Jewlery Avesol Food and clothes donations Unisinos 2017 Construction of Soap Factory !"#$%&' (()'a"7/'-.'/&204-3-#"2+3'"42$5+/-%7'2$%%&4/3F'7$,,-% /"4#' /0&'+77-2"+/"-4)'!"#$%&'6&E&3-,&6'5F'+$/0-%


"#! The ESG thus seeks to increase their income by increasing their sales outlets and adding new members to the group (Moraes et al., 2017). The production and marketing of the artisanal soap, which is currently sold at the most popular organic fair in Porto Alegre, Bom Fim (see Figure 15) is also the main activity that my field practicum contributed to. 6.2! The importance of the artisanal soap Artisanal soap is an old and traditional strategy to address the problem of fat and waste cooking oil. Cooking oil is a serious problem because many households generate it but dispose it incorrectly. In fact, disposal of waste cooking oil becomes a challenge because people pour it down the sink (Chhetri et al, 2008; Neira, 2014; Martin & de Laet, 2018). In urban areas, the incorrect disposal of waste cooking oil complicates sewage purification, and oil might reach water bodies. In rural areas, with no adequate sewage systems, the waste cooking oil is illegally discharged into the soil, rivers or landfills (Andrade et al., 2018; Chhetri et al, 2008; Felix et al., 2017; Soares et al., 2017). According to Neira (2014) and Martin & de Laet (2018), one liter of used cooking oil pollutes 1000 liters of water. This represents a threat to marine life, water and soil resources (Neira, 2014). Consequently, searching for sustainable techniques to collect and manage waste cooking oil is critical, and the ESG in the Ilhus Ecolgicos is leading the way to correctly dispose and manage used cooking oil in Porto Alegre. According to Felix et al. (2017), artisanal soap was made in the past to reuse animal fats, and it is now made as an income source for low-income families in rural areas. Its artisanal production is supported because people consider it is good for skin and health, and because it is an environmentally friendly product (Felix et al., 2017; Souza, 201 4; Soares et al., 2017). Artisanal soap promotes environmental awareness and the recycling Figure 12. A loe Vera a rtisanal soap made by ESG. Photo by author, Porto Alegre, 2018 Figure 13. Stand of the ESG where artisanal soap is sold in the Bom Fim organic fair. Photo by author, Porto Alegre, 2018.


"$! of cooking oil residues. Thus, it is considered both an environmental education tool and a profitable economic activity because it helps people realize about sustainable alternatives to discard used cooking oil (Andrade et al., 2018; Felix et al., 2017; Umar et al., 2015), and helps the ESG generate income for improving their livelihood conditions. Although three technological incubators were listed before, t he ESG is currently only receiving support from Unisino s, my host organization.


"%! !III. Field Practicum Scope 1. Host Organization I completed my field practicum with the support of Unisinos which is a private university with two campuses: one located in Porto Alegre and another one in Sao Leopoldo, both in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. In the Sao Leopoldo campus, within the Mechanical Engineering faculty, there is a research group called Ncleo de Caracterizao de Materias (Nucmat for its acronym in Portuguese) that focuses on techniques of identification, management, and selection of materials to minimize the generation of waste from industries and to promote cleaner production methods. Their main research areas are: Optimization of production processes Industrial solid waste management Life-cycle assessments and cleaner production Bioenergy production from agricultural biomass Energy potentials of materials Nucmat is operated by Carlos (Metallurgic engineer), Regina (Agronomist), Feliciane (Chemist) and Cynthia (Biologist). The research group has been recently involved in socio-environmental projects, mainly developing sustainable products and supporting projects for local associations working on the basis of Solidarity Economy. One of the associations they have been collaborating with since 2017 is the Ilhus Ecolgicos Association, and Nucmat provided me with the opportunity to contribute to this collaboration through my field practicum. 2. Objectives: 2.1! General objective Contribute to the social, environmental, and economic sustainability of the Ilhus Ecolgicos Association by supporting their main economic activity, artisanal soap production, as it continues generating income for the vulnerable families in Ilha das Flores. 2.2! Specific objectives 2.2.1! Explore the opportunity to increase the number of families participating in the artisanal soap group and the association by interviewing residents 2.2.2! Contribute to expanding the sales outlets for the artisanal soap by conducting a market study. 2.2.3! Promote team building of the group producing artisanal soap by learning and strengthening their current successful practices.


"&! 2.2.4! Develop a community diagnosis of Ilha das Flores for future collaboration between Unisinos and the community by interviewing residents and analyzing literature. 3. Conceptual Framework Figure 16 represents the conceptual framework for this field practicum. This framework illustrates the economic, environmental, and social factors affecting families living in Ilha das Flores, some of whom belong to the Ilhus Ecolgicos Association. First, economic factors include families subsisting on low income or no income at all due to the lack of job opportunities, along with the economic inequalities created by the disorganized urbanization the city has experienced. Second, environmental factors include constraints experienced by families living in an Environmental Protecte d Area, such as precarious infrastructure, risk of displacement, and continual risk of flooding due to the insular nature of these communities. Third, social factors include the health risks islander face for living in precarious conditions and having limi ted access to health services. At the same time, the community members have low levels of education and the limited education they can access is of low quality. In an effort to overcome these barriers, the Ilhus Ecolgicos Association was created to represent the vulnerable families in Ilha das Flores Fortunately, the association does not act alone; it has external support from different NGOs, and universities, such as Unisinos My field practicum !"#$%&' (A)'H-42&,/$+3'.%+C&_-%R'-.'CF'."&36',%+2/"2$C)'!"#$%&'6&E&3-,&6'5F'+$/0-%)'[-/&>':N('C&+47'7,&2"."2' -5b&2/"E&'(;'+46':N?'C&+47 7,&2"."2'-5b&2/"E&'?)


"'! deliverables, illustrated at the top of the diagram, contributed to Unisinos efforts in supporting the Ilhus Ecolgicos, specifically to the sustainability of ESG. My field practicum deliverables included a community diagnosis of Ilha das Flores that would not only contribute to Unisinos research interests but would also contribute to increasing the members of the ESG. In addition, I developed a manual on soap production that will benefit the training of future members of the ESG. I also contributed to strengthening the internal organization of the ESG by working on teambuilding techniques and helping them explore market opportunities for expanding the sales outlets of the artisanal soap. The ESG is highly committed to produce artisanal soaps on the basis of SEEs and that is the reason Solidarity Economy is on the bottom of the framework diagram. It is also important to note the environmentally-friendly region in which the association operates (a local culture for sustainability) because it allows a market for recycled products, with artisanal and organic fairs, and socioenvironmental mindful consumers. With the increase of sales outlets and the resultant increase in their income, these families hope to secure better livelihoods, in which health and other services are no longer deficient and the environment is not damaged but conserved. 4. Contribution to Sustainable Development Goals The multidisciplinary focus of my field practicum contributes to achieving different Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as developed by the United Nations (2018). The most important SDG related to my field practicum is #12 Responsible Consumption and Production. The ESG is ensuring sustainable production through the recycling of used cooking oil because there is no waste generated during the artisanal soap production; rather, waste such as animal fat and used cooking oil is required for producing artisanal soap. At the same time, the ESG promotes sustainable consumption !"#$%&' (^)'*+"4':P97'CF'."&36',%+2/"2$C'2-4/%"5$/&7'/-)'!"#$%&'6&E&3-,&6'5F' +$/0-%;'?@(Z )':-$%2&>']4"/&6'[+/"-47' _&57"/&'W?@(MX


"(! patterns because the artisanal soap does not have any residues when it is consumed, and it does not need packaging for its sale. The second SDG would be #1 because selling artisanal soap can help low-income families in the islands to generate their income and can potentially contribute to getting them out of poverty (United Nations, 2018). As discussed before, SEEs empower women but also other vulnerable groups in society, so it promotes inclusive and decent work for all contributing to the economic growth of the region. Hence my field practicum satisfies both SDG #5 and #8. Lastly, since most SEEs target low-income families in rural areas of Porto Alegre, this study contributes to reducing inequalities within the city and maybe the state of Rio Grande do Sul, contributing to SDG #10. After describing the scope of my field practicum, the next section focuses on the research methodology used in the development of it.


")! !IV.! Methodology The research methodology for my field practicum built on both qualitative and quantitative methods. Before going to the field, some of these instruments were discussed and planned with my supervisory committee, but once I arrived in the field, some other instruments needed to be developed, and they were discussed with my host organization. Figure 18 provides a summary of the methods used during my field practicum in relation to the deliverables, and how they accomplished each specific objective. 1. Li terature review A literature review was developed before going to my field practicum and helped me to get a grasp of the contextual information of my field practicums location. Thus, when people talked about environmental, social or economic factors of the community, I was familiar with the topics discussed and that also served to build trust with the !"#$%&' (I)'a"7/'-.'C&/0-67'+,,3"&6'6$%"4#'CF'."&36',%+2/"2$C'/-'+20"&E&'&+20'-5b&2/"E&)'!"#$%&'6&E&3-,&6'5F' +$/0-% )


#+! association members. More literature review was required when implementing the practicum in the field. I reviewed additional literature when designing and before conducting my methodology in order to obtain better outcomes. 2. Semi structured interviews in the community Semi-structured interviews were carried out with two objectives: 1) to develop a community diagnosis of the Ilha das Flores, and 2) to search for potential new members for the ESG and/or the association. Thirty-six semi-structured interviews were conducted in the Ilha das Flores for three weeks with the help of my local gatekeeper. My local gatekeeper was the secretary of the Association, a leader in the islanders community that the university team introduced to me in the first meeting we had when I arrived in Brazil. He introduced me to members of the community where I carried out the interviews. These interviews were recorded, last ed between 15-20 minutes and targeted vulnerable households as a priority. Thus, the interviews were conducted with 33 females and three males. This approach took longer than the other methods to implement because we faced many issues, including use of local jargon by the interviewees that increased the difficulty to understanding clearly their responses. Many interviewees also sought out the help of my gatekeeper when responding to some of the questions. Others did not provide specific examples to some questions but agreed with examples I provided to them. For example: Interviewer: What are the basic needs that are not being met in your family? Participant 20: How so? Interviewer: Basic needs such as food, education, clothes. What your family needs the most, but it is difficult to get Participant 20: Ah, I think it is more like education. Consequently, some bias might have influenced their final answers. In addition, we had to plan around the weather because it was Winter, meaning walking long distances under very cold and rainy days in the South of Brazil. Health issues of my gatekeepers relatives also figured among the challenges to carry out the interviews. !"#$%&' (K)':&C"V 7/%$2/$%&6'"4/&%E"&_7' 2-46$2/&6'"4'T30+'6+7'!3-%&7)'L0-/-'5F'+$/0-%;'L-%/-' 13&#%&;'?@(M)


#*! !3. Participant/Ethnographic observation I anticipated carrying out ethnographic and participant observation to understand better the cultural context and the community I would be involved with during my field practicum. Participant and ethnographic observation enabled me to understand the culture, behavior, and group dynamics of the members of the Ilhus Ecolgicos Association. In order to carry out participant observation, I spent a lot of time on the island. I spent three days a week in the association, mainly contributing to the artisanal soap production, and attended other community events on occasion (See Figure 20). This crucial time together fostered the creation of an environment of trust, in which we got to know each other better. It not only helped me to get to know the group better, but also gave them an opportunity to get to know me. Once this important groundwork was laid, the application of other methods became easier to conduct. !"#$%&' (M )'U/04-#%+,0"2'G'L+%/"2",+4/'N57&%E+/"-4'()'B-,>'Y&3,"4#'"4' /0&'7-+,',%-6$2/"-4)'<-//-C'3&./>'Y&3,"4#'/-'7&33'/0&'7-+,'+/'/0&' -%#+4"2'.+"%)'<-//-C'%"#0/>'e+3R"4#'/-#&/0&%'/-'/0&'720--3'/0&F'%&2&"E&6' 23+77&7'.%-C' [9N 8&6&2%"+%)'L0-/-7'5F'+$/0-%;'L-%/-'13&#% &;'?@(M)'


#"! !4. Photos documentation of soap production: Participant observation helped me to understand that the literacy rate in the community was an important factor to consider in the development of a training manual. Therefore, documenting the artisanal soap production with photos was chosen as the best approach to develop a manual that aimed to benefit future members of the soap group. This deliverable contributed indirectly to the specific objective 1 (SO1) of my field practicum: Explore the opportunity to increase the number of participants in the ESG. The manual aims to be a training tool for future members of the ESG to make it easier to produce the soap. During the weeks I spent with the Ilhus Ecolgicos, two days were exclusively devoted to work on soap production. There, I took the opportunity to take pictures throughout the production process to start developing the artisanal soap training manual (See Figure 22 below). However, one of the shortcomings was that the ESG has its own organizational methods, and sometimes, they had some stages completed before I arrived at the island. Thus, some prep-steps were missed and not documented at all. As a result, this manual is on hold to be printed later because it will be updated to include more formal pictures of the complete process, as per conversation with my host organization. !"#$%&' (Z)'U/04-#%+,0"2'G'L+%/"2",+4/'N57&%E+/"-4'?)'B-,'3&./>'*&&/"4#'-.'/0&'%&#"-4+3'2-CC"77"-4'.-%'7-2"+3' +77"7/+42&'"4'T30+'6+7'!3-%&7)'<-//-C'3&./>'L+%/"2",+/"-4'-.'/0&'U:9'"4'+4'-%#+4"2'.+"%'+/'+'720--3'"4' L-%/-'13&#%&' 2"/F)'8"#0/',0-/->'8&6&2%"+%'23+77'+/'/0&'720--3'"4'/0&'"73+46)'L0-/-7'5F'+$/0-%;'L-%/-'13&#%&;'?@(M)


##! 5. Interviews and informal conversations Five interviews were conducted with the active members of the Ilhus Ecolgicos Association in order to understand their roles in the association and to know more about their background. The interviews were conducted during the second week I arrived on the island. Therefore, for me, it was still difficult to understand some of the local language used by the associates. They also did not know me well yet, so some answers were short, and the information provided was limited, even though I conducted the interviews privately. As a way to confirm the information I gathered from the interviews was correct, I tried to ask them the same questions in more informal settings, through informal conversations while we were working on soap production. In this way, some answers were clarified and completed. 6. Participatory Action Research (PAR) At the association site, three PAR activities were conducted mainly with the members of the ESG since the PAR activities aimed to foster team building and strengthen their internal organization (See Figure 23). The first PAR activity was called Drawing your !"#$%&' ?@)':4",'-.'/0&'+%/"7+4+3'7-+,',%-6$2/"-4'C+4$+3)'!"#$%&'5F'+$/0-% ;'?@(Z)'


#$! past and your present and included a discussion of women empowerment (See Appendix 1). It lasted 2 hours and 30 minutes, and one male associate participated during the first part of the activity. For the second part, where women empowerment was discussed, only the three females of the ESG participated. The second PAR activity, called Future visioning of the artisanal soap, was carried out with the ESG and lasted 1 hour and 15 minutes (See Appendix 2). Both PAR activities consisted of designs and drawings made by the members of the ESG, followed by a reflection and a final commitment to improve the weaknesses identified as a group. A third PAR activity called Team building and internal organization was also conducted with the ESG in order to contribute to strengthening their internal organization (See Appendix 3). It lasted 45 minutes and aimed to provide examples of organizational methods for the ESG, such as bookkeeping, scheduling, and calendaring, among others. At the same time, it highlighted the importance of team building. One of the challenges faced in this method was the unwillingness of women to express their opinions freely. They usually waited for the leader of the group to provide responses. However, the drawing process provided a lot of useful information that words could not. 7. Interviews of customers Fifty interviews were carried out with customers at the sales stand in the Bom Fim organic fair where the ESG sells the artisanal soap every Saturday morning (see Figure 24). The interviews were conducted over four Saturdays with people who I identified as a customer. Thus, a customer was the person who already knew the price of the soap, and/or who did not ask about the function of the soap, and/or who knew the name of the types of soap. The interviews lasted from 2-3 minutes only and were recorded. These interviews aimed to explore the customers !"#$%&' ?()'B0%&&'L18'+2/"E"/"&7'2-46$2/&6'"4'/0&' +77-2"+/"-4'7"/&)'B-,>'L18'()'*"663&>'L18'?)'<-// -C>'' L18'O)'L0-/-7'5F'+$/0-%;'L-%/-'13&#%&;'?@(M


#%! preferences and to gain greater awareness of other organic fairs happening within the municipality of Porto Alegre. These interviews helped to conduct the market study that contributed to specific objective 2 of the field practicum: to expand the sales outlets for the artisanal soap. No major difficulties were encountered in the application of this method. 8. Online research about other organic fairs I conducted research online on the website of the Porto Alegre municipality to investigate the requirements that vendors need to meet to sell at organic fairs. I did not find much information on that topic, but I did find a map showing the location of most of the organic fairs within the municipality, with minimal information about each, as seen in Figure 25. That helped me learn about the other organic fairs happening in town, including the other popular organic fairs mentioned by customers in the interviews. !"#$%&' ??)'T4/&%E"&_'/-'2$7/-C&%7'-.'/0&'+%/"7+4+3'7-+,'+/'/0&'-%#+4"2'.+"%'<-C'!"C'"4'L-%/-'13&#%&)'L0-/-'5F' +$/0-%;'?@(M


#&! Since I wanted to explore the requirements that the ESG needed to comply with in order to expand their sales, I decided to go visit and talk to the vendors at the organic fairs to investigate the steps needed to sell there. In total, I visited eight organic fairs in Porto Alegre between June and July, and recorded information for each of these fairs in an Excel spreadsheet. !"#$%&' ?O)'N4'/0&'%"#0/'7"6&;'/0&'"4.-%C+/"-4'-.'/0&'7&3&2/&6'-%#+4"2' .+"%;'+46'-4'/0&'3&./'7"6&;'+'C +,'-.'-%#+4"2'.+"%7' "4'L-%/-'13&#%&)':-$%2&>'*$4"2",+3"/F' -.' L-%/-'13&#%&;'?@(M


#'! !V. Data Analysis & Results To keep this report focused on the main deliverables, only four methods were subjected to analysis: Field notes about ethnographic/participant observation, PARs, semistructured interviews, and interviews of customers. 1. Field Notes about Participa nt Observation and Informal Conversations Field notes were recorded in a notebook while in Brazil, and when I came back to the United States, they were transcribed into a Word document to organize by date, location, and population sample. Comments and observations were added to the notebooks margins when reviewed later again, and these notes were color coded according to the method applied. These notes and comments were considered and added to the analysis of other methods. 1.1! Results Informal conversations carried out when doing participant observation allowed me to get to know the members of the association better. I learned about their past, their present, and their future goals. Table 5 below contains the answers gathered from the interviews I carried out with the associations members. Interviews Member 1 Member 2 Member 3 Member 4 Member 5 Age 57 45 38 23 56 Education Incomplete high school Incomplete elementary school Incomplete high school College Complete high school Main role in the association General coordinato r Associate Associate Communicati on assistant Secretary Soap production as main source of income? No. Husbands income No. Social benefits Yes No, but it helps No. Currently unemployed What they like about their involvement Benefits for the community Donations To help people To help people Involve people What they do not like about their involvement Nothing Nothing Nothing Lack of participation Time it takes for people to learn Changes they would like to see for the association Expand jurisdiction and benefit for people More organized, cleaner place Bigger space, add sell of food More organized, cleaner place Having their own site B+53&' ^ )'8&7$3/7'#+/0&%&6'.%-C'"4/&%E"&_"4#'C&C5&%7'-.'/0&'T30&$7'U2-3-#"2-7' 1 77-2"+/"-4;'2-C,3&C&4/&6'_"/0' "4.-%C+3'2-4E&%7+/"-47)'B+53&'6&E&3-,&6'5F'+$/0-%;'?@(M) *An important note to make here is that members 1, 2 and 4 are relatives. Member 4 was able to go to college and pay some of her education with the money she earned in the group. It is due to her education and her desire for personal growth that she found an internship opportunity and started working for the municipality, so she was not able to keep wo rking with the group However, she still assists them during weekends, at the organic fair.


#(! In addition, during the participant observation, I was able to get involved in most of the steps of the artisanal soap production, so I learned to make the artisanal soap. During the process I took pictures to develop the artisanal soap production manual for the ESG, which will benefit future members. A quick guide for producing the artisanal soap can be found in Appendix 4 and a composition per unit of soap can also be found in Appendix 5. The artisanal soap making process is summarized in Figure 26 below. From mixing up these ingredients in one bucket, the ESG produce four containers of artisanal soap, and then these four blocks of soap are cut up into 12 pieces, as seen in the Figure 27 below. Each recipe (or bucket) yields 48 artisanal soap bars in total. The ESG produces four or five buckets of artisanal soap every week to sell at the organic fair. !"#$%&' ?A)'T33$7/%+/"-4'-.'/0&'%&2",&'.-%' AM' +%-C+/"2'+%/"7+4+3'7-+,'5+%7)'!"#$%&'6&E&3-,&6'5F'+$/0-%;'?@(M) !"#$%&' ?^)'!"4+3'7/&,7'-.'/0&'+%/"7+4+3'7-+,',%-6$2/"-4)'L0-/-7'5F'+$/0-%;'?@(M)


#)! Participant observation also provided me with details that one person can only learn if he/she works along with the producers. Therefore, I learned that it is really the simplicity of the process and nature of the soap that make the artisanal soap profitable. For example, Figure 28 represents the value chain of the artisanal soap, showing the trips the ESG has to make to get their ingredients from the market, and to sell the artisanal soap at the organic fair. It is usually one person who selectively collects the animal fat from vendors at the market in Porto Alegre, so it does not have any cost, as seen in Figure 28. However, the chemical called breu is purchased at the market at 25 Brazilian Reals (R$) per kg. The used cooking oil is collected from customers at the organic fair Bom Fim every Saturday, so it does not have any cost either. The herbs used in the making of the soap are sometimes exchanged by bars of soaps to vendors at the Bom Fim organic fair and some of them are cultivated in the surroundings of the Ilhus Ecolgicos Association site, in the island. The caustic soda and the alcohol are both purchased from companies and delivered to the Ilhus Ecolgicos Association site. Figure 28 also includes the cost of Uber trips the ESG make to arrive to the organic fair. Even though sometimes it is difficult to get, Uber is used by the ESG to carry the artisanal soap to the organic fair and to bring back the collected cooking oil. !"#$%&' ?I)'8&,%&7&4/+/"-4'-.'f+3$&'H0+"4'-.'/0&'1%/"7+4+3':-+,'L%-6$2/"-4)'P"+#%+C'6&E&3-,&6'5F'+$/0-%;'?@(Z The value chain along with the recipe information allowed me to calculate the profitability of the artisanal soap. Some services such as electricity, gas, and water are not included in the cost calculations. The association site is not billed for water. The


$+! electricity cost is difficult to calculate because the bill is shared with a house next door and during the process, electricity is not needed unless it gets dark. Gas is also difficult to calculate because it is used for both melting the animal fat, and cooking food for everyone in the ESG. The calculations are reflected in Figure 29 below. Only both the costs of paid ingredients and that of transportation were included in the calculations. Note that these calculations are for one typical Saturday in which the ESG take about 192 soaps bars to sell. Therefore, the total revenue shown in Figure 29 should be only a reference about the profitability of the artisanal soap. Once the ESG starts bookkeeping, taking notes and saving receipts, a more accurate calculation can be developed. 2. Participatory Action Research Analysis & Results In order to conduct the analysis of the PAR activities, the following instruments were considered: the recordings, planned handouts pictures of the diagrams produced during the activity, and notes from my field notebook. The first step in the analysis involved doing this round of checklist for each PAR activity, separately. After that, one report was created for each activity, and notes were made and recorded in a word document. After each activity had its own report done, I started studying all three reports collectively intending to identify similar or contradict ory patterns. Major findings were grouped and labeled. The results for PAR#1 are reported in the table below. !"#$%&' ?K)'e&&R3F',%-."/+5"3"/F'-.'/0&'+%/"7+4+3'7-+,',%-6$2/"-4'+46'6"7/%"5$/"-4)'B+53&'6&E&3-,&6'5F' +$/0-%;'?@(Z


$*! 2.1! Results PAR #1: Drawing your past and your present Findings Quotes Past life challenges before the associates became involved. The association and the ESG beginnings Activities in the community achieved by the association Responsibility and commitment within the members Satisfaction and benefits awareness of the artisanal soap Knowledge about woman empowerment My son was disabled... I do not remember the year he died. He was 16 years old. I took care of him, he used to get a disability pension and I took care of him. -Participant 3 (P3) We met a Marist monk and he realized that we [a cooperation] needed to create an association, a legal institution so that we become better empowered. To have a representation. He did all the paperwork and payments required.-Participant 2 (P2) The Marist monk brought a nun and she did an artisanal soap workshop and [name] was there and she started doing it.-P2 We started organizing a community garden P2 We prepared a big pot of soap for all the kids, food. I remember the time when [name] used to do that. -P2 I go [even] when I am sick, I go [to organic fair] with a headache, with body ache. I drink tea and go. -Participant 1 (P1) Happy to sell the [artisanal] soap. You make soap and the first time you do it, you know you have benefits, and it worked out because here everyone earns its money. -P1 Empowered woman: [Name] studied, makes decisions. She knows what to do, and she is the boss. P3 Not empowered woman: A not empowered woman has ten kidsP4 B+53&' I )'*+"4'."46"4#7 +46' S$-/&7'-5/+"4&6'.%-C'L18'g()'B+53&'6&E&3-,&6'5F'+$/0-% ;'?@(Z ) In the first part of the activity, we talked about their present and the participants drew it. In Figure 30, Image A below, participants drew activities related to the artisanal soap production. However, only one drawing shows a table with people because that represents what the secretary of the association does. They all reported they feel satisfied and happy with what they do. After that, we moved to talking about their past, Image B, and this is where we spent most of the time. Participants drew and commented on their drawings. Different topics came out, such as the creation of a women-led cooperative, previous activities in the community (i.e. community kitchen), personal issues, religious leaders and their roles in the islanders community, the early stages of the association and the ESG, previous activities they tried to profit from but


$"! failed, the process to sell the artisanal soap in the organic fair, among other issues. At the end, we discussed about women empowerment, Image C, and I noticed they were already familiar with the term. In my journal, I wrote: They have a good understanding of what empowerment means. They provided a good description of what an empowered woman looked like in the island without taking too much time. Personal journal on July 3rd, 2018 !"#$%&' ?M)'P%+_"4#7'2%&+/&6'5F',+%/"2",+4/7'"4'L18g()'L"2/$%&'5F'+$/0-%;'?@(M


$#! I perceived they knew the term because they started relating the concept to their neighbors. They could identify characteristics of empowered and not -empowered women, as can be seen in Figure 30 C. On the left side of image C, they drew a woman with one child (blue square), a woman with money in their hands (red square), three women discussing issues in their community (purple square), and a woman going to college (black square). On the right side of image C, they drew a woman who stays at home, does not do much work, has a lot of kids, and a husband who provides money for her. Interestingly, having education does not necessarily meant a woman is empowered, for example, the participants said: She did not study. She works, lives by herself, but she never went to college. -P3 She knows how to read, how to write, do math, but she never went to school. -P4 In PAR activity #2 we discussed about the future of the ESG, their hopes, challenges and expectations. The results are shown in Table 7 below: B+53&' K )'*+"4'."46"4#7;'S$-/&7'+ 46',"2/$%&7'-5/+"4&6'.%-C'L18'g?)'B+53&'6&E&3-,&6'5F'+$/0-% ;'?@(Z ) PAR #2: Future Visioning of the ESG Findings Quotes Pictures They are aware of the strengths of their product They identified their opportunities as small enterprises They identified weaknesses to work on as a group They identified their threats We have good sales. We do not use raw materials. The used cooking oil is recycled. -P1 They [customers] love the soap -P1 Gods will, and the business grows, we might teach a workshop [of artisanal soap] in the United States. -P1 We will have a soap factory [in the future] -P4 Keep working together. -P4 Be more responsible. Bookkeeping -P1 Work towards the objectives. P3 She told me: Ahhh! you have to have a certificate. We have to see if that soap is made with good quality alcohol. If it is not right, if it were done differently, you have to close here. You cannot sell here because here we only sell natural products, good stuff. It was a woman from the municipality P1


$$! When developing the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis of the ESG, the participants identified the artisanal soap quality and ingredients as their major strength. The ESGs weaknesses were mainly related to the lack of effective teamwork. Its opportunities were more related to market opportunities and better implementation of the production process, and its threats were mainly related to paperwork. At the end of the activity, I asked them to think in a short-term future, and to draw what they envision for the ESG by 2023. They drew a cycle of production and sales of the artisanal soap as seen in Table 7. On the bottom right side of the lower picture, the participants drew a factory for producing the artisanal soap, a car for transporting it, and three new sales outlets for selling it. Last, P1 emphasized their mission as a group: What we want is to make people aware of not pouring cooking oil on the ground or in the water. PAR #3 outcomes are provided in the following table: PAR #3: Team building and internal organization Findings Quotes Pictures The association site used as a sharing space to talk and eat together. They stated what they want for the ESG They are aware of the economic and environmental benefits the artisanal soap provides Their internal organization We try to make this a community/family-life place, like a home so even when there is not work to do, they [still] come. P1 We are ready [for changes]. We want changes in order to grow and sell more [soap]. -P3 We can work on the certification; we want to grow!P1 We want a big sign that says: Leave here your oil donationP1 She was pouring the oil on the ground, in the soil, and I told her not to do it because she was polluting the environment.-P3 She told me that there is not profit in the soap, and I told her it does! It generates a lot of profit!-P3 We have receipts, but we do not take notes [bookkeeping] -P4 While two or three are cutting the animal fat, another one can be organizing the space. -P1 B+53&' M )'*+"4'."46"4#7;'S$-/&7'+46',"2/$%&7'-5/+"4&6'.%-C'L18'gO)'B+53&'6&E&3-,&6'5F'+$/0-%;'?@(Z )


$%! During this activity, we mainly discussed how they organized themselves as a group. We talked about the activities they completed and the time it took for doing it, mainly from Monday to Saturday. Their activities are not constant, and it depends a lot on what is to-do for the day. As can be seen in the upper image in Table 8, we created a one-week schedule, in order to detail other activities that they do besides the soap production. All of them commented on different occasions about other issues such as: We clean here We organize the space We organize the clothes donations we have We go to Redecriar class We make bags from umbrellas fabrics when there is demand We clean the oil We walk around the island and look for the herbs we might need The participants were also aware of the importance of organization and discipline in teamwork. When I asked them why organization and discipline are important, they said: To do not waste time -P4 So that people can trust us -P1 So that we do not have a mess -P1 (Here P1 means to avoid people arguing about who worked more or less) 3. Semi structured Interviews Analysis & Results Thirty-six semi-structured interviews were transcribed into an excel spreadsheet. The first step in data analysis was to find and color code key words most frequently mentioned during the interviews. The second step was to have the transcriptions printed out to identify key terms, to make notes on the margins, and mark similarities throughout the interviews. The third step involved creating a new spreadsheet to color code these key words and terms, and participants quotes were assigned to each of the different codes created. While quotes were being organized, memos were also produced and initial thoughts on data analysis were noted. The fourth step involved grouping the codes into categories according to emerging patterns based on similarity and frequency. After that, in excel, a pivot table was created to help visualize the quotes under each category. The fifth step involved reviewing codes again to check for validity and consistency, and some codes were reclassified or added to new categories. The sixth step aimed to find relationships between categories and reduced the number of them. At the end, the initial 103 codes were organized into 22 categories. After having simplified the data into these new categories, additional information based on a literature review, field notes, and other informal conversations with key informants in the community were also included to develop the grounded theory, mainly characterized by six themes.


$&! 3.1! Results Figure 31 summarizes the demographic information of the sample interviewed. !"#$%&' ?Z)'P&C-#%+,0"2'"4.-%C+/"-4'-.',+%/"2",+4/7'"4'T30+'6+7' !3-%&7)'9%+,07'6&E&3-,&6'5F'+$/0-%;'?@( Z


$'! Semi-structured interviews resulted in six major themes that together formed the grounded theory that builds the community diagnosis for Ilha das Flores: 3.1.1! Built vs Natural Environment Topic Number of Participants Representative Quotes Rain damages 18 When it rains, the street s get all flooded IFSD018 Here people have died, have lost their belongings. In my case, I woke up right when the water was coming into my house. IFSD004 [Flooding] is getting bigger; it gets worse and stronger every time it comes. IFSD010 Electricity provision 10 Electricity is a need. We have electricity but it is informal, so if it rains heavily, it cuts off, and we are at risk to be on fire IFSD013 There are some very dark areas that become dangerous IFSD003 Basic sanitation 8 Our sewer is open, and it attracts a lot of mosquitos in the Summer IFSD007 We do not have basic sanitation. It will be good if we had it IFSD025 Restrictions to improve houses 7 Here there is no way to build, to build a better house because it is a green area. IFSD018 People have difficulties doing house improvements. They have conservation [area], and [agency name] does not allow it. IFSD003 Public space for kids and adults 17 A closer plaza for the kids, like a closed gym for kids who like to play football, volleyball because there are so many kids. So, we keep them off the streets IFSD005 A public plaza, a place for kids to come and have a place, for those who cannot go out (of the island), inside the community IFSD033 It will be great, a plaza for us to sit, pray, get together, have ch imarro [local traditional tea] that we love here. IFSD004 B+53&' Z )'a"7/'-.'C+b-%'."46"4#7'%&3+/&6'/-'"4.%+7/%$2/$%&'"4'/0&'"73+46 )'B+53&'6&E&3-,&6'5F'+$/0-%;'?@(Z


$(! Table 9 above represents the main issues related to infrastructure that were mentioned by the interviewed participants, followed by the number of participants (out of 36) that commented on that specific issue, and followed by some representative quotes for better understanding of what the issue truly means for islanders. In addition, five participants complained about the poor infrastructure in the island, mainly because streets lack asphalt. This is no life! When walking, an old sick person, just sees water, and to live in that mud is awful; those are not [good] conditions. Ill people have to deal with mud everywhere, and it is very seriousIFSD024 Five participants also complained about other people littering in the island, for example: Most people throw their garbage into the bushes. throw it on the ground. IFSD005 3.1.2! Education Figure 32 below represents the levels of education achieved by participants in Ilha das Flores. There is only one daycare and one school at Ilha das Flores, and the school only offers elementary education. During the interviews, people commented on other extracurricular activities, training workshops, and social programs, previously organized by the local government, that were taken away or ended, but were never renewed. Please see Table 10 below for the major findings related to education in the island. !"#$%&' O@)'a&E&3'-.'U6$2+/"-4'-.',+%/"2",+4/7'"4'T30+'6+7'!3-%&7)'!"#$%&'6&E&3-,&6'5F' +$/0-%;'?@(M' 23 6 3 2 2 Highest levels of education in Ilha das Flores Incomplete Elementary School Complete Elementary School Incomplete High School Complete High School No Education


$)! Topic Number of Participants Representative Quotes Poor quality education 8 Learning in our school is weak. My daughter is eight years old and she has not learned to read yet. Teachers are not pushing enough. IFSD002 Our school has to improve, it's too bad bah! Too bad, abandoned! IFSD029 Willingness to learn 9 I would like to learn, to participate in other things. It is always good for people. It is better when you learn more. You have more knowledge IFSD004 The municipality [should] bring something for us to do workshops, something because we do not have [those]. S ewing classes, something for people to learn and do at home. IFSD014 Nostalgia for previous socioeconomic programs 7 When we had the Pro youth program, we earned 100 [Brazilian reals] monthly when we participated. IFSD002 We used to make desserts, bread, knitting, the flour group, and it was good. I participated there and I liked it. I took it home and sold it. The kids were all little, and now they all grown up, all married. IFSD 21 B+53&' (@)'a"7/'-.'C+b-%' ."46"4#7 %&3+/&6'/-'&6$2+/"-4'+46',&%7-4+3'6&E&3-,C&4/'"4'/0&'"73+46) B+53&'6&E&3-,&6'5F' +$/0-%;'?@(Z'3.1.3! Unemployment As can be seen in Figure 33 below, 21 out of 36 participants do not have a job. !"#$%&' O()'e-%R'7/+/$7'-.',+%/"2",+4/7)'!"#$%&'6&E&3-,&6'5F'+$/0-%;'?@( Z ) 5 1 7 2 21 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 Employed Disabled to work Retireed Self-employed Unemployed Number of Participants Work Status Current work status of participants


%+! The category unemployed includes both looking and not-looking for a job, and the category employed includes both part-time and full-time. Lack of job opportunities limits the islanders income, and 19 participants reported that they struggle to cover their expenses, for example: We already owe almost two months of rent, and it is stressing us it is a very bad situation... we are not paying how we should. We always lack money, and we stay one, two months behind. -IFSD002. What am I going to do with the pension I earn? It is not enough! I pay electricity, water, food, and nothing is left for my medicine. I cannot take my medications. -IFSD024 As can be seen in Figure 34, 24 participants depend on social programs (retirement, disability pension or Bolsa Familia) for their main source of income. Seven participants earn their income by performing economic activities and five participants sources of income were categorized as other because they did not receive money directly but through other family members. For example: Who gets money is my aunt who receives a pension, and my grandmother too -IFSD023 In addition, 18 out of 36 participants are registered for the governmental program Bolsa Familia to complement their income. Eleven women reported performing informal economic activities, such as cooking food, housekeeping or doing craftwork, for example: I made needlework, clothes modifications. I do craftwork... it depends on what I am asked to do sometimes, people outside of the island ask me to do craftwork. -IFSD004 !"#$%&' O?)'T42-C&'7-$%2&'-.',+%/"2",+4/7'"4'T30+'6+7'!3-%&7)'!"#$%&' 6&E&3-,&6'5F'+$/0-%;'?@(M) "# $ !"#$%&'($)*#& +#$"$%,#'-#.,/,.0 ($#,12'3*$4*1%5 6.7&*5


%*! I do housekeeping or sell like different desserts -IFSD017 I recycle PET. I wander and collect for two hours [in the island] but sometimes, I found nothing, so I stop. -IFSD001 13 participants identified unemployment as the main problem on the island. 12 participants stated they would like to see more job opportunities for youth and adults in the island. For example, participants mentioned capacitation courses, workshops for acquiring technical skills, computer courses, among others. For instance: More alternatives pro-youth with more courses so that makes people ready for jobs. Courses for job qualifications, such as bakery, and others, computers, things that we do not have here IFSD019 Having a good course that trains people so they make [money] job capacitation courses there are a lot of unemployed people here -IFSD018 When asked what kind of profitable activity they would like to see in their community: 14 participants preferred artisanal-related work, including making food, desserts, craftworks, artisanal soap, and selling them as their source of income For instance: We receive a lot of tourists, we have marinas and if we had a place there to show our craftworks [name], they work with soap we could sell a lot of stuff there -IFSD004 Having a community kitchen! We all can work there -IFSD029 Anything that generates money would be great. For example, the ladies over there have one, right? They make ecologic soap and that is a [profitable] activity, right? So, I think it should be like that, artisanal works maybe. -IFSD033 3.1.4! Health Care Constraints and Needs 1 4 participants reported dealing with health problems at home. They themselves or other relatives who are disabled were included. For example: I am fighting this illness. It's all therapy, exams, x-rays, all weeks, all day doing therapy my legs stiffen. -IFSD011


%"! I take care of my mom who is 80 and is sick. She depends on me. My brother who was here is [mentally] disable, my brother and my granddaughter. -IFSD003 12 participants identified distance and money as two main factors that hinder their access to health care. For instance: You have to get out of the here [island] and go to the center [Porto Alegre] you have to pay for the bus. We are poor people. -IFSD018 The [bus] ticket is horrible! Too expensive!... People might think why we just do not walk. However, early in the morning is really bad. To walk from here to over there it is very cold, and sometimes you have to take the kids with you, and it gets really bad. So, if we had a [health center in the island] it would be better, you know? Then we can walk, it's close, faster... IFSD014 2 5 participants said that not having a health center on the island is both a big concern and a need for them. For example What we need here is a health center for us -IFSD033 Here we do not have a health center, not a pharmacy... everything is far. IFSD025 I would like to see a health center, first of all, we need one because it is about respecting us. IFSD013 Figure 35 below depicts vulnerable age groups living in the interviewed households 6 7 26 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 Disable Elderly Children Vulnerable age groups living in the interviewed households !"#$%&' OO)'[$C5&%'-.'0-$7&0-367'_"/0'E$34&%+53&'+#&'#%-$,7)'!"#$%&'6&E&3-,&6'5F'+$/0-%;'?@(M


%#! Furthermore, 11 participants complained about the low-quality health care they received at the health center located on a nearby island and commented on its low capacity to serve families from two islands. For example: [At the health center] They take 23 people [a day], my son went there for one, and made a war just to take one. -IFSD026 Health is something people want to see improved here because they do not take good care us. They treat us like animals. -IFSD031 3.1.5! Community Issues Different issues were identified after analyzing the results. Topics such as community involvement, leadership, advantages and disadvantages of living on the island, and opinions about the Ilhus Ecolgicos Association and the ESG came out. Table 11 below presents the major issues encountered: 11 Participants e xpressed their desire for a more united and organized community We are missing love for one another, unity, cooperation -IFSD012 People have to stick together, aim for improvements for the community if they worked together, they could do many things... they could help each other, do stuff to get things done. -IFSD010 15 Participants expressed lack of time or interest to get involved in community matters I can try [to get involved] but right now, I cannot because I have two kids that need follow-up, you know? Then I cannot dedicate myself to other matters. IFSD032 To do [community] things, I do not have much interest, I don't get involved. IFSD035 9 Participants shared the benefits of living o n the is land We live here because we like the place. It is a place without problems, without violence. It has some issues but those are not bad for us It does not generate violence here. -IFSD013 We did not have electricity, but we go it, we have piped water, we got itthere are problems that, we have 23 years living here, and during those 23 years, [the island] has improved a bit. -IFSD004


%$! 10 Participants stated they do artisanal craftworks as leisure activity or would like to do, if they had the time: What I enjoy doing is craftworks once I learned, bah! It was amazing!. IFSD002 [Would like] to make artisanal craftworks to sell, craftworks, crochet, and those things in general -IFSD008. 6 Participants commented on the services available at other islands Over there in the other island, they have a cooperative, a mothers' club, and here there is not. They have it over there they make bread, knitting, flowers from fabrics, they have a lot of stuff going on a community help itself, so it is able to help others, you know? Over there, they have [all of that], here no. -IFSD020 Over there, they have a plaza and equipment to exercise, you know? There is like a public park, a place where you can free! And we do not have that here. -IFSD033 B+53&' (()'H-CC$4"/F'"77$&7'4+C&6'6$%"4#'/0&'"4/&%E"&_7)'B+53&'6&E&3-,&6'5F'+$/0-%;'?@(M) Participants were also asked about their knowledge and their willingness to join the Ilhus Ecolgicos Association and the ESG. While ten out of the 36 participants said they did not know the association by its name, Ilhus Ecolgicos, 33 out of 36 of the participants were aware of a place in their community where people get together to do craftwork and coordinate donations, which are the main activities the association has carried out to help the community. Participants mainly related this place to the name of the leaders of the community, the president and the secretary of the association. For instance: To be honest, I did not know any association name, I just knew [name] participated and she had an association. -IFSD013 They make profits from the soap, when they have clothes donations, food; they call us and distribute them. -IFSD031 The association is great, our association there is important! Our association also needs support Before, it had support, but now, they do not. In winter, we received clothes, and other things, now they do not have anymore. -IFSD018 Twenty participants said that the association has always helped them and commented on the different programs they used to have for helping the community, while 16 said they only know that it exists, but they have not been involved with it. For instance: The association was created to address the problems of the community many people were already helped and taught. Courses were given, many people participated, we learned different stuff. -IFSD004


%%! I know them! Back then, it was great! It is great, it has helped a lot of people, very good. Nobody cannot complain. When I needed, they helped me. -IFSD009 Participants were also asked if they were interested in joining the soap group, and 23 had interest, while 13 did not. Figure 36 below shows the main reasons people did not have interest in joining the ESG. In general, participants had their daily activities constrained by two factors: distance and time. Factors Number of Participants Representative Quotes Distance 13 I can participate no more than twice a week because if I were to walk over there, my God, Jesus! It is a long walk to get over there. -IFSD002 Everything is far from everything; for us it is far. -IFSD037 Time 16 I cannot do it from morning to afternoon because I have kids, but one morning or one afternoon, I can try. -IFSD019 I do not have time. First of all, I work in two places. IFSD027 B+53&' (?)'B_-'"C,-%/+4/'.+2/-%7'+..&2/"4#'"73+46&%7)'B+53&'6&E&3-,&6'5F'+$/0-%;'?@(M) !"#$%&' OA)'L+%/"2",+4/7'"4/&%&7/'"4'b-"4"4#'/0&'U:9)'!"#$%&'6&E&3-,&6'5F'+$/0-%;'?@(M)


%&! !17 participants who said they did not have interest in joining the ESG nor the association mentioned children care, lack of time, or lack of interest as their main reasons. However, 22 people gave their contact information to be contacted in the future. 3.1.6! Government failures 24 participants identified the government as the main cause of the islands proble ms mentioned above, due to the lack of intervention and perceived irresponsibility of the municipal government. They feel abandoned and they would like to see an active government in their community. For example: Lack of attention from the authorities. Unemployment depends on the government. IFSD003 [Problems] because of the politicians, you know? They do not do anything right. They only think about themselves. When they are there earning money, we are suffering. -IFSD014 When we get flooded, we feel the municipality absence. -IFSD013 We can summarize these major findings in the following diagram. !"#$%&' O^)'9%-$46&6'/0&-%F'6"+#%+C'.-%'/0&'2-CC$4"/F'6"+#4-7"7)'!"#$%&'6&E&3-,&6'5F'+$/0-%;'?@(M


%'! Figure 37 summarizes the main factors affecting the islanders community. The current conflict between the built and natural environment become a fundamental issue that worsen the islanders conditions, mainly in terms of health, education and employment. They are all impacted by government failures, limiting reconciliation among these areas. 4. Interviews of Customers Analysis and Results The 50 interviews of customers, collected at the organic fair, were transcribed into an excel spreadsheet. Responses were coded, colored, and placed into different categories. Then, this dataset was printed out to add comments and further analyze the transcriptions. After a second round of coding, categories were checked again for consistency, and new additions were made to the spreadsheet. Then, the excel function COUNTIF was used to quantify the frequency of the answers, and major themes emerged. 4.1! Results People were asked to give three reasons that motivated them to buy the artisanal soap, and the major reasons were categorized into five groups: natural product, health benefits, environmental impact, quality of the product, community support, and other preferences. As Figure 38 shows, the main reason customers purchase the artisanal soap is because of their natural, organic, without chemicals characteristics, as mentioned by most of the interviewees, for example: Because it is more natural; the other ones have a lot of chemicals -IFBF034 To avoid the use of chemical; it is more natural. -IFBF039 The other two most-voted reasons related to environmental impact, for example: 13 5 1 9 5 4 9 7 3 7 6 5 5 3 7 1 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 Reason #1 Reason #2 Reason #3 Number of Customers Reasons that motivate customers to purchase the artisanal soap Natural Product Health Benefits Environmental Impact Quality Community Support Likes !"#$%&' OI)'8&+7-47'2$7/-C&%7',$%20+7&'/0&'+%/"7+4+3'7-+,)'!"#$%&'6&E&3-,&6'5F'+$/0-%;'?@(M)


%(! Because it is good, recycled. It helps nature, the oil does not go to the rivers, and it helps the islanders. -IFBF017 and because of its benefits for skin and hair: For my own health. I have allergies, and it is great for my skin. It hydrates. -IFBF045 Customers also said the soap is a good product because it lasts and cleans very well: It is good! Its of great quality, and its price is good too. -IFBF042 Another important reason was the meaning of their contribution to this community project for low-income families of the island: I think it is better to buy it from them to benefit the association. -IFBF009 The profits are for them; they are women; it is their job. -IFBF037 Among other preferences people mentioned, are the smells and use of medicinal herbs. When listing second reasons, there is a shift from natural product to environmental impact along with quality as the most-voted reason for purchasing the artisanal soap. With the intent to explore the demand for the artisanal soap, participants were asked about how often they return to purchase the artisanal soap, and the results are shown below in Figure 39. The category depending was used to refer to customers who said that they buy several soap bars (4 or 5), take them home and come back to purchase more when the soap is used up, so it makes it difficult to say exactly how often they buy the artisanal soap. For example: It depends. I had several at home, but I only buy this soap -IFBF013 5 20 10 10 5 0 5 10 15 20 25 Weekly Biweekly Depending Monthly Rarely Number of Participants Frequency of purchase Frequency customers purchase the artisanal soap !"#$%&' OK)'!%&S$&42F'2$7/-C&%7',$%20+7&'/0&'+%/"7+4+3'7-+,)'!"#$%&'6&E&3-,&6'5F'+$/0-%;'?@(M


%)! It always depends when it is gone -IFBF050 There was a total of 19 out of 50 participants who stated that they use only this artisanal soap at home, and 5 participants stated that they are making the transition to use only this artisanal soap. For example: I try to use less [industrial soaps], but yes I want to disconnect completely. -IFBF047 Thus, the ESG now has the responsibility to supply these 19 families who are committed to purchasing this product that is being integrated into their sustainable lifestyle. In fact, that is what the leader of the ESG was told one day by one of her customers: I do not buy soap at the market anymore. I do not use detergents, hand soap, regular soap; I do not buy them anymore ok? I do not buy them anymore, so you have to be here all Saturdays! From the 50 interviewees, 33 stated that they visit other organic fairs in town, and all but one person said artisanal soaps are not sold at those other fairs. Therefore, these can be potential sales outlets for the ESG. Next, we will explore other potential sales outlets. 5. Online research and visits to organic fairs The transcriptions from interviews of customers allowed me to quantify how many times the names of other organic fairs in town were mentioned. As can be seen in Table 13 below, the most-mentioned or most popular organic fair after Bom Fim, was Menino Deus Other popular organic fairs mentioned by customers Organic Fair Name Frequency Days Mulheres da Terra 3 Tuesdays Menino Deus 9 Saturdays Auxiliadora 3 Tuesdays Colgio Joo XXIII 3 Thursday Rmulo Telles 3 Saturdays Tristeza 2 Saturdays B+53&' (O)'N/0&%',-,$3+%'-%#+4"2'.+"%7'/0+/'2$7/-C&%7'C&4/"-4&6'/0&F'E"7"/&6'"4'/-_4)'B+53&'6&E&3-,&6'5F'+$/0-%;' ?@(M) 'After I conducted my online research about the organic fairs in Porto Alegre, I discovered that the Municipal Secretary of Production, Industry and Commerce (SMIC) manages the organic fairs in town. The municipality requires vendors to submit a request to be able to sell at these fairs. The prospective vendors need to provide organic certification of the products they intend to sell. Once the application is completed, the vendor is free to talk to the coordinator of the organic fair of their interest to arrange a


&+! starting date and to discuss all matters related, as per my informal conversations with vendors and with 3 fair coordinators at the organic fairs: You formalize your paperwork, and make a petition to sell here, formalized on paper, and then you come and tell us, what association or cooperation you belong to. Come with your products certification, organic certification, if not, you cannot First talk to us, make the petition, and we evaluate your products to keep the fair diverse. After that, you have to go to SMIC, and they allow you to commercialize here, legally. We did not none of the products [sold here] came and started just selling, that does not happen. Table 14 below provides a list of the 8 organic fairs (name in bold) I visited between June and July. The table also includes two other organic fairs that I did not personally visit. Other Popular Organic Fairs in Porto Alegre Name Address Days of Operation Start time End time Day of Visit Contact Person Trs Figueiras R. Jos Antnio Aranha, 155 Saturdays 8:00 13:00 06.02.2018 Antonio Rmulo Telles Rua Rmulo Telles Pessoa Saturdays 7:00 13:00 06.02.2018 Seller Petrpolis Rua General Tibrcio, 1 71 Wednesdays 13:00 18:00 06.09.2018 None Auxiliadora Travessa Lanceiros Negros Tuesdays 7:00 13:00 07.10.2018 Simone Menino Deus Av. Ge tlio Vargas, 1251 Saturdays 7:00 12:30 07.14.2018 Anselmo Bom Jesus Rua So Felipe, 140 Fridays 6:00 11:00 Did not NA Tristeza Av. Wenceslau Escobar, 2380 Saturdays 7:00 12:30 Did not NA Mulheres da Terra UFRGS Faculdade de Educao Tuesdays 10:30 15:30 07.10.2018 Cristina Quintanda Unidade Central IPA Thursdays 14:00 19:00 07.12.2018 Camilia Feira Joo XXIII Colgio Joo XXIII Thursdays 10:00 18:30 07.12.2018 School Coordinat or Table 14. List of organic fairs selected to visit. Table developed by author, 2018 After I visited the organic fair Quintanda, which happens at a higher-level education institution, and talked to the coordinator, I was told that since the ESG was already selling at the Bom Fim organic fair, they were very welcome to come and participate in the Quintanda organic fair too. I also visited the organic fair Mulheres da Terra, which happens at one of the campuses of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS for its acronym in Portuguese), and the organic fair called Feira Orgnica do Joo XXIII, which is set up at a private school. All three of the organic fairs coordinators agreed on having the ESG selling artisanal soap at their fairs for the same reason: the soap group is already selling at the Bom Fim organic fair (the most traditional in town).


&*! Hence, I concluded that the soap group had more opportunities to sell the artisanal soap in organic fairs organized and managed by educational centers, such as schools and universities. Although small, these organic fairs aim to promote micro-businesses that are sustainable, local and artisanal, and the soap group fits perfectly with this description. I wrote the following conclusion in my journal: As of July 10th, I realized that in order to sell artisanal soap in organic fairs organized by SMIC, the ESG needs paperwork to certify that production is according to law and organic regulations. This is not possible because they do not have an adequate production place and they do not have the required nota fiscal. Therefore, there is no reason to continue visiting other fairs. The only option left that I am going to CAREFULLY explore is the organic fairs that are not organized by SMIC; those that happen at schools or universities. They might be smaller though. Personal Journal on July 10th, 2018. As a result of my research, besides selling at the usual organic fair Bom Fim on Saturdays, the ESG is now also selling at the Quintanda organic fair on Thursdays. See Figure 40 below. The ESG is currently waiting on a response from Menino Deus organic fairs coordinators. This is another local and potential sales outlet for the artisanal soap. They also have the option to sell at the Mulheres da Terra organic fair, but the group has decided to start first in the Quintanda organic fair and later, explore other options. !"#$%&' OM)'[&_'7+3&'7,-/'.-%'/0&'U:9'"4'-%#+4"2'.+"%' h$"4/+46+'-4'B0$%76+F7)'L"2/$%&'7&4/' .%-C U:9'/-'C&' "4'N2/-5&%'?@(M


&"! !VI. Discussion This section is organized into three major sections: Community Diagnosis, Market Study for Artisanal Soap, and Ecological Soap Group (ESG) dynamics, which are the main deliverables of my field practicum. 1. Community Diagnosis of Ilha das Flores The current vulnerable situation of the Ilha das Flores community has its roots in past events when the city of Porto Alegre started urbanizing and this vulnerability is enhanced by the present deficiencies of the social system that surrounds it. The precarious built environment enters into conflict with the natural environment when the raining seasons come. Rain worsens the poor infrastructure conditions because it floods unpaved roads that become not-walkable paths and inadequate sewage systems that, along with incorrect waste disposal, increases proliferation of vector-borne diseases and puts islanders health at risk (Caregnato et al., 2008; Favero et al., 2016; Foresti, 2015;). Environmental risks represented by flooding increases the social vulnerability of the low-income islanders community (Costa & Carrion, 2010; Favero et al., 2016; Foresti, 2015). Islanders deal not only with health problems, but also with the poor-quality health care that is offered to the community, characterized by lack of access, insufficient personnel, and stigmatization of islanders (Costa & Carrion, 2010; Favero et al., 2016). In order to access health care and other services, such as school, islanders have to go to other islands, and this implies spending time and money on transportation; two factors that, as low-income families, greatly affect their ability to access those services (Costa & Carrion, 2010). Health issues also affect access to both jobs and education of the families in Ilha das Flores. The health condition of adults significantly affect s the economic situation of their families, often worsening their poverty condition. Unemployment thus becomes a true challenge for islanders who rely mostly on social programs and informal economic activities, where women become the main actors, to be able to cover their expenses. Ilha das Flores is not different from other islands. For example, the Sailors island (Ilha dos Marinheiros) is well-known for the practice of recycling as the main source of income of the islanders. Alternative economic activities are a source of income for rural people, said Ellis (2000), to survive so that they are able to meet the needs of their households. The lack of income and basic services are detrimental components for peoples well being (Comin et al., 2006, Costa & Carrion, 2010). It reflects the vulnerability of rural livelihoods in low-income countries due to failure of the system that is supposed to provide secure employment opportunities (Ellis, 2000). Lack of income can be related to the low levels of education in the islands since people stop studying in order to get a paying job, which clearly represents the influence of economic disparities over the education levels achieved (Comin et al., 2006; Ferreira & Menezes, 2017). Throughout the years, islanders have overcome life challenges by commercializing their traditional knowledge. Doing artisanal handworks has become part of the islanders identity, even when it is not a profitable activity. As Oliveira et al. (2012) said, artesanato


&#! is rather a cultural expression that reflects the popular knowledge of a region and it is to be consumed or used by people. In fact, when exploring opportunities and interests, doing artesanato was the main activity the islanders showed interest and passion about. This reflects the traditional culture of Porto Alegre as artisans (from fishing to handworks to soap) and their commitment to support small entrepreneurships which work on the basis of solidarity economies. Similar studies exploring social vulnerability have been conducted in the city of Porto Alegre. The Archipelago neighborhood has been the subject of multiple research as this is a community that reflects inadequate income, education, housing, and basic sanitation (Foresti, 2015). For example, Favero et al. (2016), in their analysis of environmental risk perceptions conducted from 2012 to 2013 in Ilha das Flores, reported that participants mentioned a concern for health issues related to flooding, littering, precarious sanitation systems, and vector-borne diseases, and proportionally related to safety and street lighting. Participants in their study also discussed the benefits of living in the islands: a quiet place and natural area. The benefits of the high-income homeowners, in contrast to low-income islanders, the need for a health center and public spaces, and the absence of the local government were also reflected as concerns for the participants in the study by Favero et al. (2016). Lack of participation was also an issue that arose in this field practicum report and the Favero et al. (2016) study. This is an issue for islanders because, as Bauer & Carrion (2016) explore in their article, getting together as a community is the most effective way to achieve benefits for the island. However, when basic needs are not being met, it is common that people experience time poverty restricted by childcare, elderly care, house chores, or jobs. Passuello et al. (2017) wrote about social technolog ies to reduce environmental disaster vulnerabilities, in a study conducted from 2012 to 2015 in five different vulnerable communities in Rio Grande do Sul and Rio de Janeiro. Through their PAR activities, they reinforced community participation and leadership skills in the community; among them, was my gatekeeper. Foresti (2015) conducted a project Redecriando moeda Flor from 2012 to 2013 that aimed to promote community participation and income generation through team work production of sustainable jewelry, which were earring and necklace sets made from plastic containers; one of the activities the association also develops. Besides Bolsa Familia, inhabitants of Ilha das Flores are only left with the program Sustainable Jewelry, which is another way for islanders to complement their income. The role of technical incubators and different organizations such as NGO Redecriar and the local church, along with community spaces such as the Ilhus Ecolgicos Association and the school, are significantly important for the development of the community. Activities or social programs developed by these authors encourage community participation and contribute to strengthening the islanders sense of community and their sense of belonging to the island. With respect to these findings, Favero et al. (2016) commented on the importance of having social support so that people can overcome daily obstacles. Nevertheless, sometimes, the role of these institutions is limited by policy. As presented here, islanders requested to have back the social programs that generated income for them, but these programs ended due to changes in the Brazilian government. Bauer and Carrion (2016), Costa & Carrion (2010), Oliveira et al. (2018), Singer et al. (2014) argue that changes in political parties and jurisdictional overlapping


&$! between the state and municipal government have significantly affected the territorial and social organization of islanders. For example, when the five populated islands were organizing to demand that their territorial rights be included in the EPA delineation process for the state park back in 2006, the State Secretary of the Environment took over the process and did not include local participation which the municipal government was doing during the previous government. To deal with this, as Bauer and Carrion (2016) commented, islanders organized their communities in cooperatives or associations, aiming to attract the governments attention more effectively. It is through cooperatives and associations, such as the Ilhus Ecolgicos, that the islanders are assisted (receiving health and food donations) and at the same time, they use these means to ask for training courses and job opportunities for their future generations. Singer et al. (2014) and Estivalete et al. (2018) support the availability of courses, different from formal education, for low-income communities as a way to increase human capital in a world that is constantly demanding different skills. Computing courses for job opportunities were also requested by women in the research Carlotto & Mariano (2012) conducted in two different cities in Brazil. When evaluating women empowerment and the social program Bolsa Familia, they also found that lowincome women had distance limitations to access services, low levels of education, and great responsibility for taking care of children, and the elderly. Thus, children and health issues were the main reasons that stopped women from having jobs and being able to cover their expenses (Carlotto & Mariano, 2012). The basic needs of the islanders community are not being met and failures in the social system where the island is located are clear. Getting islanders out of their vulnerability sphere seems complicated. However, they propose solutions, and so they demand a public space where sports can be practiced, and the community can bond. Most importantly, islanders stated their need for a health center in the island where they can get the service they deserve. Their demands are not restricted by regulations of the state park. Rather, islanders know and complain about the authorization that high-income people have to build marinas on the island and modify the environment as they wish while the areas in which the low-income families live are classified as areas at risk where construction should be restricted (Favero et al., 2016). Currently, the Marinheros island offers professional training, have a Mothers Club, and has one health center that serves the other islands (Integrated Network for the Protection of Children and Adolescents (2018); Caregnato et al., 2008). The Pintada island has three public schools, one health center, and one pubic plaza. The Pavo island has one health center and two football squares. Other islands that also belong to the state park have been transformed by the real estate industry and the islands have even become major touristic attractions where luxurious mansions and boat rides are offered (Foresti, 2015; Costa & Carrion, 2010). Weak policies have contributed to, if not generated, the territorial conflicts currently affecting the islanders community. In this study, islanders clearly complained about the governments inability to address the conflicts between the built and natural environment, to offer a good quality education and provide adequate health care, and to offer a wide array of job opportunities. Therefore, their demand for the local government to take care of these issues and to treat them respectfully needs to be addressed immediately. The literature calls for the intervention of the government to


&%! reduce the vulnerability of these communities through the support of Solidarity Economy projects (Carrion & Costa, 2010; Pereira et al., 2015; Singer et al., 2014). They call for stronger legislation, frequent monitoring, technical support and overall support in implementation for these projects. Pereira et al. (2015) emphasized that the current atmosphere of distrust between the government and its community is mainly due to corruption and power concentration. Carrion & Costa (2010) proposed the practice of governance where societal participation is ample, democratization processes are involved, and development is encouraged by the local government. Foresti (2015) emphasized the value of government action to organize the islands, arguing that social programs, donations, and research become useless if there are no policies put in place to strengthen and solidify their goals. 2. Market Study for the Artisanal Soap The urban community of Porto Alegre offers a local sustainable culture, and this is reflected in the 40 organic fairs organized within the municipa lity. These organic fairs operate from Monday to Sunday in the mornings and the afternoons and all around the city. Having this flexibility in places and days, the ESG could minimize the time and distance constraints that mostly affect low-income families, along with reducing transportation expenses. Another advantage that organic and artisanal fairs offer is the concentration of customers with high purchasing power. Consequently, the ESG finds a promising opportunity to grow and expand the artisanal soap sales outlets that will benefit the vulnerable families in Ilha das Flores (Picolotto & Bre mm, 2016). Customers support and promote organic and artisanal fairs by visiting them and acquiring their products frequently, showing a preference for eco-friendly products produced by local and solidarity economies over the current economic system. In fact, the market for natural cosmetic products has been increasing lately, meaning that more people are preferring to purchase them (Gan et al., 2008; Fonseca-Santos et al., 2015). Thus, Porto Alegre citizens fall into the category of green customers, as defined by Fonseca-Santos et al. (2015). Green customers are those who are concerned ab out the environment and want to preserve it, so they prefer to purchase products that are less damaging to the environment (i.e. biodegradable packaging). Other product factors considered by green customers is their convenience, availability, price and quality. The ESG covers all of these factors because they sell diverse and good -quality products that help to conserve soil and water resources and are conveniently available every week at the most popular organic fair in Porto Alegre, at a price most people can afford. In order to participate in bigger, more well-known organic fairs, such as the ones overseen by SMIC, the ESG needs to have their paperwork in order according to law and needs to recruit more members. This is not difficult, but it can be expen sive. However, Unisinos is willing to contribute to that effort. My host organization has another project with the association that would provide them with a soap production factory in the short-term future. Once the ESG has this facility, they can be audited and request the necessary permits by SMIC and other institutions that offer organic certification. The ESG also needs to acquire their fiscal note or registration as a business in order to sell their product. For now, the ESG is able and welcome to sell their


&&! artisanal and sustainable soap at three other organic fairs in schools and universities while they complete the paperwork required for broader distribution. Oliveira et al. (2012) reflect on the importance of considering artisans and their work as micro businesses to make it profitable and competitive. Nevertheless, Singer et al. (2014) described how solidarity economies are limited by the lack of policies and emphasized the importance of government support for the continuity of these spaces. For example, when the local government stopped supporting one of the organic fairs in Santa Maria, merchandizing space became very limited, negatively affecting the vendors. On the other hand, when the local government and the Brazilian national bank partnered, the Bom Fim organic fair was updated with new stands for vendors (Oliveira et al., 2012; Picolotto & Bremm, 2016; de S, 2017). The continuity of these organic/artisanal fairs is significantly important for artisans because it allows them to generate income through cooperative work, helping them improve their lifestyles (Simon & Boeira, 2017; Singer et al., 2014). Most importantly, it has allowed vulnerable communities, like the islanders to thrive, empowering women and opening doors to commercialize their traditional knowledge. 3. Ecological Soap Group (ESG) Dynamics It is highly important to recognize the contribution of solidarity economies, such as the artisanal soap, in the empowerment of women because it promotes their social and professional inclusion. Women participating in solidarity economy entrepreneurships feel more autonomous because they feel valued and they feel empowered when generating their own income (Carlotto & Mariano, 2012; Estivalete et al., 2017; Foresti, 2015; Pereira et al., 2015; Simon & Boeira, 2017). Equally important is the partnerships of technological incubators, NGOs and religious organizations providing support to low income communities. In the case of the Ilheus Ecologicos Association, the local monk, representing the Maristas church, helped the islanders to get organized in a cooperative and then into an association. Training courses provided by the local government or church, such as the soap production course, motivated women to get organized and start selling the artisanal soap as an income-generating activity. There are other examples of women getting together in their communities to produce and sell artisanal soap, supported by local institutions (Neves et al., 2010; Souza, 2014; Umar et al., 2015). For instance, in Minas Gerais, another state in Brazil, Neves et al. (2010) conducted a case-study with a group of women entrepreneurs called Women in Action: Playing fair to nature who generate income for their families by using used cooking oil. They receive support from a higher-education institution as well. This casestudy trained the group of women, provided them with a production facility and helped them build partnerships with other organizations, assuring the sustainability of the group. In this group, women were also suburban housewives, who live in an area with the same socio-economic characteristics as described for Ilha da Flores. Different from the ESG, Women in Action do collect used cooking oil around their community. Collecting used cooking oil from households in Ilha da Flores would be a great addition to the ESGs success because it can teach the community to recycle it and can get them involved in the soap production. In the future, the EGS could also collect used cooking oil from other sources, such as restaurants or schools.


&'! Another example is the study conducted by Souza (2014) with a similar group in Brasilia in order to provide technical and safety training to the group of women and improve their soap production. The training was provided by the partnership between a local NGO and a university. The group was also composed mainly of women, with low levels of education. The intervention of this partnership led the group to practice safety procedures, and to bookkeep their soap production (Souza, 2014). In Nigeria, women in rural areas also produce artisanal soap as an income activity, and Umar et al. (2015) conducted a survey of 80 women to study the economic impact of artisanal soap production. These women also had low levels of education, were in a relationship (married or living with partners), and their social vulnerability led them to look for alternative income-generating activities. This study also identified the problems limiting production of artisanal soap, such as financial restrictions, inadequate skills, and lack of successors. Umar et al. (2015) found that mostly women between 36 and 55 years old made artisanal soap on a regular basis, and selling artisanal soap positively influenced in their income. They mainly spent it on food, school, and medications. All entrepreneur groups have limitations, and the ESG identified especially their lack of time for organizing and skills for bookkeeping. Consequently, trainings where women can get technical skills would be very beneficial for the continuous growth of these social entrepreneurs. These groups promote sustainable micro businesses and they are aware of the environmental and economic benefits generated by producing artisanal soap for their community. These benefits are what constantly motivate women entrepreneurs, and in fact, an environmental conscience has been notoriously developing within the ESG. When showing high concern for environmental pollution, the women in the ESG are also promoting environmental education. They not only talk to their neighbors about the disadvantages of pouring cooking oil on the ground, but also incentivize more citizens to collect and recycle their used cooking oil at the organic fairs.


&(! !VII. Conclusions and Recommendations Economic growth in developing countries is creating economic disparities that affect low-income families the most. These communities are at a disadvantage because they are not able to satisfy their basic needs, experience constant environmental risk, and lack the resources to overcome the failures of their government (Comin et al., 2006; Favero et al., 2016; Foresti, 2015; Passuello et al., 2017). The community diagnosis developed from the interviews in the Ilha das Flores community would be a useful tool for my host organization. This diagnosis reflects the precarious conditions that threaten the islanders families every day. Therefore, it suggests an opportunity to attract future interventions where basic needs of islanders can be addressed and potentiall y solved. The most important intervention, according to this study, is in the area of health. Local access to adequate health care on the island directly affects education and job opportunities of the islanders. Hence, the local government and partner organizations can work on establishing a health center on the island or providing a mobile health center that can be of easy access to the islanders. Moreover, because children under 18 years old make the biggest population group in the Archipelago neighborhood (36%) according to Souza (2014), interventions addressing health issues and nutrition in children is highly encouraged, especially because these are vulnerable communities. I highly recommend implementing training courses such as bookkeeping, knitting, or computing courses for youth and adults in the community. These courses should be provided by the partnership of local organizations, such as Unisinos Redecriar and other religious organizations which have become very important agents that promote and contribute to the capacity building of these vulnerable communities. These workshops can be implemented by university students or ot her skillful people volunteering their time, for example. This recommendation is based on what the islanders asked for during the interviews since they acknowledge that proper skills will open up more job opportunities for them. In the ESG, awareness of their weaknesses and threats can help the women in the ESG to organize better and address those issues. The ESG should keep up its strengths and work towards their objectives together but this can be limited by their lack of time and resources. Unisinos is helping the ESG to develop a set of norms to improve conviviality in the group that will be fully utilized once more participants join the ESG. Workshops that encourage team-building and teamwork, along with training that includes safety procedures during the soap production, would be greatly beneficial for the solidification of the group. Contributing to capacity building of the ESG is also significantly important for securing the sustainability of the group, especially because the ESG constantly expressed their desire for expansion and success. The growth of the artisanal soap entrepreneurship brings along several challenges and requires the ESG to be prepared with certain skills, such as business administration training, mainly because costs, ingredients, utensils and labor will need to increase. The ESG will need new sales outlets, and the market study conducted confirmed the supportive sustainable culture in Porto Alegre where citizens are willing to consume recycled products such as the artisanal soap. It offers the ESG with new sales outlets opportunities that would potentially increase its production and would increase the


&)! income women generate for their families. However, their production in the future can be affected by the number of members participating. They will need to recruit more people as they expand. They can contact people I interviewed who said they were interested in joining the ESG. This is another reason why the partnership of the island association and Unisinos needs to be sustainable. Unisinos can help the ESG to better integrate new members with the provision of the new soap production facility. Hence, my second recommendation is to continue fostering the partnership between the Ilhus Ecolgicos Association and Unisinos university. Finally, I would like to highlight the role of the government in relation to policies and program support for social enterprises and vulnerable communities, respectively. Weak policies have been detrimentally affecting the livelihoods of islanders (Carrion & Costa, 2010; Comin et al., 2006). The community feels the absence of the government in providing resources and basic services. In fact, the community trust too little in the governments willingness to help, but they demand it as a matter of human respect. I recommend that the government representatives work along with the local institutions already providing support to the community and get involved and listen to the islanders demands. Having a plan of action with defined goals to meet within a certain timeline would generate results for islanders in the short -term and maybe the community can start transitioning to trusting their government again. This study was completed with some limitations. First, as Portuguese is not my first language, understanding participants responses was not easy at the beginning, especially because they spoke fast and used jargon language. Having the interviews recorded helped me a lot to better understand the answers, yet I lost the opportunity for getting more in-depth conversations with participants and maybe other topics or connections could have arisen. Another limitation was the presence of my gatekeeper during some of the interviews on the island since participants answers could have been influenced by it. However, I minimized the use of these responses in my analysis. I would encourage future research in the area of health because there are a great number of children and elderly people at risk on the island. Future research should also be aiming to provide people with technical trainings and evaluate the effect of those trainings on the islanders job opportunities. It would also be beneficial to study the effect of climate change on the Archipelago neighborhood and some adaptation strategies that can be applied within the community. Paying close attention to the current development of policies in the new Brazilian government is significantly important for the future of the Solidarity Economy Enterprises, the Ecological Soap Group and the Ilhus Ecolgicos Association. The old Ministry of Labor and Employment, who oversaw Solidarity Economy policies, has now been dissolved by the newly installed government, according to the Rede Brasil Atual (2019). Hence, a close follow-up should be given to understand how policies are being modified and the long-lasting effect these changes will cause in vulnerable communities like Ilha das Flores.


'+! !Appendixes Appendix #1: Planning for PAR#1 Drawing your past and your present planning


'*! Appendix #2: Planning for PAR#2 Future visioning of the artisanal soap


'"! Appendix #3: Planning for PAR#3 Team building and Internal Organization


'#! Appendix #4: Quick Guide (In English) for the artisanal soap production


'$! Appendix #5: Artisanal Soap Composition From the recipe, the exact quantities (in milliliters or grams) that goes to each single bar of soap could be calculated and it is represented in the image below. In the image below, there is the same representation in percentages: !"#$ %&#& %&#& '(#% )&#% *+,-+./0/+12+32+142560/.51572.+5!"#$%&''()*+%'),%-.,/ 012#3%-.,/ 4,&'5',%-.,/ 4*).1,%612%-+/ 718"2)&%"'$1%-+/% !"# $%# $%# $&# %# !"#$"%&'&"()"*)+(,)-.'&%/(/0)1"/$)2/.)345) '()*+,--./01+-/2 345)6 72,-8-2 70/942+:45 ;4<(5/,+(-*4


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