There are many ways of exercising solidarity and contributing to a cause. And one way to mobilize resources for social projects can be through the allocation of part of the Income Tax (IT)? In Brazil, income taxpayers (Individuals) who file the Annual Income Tax Return through the complete form can allocate up to 6% of the tax to benefit projects aimed at the Rights of Children and Adolescents and still get the tax benefit, that is, a refund.
Since 2004, the Odebrecht Foundation has been conducting the Tribute to the Future Campaign, combining this contribution model with spontaneous donations that benefit the Family Houses, rural schools that are partners of the institution in the realization of the Development and Integrated Growth Program with Sustainability (PDCIS), Social Program carried out in the Southern Bahia Lowlands. In these schools, hundreds of teenagers have access to a quality education and are encouraged to undertake with their families, preserving the environment. With a teaching contextualized to the rural area, the institutions use as methodology the Pedagogy of Alternation, Where students spend one week at school, full-time, with theoretical and practical classes, and two weeks on their family farms, applying the new knowledge.
Last year’s campaign mobilized over 4,000 people and raised R$2 million, an amount that directly destined to the Municipal Funds for the Rights of Children and Adolescents and that has been used in the training of these teenagers. According to the accountability data for the first half of 2020, released in early August, 358 students were able to continue their studies and 2,045 people were indirectly impacted.
“The challenges of education in rural areas are numerous, even more so in a pandemic scenario like we are experiencing. However, from many joint efforts, the Family Houses are succeeding in keeping up with the education process, with online classes and follow-up via instant messaging applications”, says Beatriz Lepikson, responsible for the Tribute to the Future at the Odebrecht Foundation. Young people like Patrícia de Oliveira, a student at one of the Family Houses, are adapting to the new way of attending classes. “Being able to study from a distance is very good, since we can’t leave home due to the pandemic. This way we can continue our studies, distract ourselves and keep in touch with our colleagues,” says Patricia.
Also with the resources mobilized in 2019 by the campaign, 61 multiplier actions – activities such as seminars, workshops and field days through which young people benefited by the PDCIS share with their communities the knowledge acquired in school – were carried out in the first half of 2020. Besides, 202 Educational-Productive Projects were implemented (PEPs) on the properties of the supported teenagers. From the PEPs, these young people have received inputs and guidance to implement their first crops, learning how to undertake in the field and achieving better living conditions for their families.
Solidarity was also a highlight of the first months of the year. In order to support the students’ families during the pandemic, the Foundation and its partner institutions have articulated, with social investors, donations of food staples, Hygiene products and masks. “We understand that this year we need to be strongly united. The results we disclose with the accountability for Tribute to the Future reinforce our commitment to building new opportunities for adolescents in the rural area of Bahia Southern Lowlands”, says Cristiane Nascimento, responsible for the Sustainability, Partnerships and Communication at the Odebrecht Foundation. This year’s Tribute to the Future campaign will begin at the end of September.