To see firsthand the transformations made possible by the Development and Integrated Growth Program with Sustainability (PDCIS). That was the goal of the visit by members of the Board of Curators of the Odebrecht Foundation, the Board of Directors and the Executive Board of Odebrecht S.A., as well as representatives from the shareholder Kieppe, to the Southern Bahia Lowlands on April 26 and 27.
The visit was marked by the active participation of the beneficiaries of the PDCIS, who talked about their world view and how they are building a future in the countryside with a better quality of life. The first stop was at the Rural Family House of Presidente Tancredo Neves (CFR-PTN), located in the municipality of Presidente Tancredo Neves. Students and faculty members of not only CFR-PTN, but also of the Rural Family House of Igrapiúna (CFR-I) and the Agroforest Family House (Cfaf), were present.
“To us, it’s very gratifying to meet the people who directly support us. It give us a chance to tell our story and to talk about how the education we receive at the Family Home is fundamental to our lives”, said Carina dos Santos, a student at CFR-I. Rita Cardoso, the principal of Cfaf, highlighted the role that the rural family homes play in fostering in students a sense of belonging and pride in a rural lifestyle. “Through the PDCIS, we are contributing to the social, economic and environmental transformation of the living conditions of the youth and their families. We believe that, through education, we can develop communities and strengthen our roots and the region”.
After talking with the students, the board member of the Odebrecht Foundation, Cláudio Pádua, talked about the education for work and life that the youth receive. “Here I met young people who have seized on the opportunities presented, are articulate, are empowered and are making a difference by sharing knowledge”. Jorge Camargo, a director at Odebrecht S.A., said that he considers the Family Houses a reference in vocational education. “The quality of the teachers and the administrators is exceptional. They are people who are committed and motivated, especially to teaching. The results could not be any different: youth whose lives have been transformed”.
Afterwards, visitors learned about the work of the Presidente Tancredo Neves Rural Producers' Cooperative (Coopatan) by talking with the family farmers in the Southern Bahia Lowlands, especially the graduates of the rural family homes who are now cooperative members. “With the cooperative, we always know that we will have consumers to whom we can sell what we produce on our land”, explained Adilton do Nascimento, a former student at CFR-PTN and member of Coopatan. Ruy Sampaio, Chairman of the Board of Odebrecht S.A. and of the Foundation’s Board of Curators, said, “We already can see a new generation of farmers who are changing the Southern Bahia Lowlands. The goals are being achieved and new challenges defined, which motivates us to commit to doing even more”.
Daniel Villar, People, Communication and Sustainability Officer at Odebrecht S.A., reminisced about his visit over ten years ago and the initiatives supported by the Odebrecht Foundation. “Back then, I talked with the youth who were still studying, and now I see how they have become rural entrepreneurs who are creating businesses, producing and transforming their world”.
In harmony with the environment
At the Papuã Center, located in Ibirapitanga, Bahia, the work fronts of the Land Conservation Organization (OCT) were presented to the directors. They met Arival Mamédio, known as “Seu Vavá,” a farmer who had an Agroforest System (SAF) implemented and a natural spring recovered on his property, with the support of OCT. “I learned how to add value to my products. Today, I farm in harmony with nature and would not trade my plot for anything”, said the rural producer.
According to Luciano Guidolin, CEO of Odebrecht S.A. and a member of the Foundation’s Board of Curators, being able once again to see firsthand the commitment to sustainable development only reinforces the importance of investing in the PDCIS. “For those who day in and day out are working with entrepreneurship programs, it is truly inspiring to see the Odebrecht Group’s social contributions and the impact on the lives of hundreds of families”.
To Norberto Odebrecht Neto, a representative of the shareholder Kieppe, the foundation’s work keeps his grandfather’s dream alive. “I have accompanied the foundation’s work for years, but talking to the young people is still surprising. The multiplier effect these boys and girls have is a huge benefit for the region. I see my grandfather’s legacy continuing”, he said.
Fabio Wanderley, Superintendent of the Foundation, highlighted the visit’s importance, “We’re certain that our contribution is helping to build a more harmonious and equitable society. On behalf of the team at the Odebrecht Foundation, we appreciate the opportunity for such an intense exchange and learning experience with our board members and other guests”.