• VOCÊ volunteer program ends in visit to Bahia

    DATE: 04/27/2023

    Published by: Norberto Odebrecht Foundation

    Mentorships connect OEC members and rural youth

    On April 13 and 14, a months-long cycle of mentoring, exchanging experiences, counseling, and creating connections ended in style. VOCÊ volunteering program, carried out by the Norberto Odebrecht Foundation at the request of the OEC, was concluded in a face-to-face visit to the Southern Bahia Lowlands with around 50 participants. The initiative brought together members of the company with young people benefited by the Foundation’s Social Program, promoting meetings to help the participating boys and girls to outline their life and career goals.

    Mentors and mentees were able to see each other face-to-face for the first time. “Seeing up close the reality of these young people is something that delights, that magnifies us,” said Alexandre Baltar, responsible for Sustainability and ESG at OEC/Novonor.

    Uma jovem mulher e uma adolescente conversam

    The mentorships supported young people from rural areas to outline their life and career goals

    The meeting was an opportunity for mentors and mentees to see each other face-to-face for the first time after months of online meetings, and to share the results of the mentorships. Vagner Santos, student at the Presidente Tancredo Neves Rural Family House (CFR-PTN), used the moment to thank his mentor Stael Rocha with an authorial cordel: “Stael, I want to thank you/ for teaching me so much/ for also clarifying / how to think and work / (…) / we talked about my cultures / but in the breeding of pigs we decided to focus / dialoguing and getting to know my reality better / you, all happy, for being able to help me“.

    Other highlights of the pairs’ work were the elaboration of a study plan for the vestibular (university admission test); vocational testing assistance; video calls so that the families of mentors and mentees could get to know each other; video calls to show the day to day of one of the OEC’s construction sites; and support in strengthening the pulp company of the family of one of the young women. For Gabriella Clink, a member of the company, the mentorships taught both the young people and the mentors: “it was inspiring to see in her [Mávila Nunes, her mentor] eyes the will to take a new step. All this was even more rewarding for me, I believe, than for her,” he said.

    Program legacy

    Yago dos Santos, a student at the Igrapiuna Rural Family House (CFR-I) who participated in the initiative and had Sayuri Costa as a mentor, says he hopes the participants will continue to support other young people. “I know she will still add to many people’s lives, because I won’t be her last mentor. Sayuri will still help many more young people as she has helped me,” he said.

    For Gustavo Espinheira, coordinator of People & Organization at the OEC, the friendship with young Gabriel Soares will not end with the closing of the Program. “We have created a relationship of trust that will unfold beyond here. Today, more than ever, it is clear how worthwhile this investment of the company in integrating employees to social actions is,” he said. Letícia Paiva, who works as a lawyer in the OEC’s Legal Department, agrees: “this was the kind of activity that makes us get to know the people we work with better.

    Members were also able to see the production of handmade chocolate in one of the Family Houses visited


    The closing of the VOCÊ Program took place at the Casa Familiar Agroflorestal (CFAF), in Nilo Peçanha (BA). The next day, the mentors were also able to visit the Igrapiuna Rural Family House (CFR-I), in the town of the same name, where they talked to one of the classes in training, visited a cocoa plantation for the first time, and were even able to participate in the production of the artisan chocolate sold by the school, Sonhos da Terra.

    For Alexandre Baltar, responsible for Sustainability and ESG at OEC/Novonor, the VOCÊ program and the visit to the Family Houses allowed the members to get to know a different context, but with many connections to the culture of the Novonor Group. “Seeing up close the reality of these young people is something that delights, that magnifies us,” he said, during the event. “The members present here were able to put Our Culture into practice in a reality that is so different from our daily routine, but that has a lot in common with the values of our organization,” he said.

    One of the purposes of the VOCÊ Program was to carry out initiatives that bring the Group’s members closer to the social transformation generated in the Norberto Odebrecht Foundation’s projects and programs. And for Cláudia Pimentel, responsible for Sustainability and Partnerships at the Foundation, this goal was successfully achieved during the closing ceremony. “We left here with the realization that the program really brought impact to the lives of the mentors and the mentorees. We are very proud to have promoted this program and to have brought this experience to everyone involved,” she said.

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