When a youth from Bahia’s Southern Lowlands enters one of the three family homes operating in the region, all supported by the Odebrecht Foundation, he or she discovers an opportunity for development in the rural region, close to the family. The professional training offered by these teaching units is suited to the students’ reality and integrates the high school and vocational levels. Hundreds of new entrepreneurs are rewriting their own histories. In 2012, some 300 people will be benefitted.
Márcia da Silva, a student at the Presidente Tancredo Neves Family Home (CFR-PTN) since 2009, is one example. The youth, who will complete the course in June of this year, stated that her life changed: “I began to believe that I would be able to develop my skills in agriculture,” said Silva. “By associating personal and production skills, I want to become the owner of my own business, help my family and be a leader in my community.”
The training offered by the family homes uses a unique methodology called “Trade-Off Teaching,” which allows the students to spend a week as interns with lessons in the classroom and on the field, and another two weeks on their properties, applying their new knowledge. All of the work is developed under the supervision and orientation of specialized monitors. During a three-year period, participants learn about rural administration, cooperativism, soil management, irrigation and drainage, as well as a range of different cultivations.
“With the knowledge acquired at the Igrapiúna Rural Family Home [CFR-I], I have already achieved some great results and I’m prepared to develop my horticulture project in 2012. Through this and other initiatives, I hope to improve my family’s income and set an example,” said Jossilma Brito, a student at CFR-I.
Andressa Dirlane, a new student at the Agroforest Family Home (Cfaf), located in Nilo Peçanha, can hardly contain her excitement. “The course that is beginning will promote a human and professional transformation in our lives,” she said. “I saw this already during the inaugural class.”