Cantagalo, Rio de Janeiro

Out of sight but top of mind: Making an impact in Rio’s favelas

Just a few blocks away from the 2016 Olympic venue is Pavão, one of many slums in Rio de Janeiro that eluded the public eye – except for Zak Paster’s that is.

Twelve years ago, Paster (MBA ’08) founded Community in Action, a nonprofit focused on improving the conditions of the Brazilian favelas. With the help of local tour company Favela Connection, Paster has been able to build playgrounds, provide computers and empower the women of the Pavão community.

For the past two years, Favela Connection has been a partner of the UNC Kenan-Flagler STAR Global Program, which facilitates action learning projects every spring around the world. Funded in part by UNC Kenan-Flagler alumni, teams of MBA and Undergraduate Business students completed a STAR Global project that developed a new strategy to help improve tour company Favela Connection’s sales and social outreach around Rio.

Check out this video from WRAL about what Paster and STAR Global are doing to serve the public good.