In Pernambuco, Brazil, where the Group’s newest plant is nearing completion, FCA already has programs in place that focus on education, healthy eating and a variety of other areas.
Since opening its first Brazilian plant in Betim in 1976, FCA has worked alongside local authorities and non-governmental organizations on a range of initiatives to benefit local communities. In 2012, those activities were expanded to communities in the State of Pernambuco, where FCA has just completed construction of its largest, most advanced and sustainable plant.
Read more about the Pernambuco project
Over the past three years, FCA has invested more than €1 million to support initiatives to benefit communities in and around the Pernambuco plant. One of these is an educational initiative of the Istituto de Co-responsabilidade pela Educação (Institute for Co-responsibility in Education or ICE) and the Istituto Qualidade no Ensino (Institute for Quality in Teaching or IQE). Over the years, these two NGOs have worked closely with each other on a variety of programs to improve education in public schools in partnership with businesses and local and state authorities. The ICE has developed a new integrated education model, approved by Brazil’s Department of Education, which is being introduced at nearly 700 schools in 7 states (including Pernambuco) with the active involvement of local authorities.
The ICE is providing orientation and training to personnel from the Department of Education, which will be responsible for overseeing implementation at the national level, and the focus of the IQE is to provide training to teachers.
The project consists in expanding the curriculum at elementary schools (students age 8-14), increasing the number of hours students are in the classroom to full-time, and supporting schools in providing additional training to teachers.
In the municipality of Igarassu (Pernambuco), the ICE and IQE, together with the Department of Education for Igarassu, have set out a 3-year action plan that includes direct training and support for teachers and achievement of specific performance targets. Evaluations are conducted on a regular basis to compare the results of students at schools applying the new full-time model versus students from schools still following the traditional curriculum.
In addition to academics, teachers are also expected to work with students in developing their individual identity and relationship skills, as well as encouraging them to participate in extracurricular events such as the math and science olympics and similar activities. Another major objective of the program is to reduce the percentage of students that leave school before completing their studies.
The first phase of the program was launched in Igarassu in mid-2014 and approximately 700 teachers will go through the 3-year training program. It is expected that the new model will be fully operational at 44 schools in the area, involving a total of around 7,000 students from 3rd to 9th grade, beginning with the 2015/2016 academic year.
The school supply kit program is another FCA education initiative, which provides a study incentive to children while also making a contribution to the household budget. At the beginning of each school year, around 15,000 kits with essential school supplies are given out to all children of FCA Group employees in Brazil between the ages of 6 and 14.
FCA – an Official Global Partner of Expo Milano 2015 – actively promotes a culture of healthy eating and physical/mental well-being among employees.
In 2014, Jeep established a health and nutrition program (Programa Nutrição e Saúde) at the Pernambuco plant, in partnership with the Fiat Foundation, to offer employees the opportunity to re-evaluate their eating habits and better understand the impact diet can have on their overall quality of life.
Increasing awareness of dietary issues not only helps employees control their own weight and prevent related illnesses, but can also encourage the adoption of more health-conscious eating habits by their families.
As part of the program, employees are provided a screening by a team of nutritionists who, during a 50 minute one-to-one consultation, develop a personalized diet and nutrition plan for the employee. Employee cafeterias at the plant will also offer a variety of food choices to help promote a more balanced diet.
The target for the program, which runs until June 2015, is to reach a total of at least 400 employees.