Those who live in the rural zone are faced with a difficult reality nearly every day: the low level of access to basic services – from the issuing of documentation to the scheduling of doctor’s appointments, as well as sanitation and public transport.
Many residents have to commute to the downtown areas of other cities to receive assistance at the responsible entities. “Leaving the place where I live to resolve pending issues is very complicated,” said Reginaldo dos Santos, from the community Gatos e Papuã, located in Ibirapitanga, Bahia. In order to reach the municipality’s central region, he needs to travel 60 kilometers along a dirt and paved road. He sometimes decides to go to the neighboring city of Gandu. “The distance is shorter, somewhere around 45 kilometers,” said Santos.
In order to improve this scenario, the Rights and Citizenship Institute (IDC), working in partnership with the Bahia Department of Employment, Labor, Income and
Sports, has been promoting volunteer initiatives through the Odebrecht FoundationAction and Citizenship project. The population has access to civil documentation services – identification and worker’s cards, the CPF (Individual Taxpayers’Registry) card and voter registration.In 2012, more than 500 people were assisted.“We coordinated 10 actions in the Southern BahiaLowlands and the result reflects the efforts of all those involved,” said Maria Celeste Pereira, Executive Director of IDC.
The project also received the support of the municipal city governments and local social institutions, such as the Pratigi Environmental Protection Area Guardian Association (AGIR) and the Land Conservation Organization (OCT) – which, just like IDC, are associated with the Development and Integrated Growth Program with Sustainability for the Southern Bahia Lowlands Environmental Protection Areas Mosaic(PDCIS), supported by the Odebrecht Foundation and by public and private partners. “Integration is crucial for contributing toward the development of rural families,” said the Executive Director of AGIR, Pedro Paulo.
Also in 2012, residents of Igrapiúna and Ibirapitanga were directly benefited by the partnership.Lenira Silva Costa,Coordinator of the IDC unit in Nilo Peçanha and responsible for the volunteer efforts, emphasized the importance of synergy between the institutions:“It is a pleasure to work with teams that are committed to making the actions possible,” she said. The community of Juliana, in Piraí do Norte, was also assisted. In April of this year, the IDC team delivered the documents requested during the action promoted back in December.“I have waited for this moment for a long time,” said Elza Nascimento, happily. “Now I feel like a real citizen,” she said. For the second half of 2013, IDC is already planning to hold 10 more volunteer actions under the Action and Citizenship project.
On April 19, IDC took part in the 1st Civil Registration and Basic Documentation Volunteer Action, promoted by the Valença Department of Social Action. On the occasion, the institute team supported and oriented the population on the issuing of documents.“The involvement was designed to strengthen our work, since it is an action similar to that which we promote in the region,” explained Mariene Barbosa, Coordinator of the IDC unit in Valença.