“I believe that education in rural areas can be life-changing. And I see in us teenagers the potential for this change,” said Jusimari Santos, a 17 year old student at the Agroforest Family Home (Cfaf) in Nilo Peçanha, a city in the Lowlands of Southern Bahia. Together with her, another 300 students from the Family Homes – schools associated with UNESCO and supported by the Odebrecht Foundation through the Program for Development and Growth Integrated with Sustainability (PDCIS) – are putting into practice, with an incentive from Tribute to the Future, educational projects that already are transforming their lives.
In 2017, the actions planted by the 2016 campaign have already begun to bear fruit. The R$3.3 million raised by over 6,000 participants also directly and indirectly benefitted some 9,000 people in 16 cities and 169 communities in the Lowlands of Southern Bahia. According to Cristiane Nascimento, head of the PDCIS and coordinator of Tribute to the Future, the program reinforces the Odebrecht Foundation’s commitment to monitor the proper use of the funds raised and to render an account to social investors in a transparent and ethical way.
“We rigorously followed compliance standards throughout the process and have in the people supporting the cause a major partner. Aware of our duty to raise awareness on the initiative, we value the rights of social investors, who, by contributing, become agents of transformation in the lives of so many teens,” she said.
With contributions from over 6,000 participants, students at the Family Homes implemented productive projects on their properties.
There are three teaching units supported by the foundation – the Agroforest Family Home (Cfaf), which combines a high school education with technical training in Forestry Activities; the Rural Family Home of Presidente Tancredo Neves (CFR-PTN), which combines a high school education with technical training in Agriculture; and the Rural Family Home of Igrapiúna (CFR-I), which offers technical training in Agribusiness – sponsored a total of 384 Educational-Productive Projects (PEPs). PEPs are activities that complement the school curriculum of the Homes, helping students to create, together with their families, the first rural businesses on their properties to support this effort, they receive inputs and instructions for cultivating the crops planned, earn income and reinvest the profits into future production cycles. Gustavo Nascimento, a 15-year-old student at CFR-PTN, was able, through Tribute to the Future, to get his first PEP off paper and today has a small farm on his family’s property. “I have my own productive project, where I can apply what I’ve learned and also make a profit,” he said.
The teaching institutions also organize Multiplier Actions, such as the Rural Seminars, which are lectures given by students in their freshmen year that fosters an exchange of experiences and the dissemination of knowledge among communities, and Days in the Field, which are moments for sharing the techniques learned from neighboring farmers. Through these practices, the knowledge acquired transcends school walls to benefit hundreds of people.
Through Multiplier Actions, youth share their knowledge with the community
Through Tribute to the Future, Camila Rocha, a 17-year-old former student at CFR-I, was able to take her first steps towards transforming her situation and already is an example in her community. In her second year of the program, after implementing her PEP, she took pride in the importance of her own work. “After planting everything, I looked at it and said: this isn’t just one hectare of pupunha palm trees, this is my company, and I’m going to make the most of everything I learned at the Family Home. Before, I used to think we couldn’t go far by just working the land. But now I know we can build a big future, a beautiful future, through agriculture.”
Did you know?
Funds donated or allocated through Tribute to the Future go straight to the Fund for Children’s and Adolescent’s Fund of the municipal governments, through the Municipal Council for Children’s and Adolescent’s Rights, which transfers the funds to projects that promote and defend the rights of these people.