At Zendesk, we know that building trust is vital when creating long-standing relationships with your customers, but really, what is trust and why is it so important? In essence, trust is a feeling of security you have, based on the idea that someone is reliable, honest, good, and will do the right thing. You believe in the person or group's integrity and trust develops when people interact and like the results. Building trust is not easy especially with an entire community, yet it is the foundation for any strong relationship. That is exactly why when Projectos Amigos Das Crinças (PAC) opened their new community center in the São Domingos neighborhood in São Paulo, creating a foundation of trust was their number one priority.
PAC is a non-profit whose mission is to promote the personal and social development of at risk youth 0 to 18 years old. In addition to PAC’s two children’s homes, their community center is one that has become the heart of it’s neighborhood. As we know it today, PAC’s thriving center serves over 120 youth in the neighborhood and offers social and educational activities (such as ballet and art classes), playgrounds, income generating workshops for families, and psychosocial care. But the question is how did PAC establish trust with the families of the neighborhood to become a shining light in a sometimes grim area?
The answer is actually quite simple. When PAC first opened their doors they built a free library available to everyone in the neighborhood. Free of charge, anyone can stop by and borrow a book. This was the first time residents of the neighborhood didn’t have to pay to check something out. Rosane Chene, Founding Director of PAC, points to this simple gesture as symbol for how they hoped to be a part of the community. “We used this library, as our way to show we trust the people of São Domingos, so they can trust us.”
Since the early days of the community center, PAC has always founded itself in listening and being part of the neighborhood. Over the last two years, PAC has listened and understands the need to expand their presence and reach. With this in mind, they are taking on a new challenge of building a second community center in a neighboring area, Pirituba. The vision is to develop and construct an adequate space to increase social and cultural inclusion. With help from Zendesk, PAC was able purchase an empty plot of land, getting one step closer to making this vision a reality.
From an empty lot, PAC plans to constructing a colorful 765 square metered building complete with a cafeteria, classrooms, a computer room, a dance studio, meeting spaces, and office spaces to serve over 2,500 families and their 300+ children and teens. To help visualize this space, we worked with PAC to create a VR experience of the Community Center. Through this and the renderings, you can clearly envision this beautiful space empowering youth and their families to grow, learn and ultimately drive this neighborhood of São Paulo to be a more equal place.
As you can imagine, when asked what the first thing PAC will do in their new space, Chene replied, “Listen, learn and invite everyone in to be a part of our family.” Through opening its doors to all the community, PAC’s community centers are a trusted and loving place helping to lift up many children and their entire families.