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The Odebrecht Foundation completes 50 years

From the projects that it coordinates, the institution, one of the oldest in Brazil and in the world, promotes social transformation by means of education for life and through work

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Odebrecht Foundation, a private, nonprofit institution, established by the Odebrecht Group, turns 50 in 2015. Since its inception the Foundation has focused on contributing to the formation of a population structured in family units, responsible for its own sustainable development. Its mission is to educate for life, through work, values and surpassing limits.

The Odebrecht Foundation focuses on the development of the youth and their families in order to create solutions based on their potential and needs, in conjunction with local communities. The essence of the actions is based on the principles, concepts and criteria of the Odebrecht Entrepreneurial Technology, focusing on education and work, which values the aptitudes of the human being, amongst them the willingness to serve and a desire to evolve

Since 2003, the Odebrecht Foundation coordinates the PDCIS - Development and Integrated Growth Program with Sustainability. Its area of operation is concentrated around 11 municipalities home to 285,000 people and holding low Human Development Index. The PDCIS has as its challenge making the entire region prosperous in a socio-economic and environmentally sustainable manner by settling young people and their families in the countryside. The initiative builds its results through Participatory Governance, ie, involving the community, the Government (Federal, State and Municipal), the private sector and the civil society.

In order to promote the family’s productive development in rural areas, the PDCIS has as its strategy fostering, simultaneously, the four capitals: Human - quality field education (vocational-technical training adapted to the reality of the countryside), Productive - work position and equitable income distribution (encouraging cooperatives) Social - building a more just and caring society (valuing citizenship) and Environmental - Conservation of natural resources (ensuring future generations sustainable access to natural resources).

Some of the supported initiatives:

• The Rural Family Houses are inserted in the Human Capital. In these teaching units, the Pedagogy of Alternation is the adopted methodology. In accordance with it, young people spend a week fully interned at the Family House, with lessons both in the classroom as well as in the field, followed by two weeks on the family farm applying, in a practical manner, the new acquired knowledge, under the monitoring and guidance of expert monitors. About 950 youths have been or are being benefited by these teaching units. In addition to the Family Houses, the College Youth House – an institution where students receive a formal education adapted to the reality of rural areas – is also inserted in the same context.

• About 840 farming families are benefited with the Strategic Cooperative that strengthen the Productive Capital. These cooperatives have been developed from the economic vocation of a given area, aiming to assist them (the farming families) to achieve new standards of quality and productivity, while promoting social inclusion. Organized in cooperatives, farming families access technologies that enable them to increase productivity and add economic and social value to their products. It also supports them in marketing their products, through partnerships. This industrious family have access to technology and highest return of income with the cassava (for table flour production), vegetables and fruits, heart of palm (for palm canned) and fish farming (tilapia fillet production).

• Support the population in accessing citizen’s rights and in ensuring their full enjoyment, is what the institution linked to the Social Capital seeks. The Rights and Citizenship Institute (IDC) contributes to the development of civic life through the democratization of the access to justice and education for citizenship. Among the performed actions are the training of Municipal Councilors, issuance of free basic civil documentation and land titles, legal services and social inclusion of vulnerable groups.

• The Environmental Protection Area Mosaic (EPAs) of Southern Bahia Lowlands is one of the most biodiverse areas in the world, with the majority of its territory located within five EPAs, created by the State Government. Included in Environmental Capital, the Lands Conservation Organization (OCT) seeks to promote the conservation of soil, flora, fauna and revitalize the water resources of the region. In order to achieve this objective, the institution has stimulated three initiatives: Environmental Conservation, Forestry and Productive Conservation through Agroforestry Systems – i.e. cultivation method which integrates agriculture to forest – and sylviculture, timber planting for economic purposes. OCT also encourages the Pratigi Carbon Neutral Program, which allows any person or Company to calculate the amount of emitted carbon and neutralize it by planting trees in the Pratigi EPA.


The PDCIS received the UN recognition by winning the 2010 United Nations Public Service Awards in the category “Fostering participation in public policy-making decisions through innovative mechanisms.” The program was the only initiative in Latin America and the Caribbean that addressed this issue. Sponsored by the Division for Public Administration and Development Management of the UN, the award recognizes institutions that have contributed to improve the efficiency of public administration.

The Odebrecht Foundation also coordinates two other initiatives: the Editorial Program – i.e. the books of the Odebrecht Entrepreneurial Technology (TEO) – and Tribute to the Future Program. The Odebrecht Foundation is the institution responsible for the editing and commercialization of the TEO books in three languages. The obtained copyrights and the revenues are intended to support the actions promoted by the institution. On the other hand Tribute to the Future Program enables employees and partners to contribute to the actions supported by the Odebrecht Foundation through the allocation of income tax for social actions that benefit young people in the Environmental Protection Area Mosaic of the Southern Bahia Lowlands. It is based on the Law 8.069/90, establishing the Fund for the Rights of Children and Adolescents (FIA). Investments effected through the Tribute to the Future are destined to those Municipal Funds for the Rights of Children and Adolescents (FMDCA) of the municipalities for which they are collected.

The Odebrecht Foundation has as its commitment the responsible and transparent management of all investors’ resources accompanied by the delivery of impactful results. In 2014, over US $ 100 million in resources both from the institution and its partners were transacted in initiatives supported by the Foundation.

Timeline

1965 - The then Emilio Odebrecht Foundation is created with the initial purpose of providing benefits to the members of Construtora Norberto Odebrecht and their families, since they were not totally covered or partially covered by Social Security. Curiosity: Its initial name was Emilio Odebrecht Foundation, in honor of Norberto Odebrecht´s father.

1982 - The institution changes its focus and begins to act within the public interest arena. Performs awards and debates, mobilizing intelligences in Brazil to help governments in solving social problems.

1983 - Receives copyrights of the works that systematize the Odebrecht Entrepreneurial Technology, giving rise to one of its areas of activity: The Editorial Program.

1988 - The Foundation, stimulated by the challenge of developing methodologies and social intervention strategies in the community, rethought its role. The education of the adolescent for life was defined as the new focus inaugurating the promotion of youth participation.

1999 - The Foundation becomes part of the "Alliance with Adolescents for Sustainable Development in the Northeast," a program whose activities concentrated on regions with low Human Development Index. 18 municipalities were chosen in three northeastern regions: th Southern Lowlands, Bahia; the Eastern Jaguaribe, Ceará; and the Goitá Basin in Pernambuco. The focus was on rural youth and their families.

2003 - Southern Bahia Lowlands becomes the Foundation’s exclusive area of activity, with the strategy moving beyond the prioritizing adolescents, promoting the interaction of the youth with their family. The emphasis would be given instead to sustainable development and growth of local economic activities.

2004 - Establishment of the program Tribute to the Future. Odebrecht Organization’s Members and Associated Companies become able to allocate part of their income tax or make donations to educational projects.

2010 - The sustainable development actions promoted in the Southern Bahia Lowlands EPAs Mosaic are recognized with the United Nations’ Public Service Awards.

2015 – the Odebrecht Foundation celebrates 50 years of continuous transformations, while maintaining its focus on sustainability and connected to a thread that has always been present: the Family-Unit.
 

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