Bahai News - BAHA'I-INSPIRED NGO RECEIVES GRANT FOR VOCATIONAL TRAINING IN THE AMAZON
BAHA'I-INSPIRED NGO RECEIVES GRANT FOR VOCATIONAL TRAINING IN THE
MANAUS, Brazil, 16 November 2001 (BWNS) -- As part of a government program
to reduce unemployment, a Baha'i-inspired development organization in the
Amazon basin has received a major grant from the Brazilian Ministry of
Education to expand its vocational education program here, with the goal of
offering courses to more than 4,000 students per year by 2006.
The grant, equivalent to some US$850,000, will allow the Associacao para o
Desenvolvimento Coesivo da Amazonia (ADCAM) [Association for the Cohesive
Development of Amazon] to build and equip a three-story technical education
building on its 12-acre property in the Sao Jose suburb of Manaus.
Construction is scheduled to begin in December, leading to completion of
the building in July 2002.
"This is a major expansion of vocational training opportunities in the
region, which is greatly needed because of the high level of unemployment
in the Amazon basin, especially among young people," said Ferial Sami
Farzin, general director of ADCAM. "Our goal is to strive to improve the
quality of life and release the potential of the rural population so that
they become leaders in the vanguard in support of their own development."
Under the terms of the grant contact, 50 percent of the money will be
used for construction and the other 50 percent will be used to fit the
building with equipment -- such as computers, chairs, tables, instruments,
and blackboards. ADCAM will shoulder all operating costs, relying on
tuition fees and voluntary contributions for its funding. Under the terms
of the contact, as well, at least 50 percent of the students will receive
The new building will be known as the Masrour Technology Institute. Current
plans call for the building to include the following laboratories: design,
computer, airconditioning, language, music, ceramic, textile, chemical,
environmental, electronic, and esthetic. The building will have a total
floor space of 2,800 square meters.
Initially, courses will be offered in business management, social
development facilitation, and environmental technology. By 2003, courses
in design, nutrition and air conditioning technology will be added, as the
teaching staff is expanded. A number of shorter, basic-level modular
courses, in similar subjects, will also be offered.
By offering courses in the morning, afternoon and evening, the Institute
hopes to make maximum use of the facility, offering as many sessions as
possible. By 2006, the Institute expects to have a full complement of staff,
with the capacity to serve approximately 640 students per year in the main
subjects, and another 4,350 per year in the shorter, basic-level courses.
"ADCAM serves disadvantaged people who, for the most part, would be
without any aid, education or social services if this development project
did not exist," said Ms. Farzin. "It is located in the midst of one of the
poorest neighborhoods in Manaus, serving people who would have no other
opportunity to develop their innate capacities if this project wasn't
placed in this region."
Established 16 year ago, ADCAM's first project was an orphanage. With a
mandate to operate following Baha'i principles, ADCAM soon added other
programs focused on helping the young people of Manaus. Currently, ADCAM
operates three major programs: an elementary school, a youth leadership
project, and a supervised youth service project. These programs currently
serve more than 700 youth.
"In all of our programs, the overriding goal is to balance material
instruction with individual spiritual and moral education in order to help
the people of the Amazon develop their innate capacities and become
self-sustaining in their social and economic development," said Ms. Farzin.
"We strive to fit these programs into a context of the needs of the region,
based on our long experience with other organizations here, while at the
same time following Baha'i principles in our operation and activities."
The grant contract was signed at a ceremony on 21 September 2001 at the
seat of the Ministry of Education in Brasilia. Present were various federal
and state authorities, including Brazil's Minister of Education, Professor
ADCAM was represented by Ms. Farzin and invited guests Carlos Alberto Silva,
representing the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Brazil, and
Guitty Milani, representing the Masrour Association, a donor for the project
Ms. Farzin added that the Institute will expand its staff considerably in
the next few years and she said she hoped that Baha'is around the world
with appropriate backgrounds will apply to offer service at the Institute.
©Copyright 2001, Baha'i World News Service
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