Enthusiasm, joy and excitement.This was the look in the eyes of the graduates from the Family Homes and Youth Home who returned on October 24 as part of an educational journey to the State of Veracruz, Mexico.During a seven-day period, the group visited schools and tourism points in six different cities.“There are no words to describe how much we grew during this trip,” said Camila da Silva, age 17, from Presidente Tancredo Neves (BA). “We discovered a rich culture and a country that preserves its roots. We brought our traditions and showed that in Brazil, there is agriculture and youth who want to change their reality and that of the communities in which they live,” said Silva.
According to the graduates, in all the sites visited it was possible to share a bit more about the Bahia Southern Lowlands Environmental Protection Area Mosaic Integrated and Sustainable Development Program (PDIS), supported by the Odebrecht Foundation. Ueslei Nascimento, from Igrapiúna (BA), pointed out that he will remember this experience forever.“We held exhibits at the schools, presented our program and learned more about their reality,” said Nascimento, age 18.“It was an unforgettable exchange,” he said.
For Abinael dos Santos, age 18, the most impressive moment was the lunch with the First Lady of Veracruz, Karime de Duarte.“I can’t explain what went through my head when I saw my spot marked with a plaque containing my name and profession,” said Duarte.“This gave me great pride.Being there as a farmer, as someone from PDIS and the Southern Lowlands, this was the greatest feeling ever,” said the producer from Presidente Tancredo Neves.
The First Lady, who visited the Southern Lowlands in August, thanked the visitors for their interest in learning more about the local culture.“The youth are the fortress of our society, the hope for us to continue developing without losing our values and customs,” she said.
The exchange was made possible by Braskem and Odebrecht América Latina e Angola, as well as with the support of the local government.“We realized that the Veracruz Government admires Odebrecht,” said Robson Kisaki, Executive Director of the Igrapiúna Rural Family Home, who monitored the youth.“They truly believe that the Organization is there to transfer technology, train people and contribute toward the State’s development,” said Kisaki.
The graduates now have a different mission.To share their experience during the exchange program with the institutions associated with PDIS.Divided into three
groups, the youth will visit the headquarters of the projects in the Southern Lowlands and share their impressions and lessons learned.