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Lucy de Freitas (photo) – a member from Odebrecht Ambiental – Aquapolo’s Social Responsibility Area wants to know:
"Why the choice for Mosaic of Environmental Protection Areas of the Southern Bahia Lowlands as the Odebrecht Foundation area of operation?"
Check out the answer!
After a history of initiatives dedicated to the support of Odebrecht Organization’s family members, to the promotion of awards and debates, and to fostering the education of adolescents in urban areas (read the full story here), the Odebrecht Foundation decided in 1999 to adjust the focus of its activities to the Northeast, keeping the mission of educating for life. That year, it joined the Instituto Ayrton Senna, Kellogg Foundation and National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES) to set in motion the Alliance with Adolescents for Sustainable Development of the Northeast.
Three rural micro-regions with low levels of human development were chosen as beneficiaries. These were: the Southern Bahia Lowlands, Bahia; Eastern Jaguaribe, Ceará; and the Goitá River Basin in Pernambuco. The goal was to act in the cause of social problems - such as involuntary migration of young people to major centers - and not in the consequence.
The Alliance with Adolescents Program, with a five year time frame, would be completed in 2004. A year earlier, the Odebrecht Foundation decided that it would continue with the activities while concentrating its efforts in the Southern Bahia Lowlands, materializing, in conjunction with public and private partners the PDCIS - Development and Integrated Growth Program with Sustainability for the Southern Bahia Lowlands Environmental Protection Areas Mosaic.
Norberto Odebrecht influenced the choice of the Mosaic Southern Bahia Lowlands Environmental Protection Areas Mosaic. In 1940, during his frequent visits to the works’ sites of the Construction Company, in the municipality of Bahia Ituberá that Norberto Odebrecht came under the enchantment of the natural wealth and met with the dire reality of the communities in the region. Made up of 11 municipalities and a population that thrives on diversified agriculture, fishing and tourism, the territory coexist with poverty amidst its environmental exuberance.
In order to contribute to change this situation, Norberto Odebrecht began, in the 1950s, business focused on the development of the Southern Bahia Lowlands, which boosted the local economy. Named SAICI, S.A. - Ituberá Commerce and Industry, the institution spread its operation in a multitude of areas such as power generation and wood processing. However, a few years later, structural conditions and insufficient planning radically changed the situation, which culminated in the discontinuation of the company. Learn more about this experience in the book Education for Work, Part III, Chapters 12, 13 and 14.
Norberto Odebrecht’s commitment to develop the Southern Bahia Lowlands, however, remained and re-materialized in 1999, with the implementation of the Alliance with Adolescents Program and then with the PDCIS.