“Youth empowerment: transformation to achieve sustainable development”. It was with this theme that, on November 22 and 23, the 6th Brazil Africa Forum brought to Salvador, Bahia leaders from around the world to discuss the importance of new generations for building the future. With plenary sessions on the role of youth in promoting peace and new models for an inclusive creative economy, the international event also featured a presentation by Cristiane Nascimento, Sustainability Director at the Odebrecht Foundation.
On the forum’s first day, Cristiane gave a presentation with the theme “Young people as agents of transformation in search of sustainable land development”, which covered the activities and efforts organized by the Odebrecht Foundation in the region of the Southern Bahia Lowlands. She began her presentation by contextualizing the Program for Development and Growth Integrated with Sustainability (PDCIS) coordinated by the Odebrecht Foundation, whose objective is to socially, economically and environmentally transform the living conditions of people in the Lowlands of Southern Bahia. “Participating in the 6th Brazil Africa Forum was very synergistic and converged significantly with what we do. It’s a great opportunity to raise awareness on the foundation’s work among other leaders, who may be interested in technical cooperation and in sharing the social technology applied in the PDCIS to contribute in other regions where we can help and make a difference”, said Cristiane.
Throughout her presentation, she also reinforced the Odebrecht Foundation’s initiatives to promote education, highlighting the partnership with the Family Houses, the technical high schools for youth from 14 to 19 years old operating in the Lowlands of Southern Bahia. Cristiane showed that, by supporting these institutions, the foundation works to create opportunities so that young people can grow and develop in rural areas alongside their families and with a good quality of life.
Focus on quality education
The forum’s program featured discussions on ways to empower young people. In a message to the leaders present on the event’s first day, José Ramos Horta, former president of East Timor and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, reinforced the importance of discussing topics related to youth, with a focus on educating future generations. “When we talk about youth empowerment, we must invest much more in education, health, nutrition, food security for families and for young people. Empowering youth is only possible through strategic investments in quality education”, said Horta.
The event gathered some 300 representatives from government, companies and universities as well as potential investors to exchange experiences and create opportunities for young people in Brazil and African countries.