“The youth that arrive here didn’t have dreams or goals. Today, having been trained, they work as monitors and improve their knowledge through practice.” This was the tone of the speech given by Ariângelo dos Santos Pereira, age 21, during the inauguration ceremony for the “Build Better” Professional Training Center head office, held on October 13 in Valença, Bahia.
A student from the second group, the youth demonstrated his satisfaction with the training he has been receiving at the institution, believing that this is the path toward his development. “With the learning I receive each day, I’m certain that I will become a good civil construction professional,” said Pereira.
The event programming included the hoisting of the flag and Brazilian national anthem, statements by local authorities and partners and the uncovering of the inauguration plaque. “With Build Better, we found new horizons for growth and job opportunities for our youth,” said Ramiro José de Queiroz, Mayor of Valença.
For Emanuel Sávio, Coordinator of the training center, the students do not only acquire technical knowledge. “They learn how to become true citizens,” he said.
Christophe Houel, Leader Educator at the center, emphasized: “I am thrilled about making this dream come true,” said Houel. “We now have a physical space that will serve for training and qualifying hundreds of youth.”
Resident of Igrapiúna, Pedro Lopes Júnior, age 22, reveals his activity after completing the course as part of the first group: “In addition to working in the area of civil construction, I pass on what I learn to family members and residents of my city,” he said.
“Build Better” is the result of a Technical and Financial Cooperation Agreement signed in 2009 by the Brazilian National Development Bank (BNDES) and Odebrecht Foundation, which created the Bahia Southern Lowlands Environmental Protection Area Mosaic Integrated and Sustainable Development Program (PDIS), of which the
center is part.
The agreement involves investments in social, production, environment and training actions for the Southern Lowlands communities. BNDES invested R$ 2.3 million in “Build Better.”
During a visit to the region in August of this year, Elvio Gaspar, Director of the Credit and Social Inclusion Area at BNDES, stated that the institution seeks to create social inclusion alternatives by generating work and income. “It is impressive to see the effect that is occurring here,” said Gaspar. “We need to document the results as a way of offering [the initiative] to the country,” he said.
The partnership with BNDES will also benefit other institutions associated with PDIS.
Investments of R$ 1.4 million will be involved to build a fruit pre-processing unit at the Presidente Tancredo Neves Rural Producers’ Cooperative (COOPATAN), granted that the first payment, of approximately R$ 740,000, has already been released. Also at COOPATAN, the project to rebuild the Flour Factory is ready and awaiting the financial institution’s approval.
The Bahia Southern Lowlands Heart of Palm Producers’ Cooperative received more
than R$ 1.2 million to acquire agricultural machinery and equipment, trucks, cars and motorcycles. The investment will benefit the 523 members and their families.
Other projects are currently being elaborated, such as the expansion of the Igrapiúna Family Home, the Agroforest Family Home and the piassava fiber processing unit at the Pratigi Environmental Protection Area Rural Producers’ Cooperative, located in Nilo Peçanha.
The proposal for the construction work at the Continental Waters Aquaculturists’ Cooperative Fish Processing Unit, located in Ituberá, and the construction of the
permanent Rights and Citizenship Institute unit, located in Nilo Peçanha, are also being prepared.