From our creation in 1965, to the commitment which we made to perpetuate the legacy of our founder, Norberto Odebrecht: these are the milestones of work that has always held the development of people at its core.
Over more than 55 years of our history in the third sector, we have acted in different ways, always believing in the potential of human evolution. As a focus to combat poverty and inequality, six major highlights stand out in our trajectory:
One of the oldest business foundations in Brazil, it was created with the purpose of providing the members of the Construtora Norberto Odebrecht (CNO) with the benefits that the Brazilian Social Security, at that time, did not cover. Initially it was denominated Emílio Odebrecht Foundation (FEO) as a tribute to the founder’s father.
Odebrecht reached 20 thousand members. This growth stimulated that of the Foundation itself, which instituted Decentralized Units to bring benefits to construction sites that the construction company began to implement in Brazil. The support centers offered, among other assistances, medical care and literacy courses.
The FEO began to dedicate itself to the Brazilian worker and its family, a landmark considered the first great turn of its performance. The institution’s scope of work began to include socio-cultural actions programs, such as debates, research grants and awards. The aim was to stimulate and give prestige to national intelligence in identifying, analyzing and proposing solutions to the problems that hinder worker productivity. This stage was marked by the launch of the Emílio Odebrecht Foundation Award, the result of an agreement with the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq).
Stimulated by the challenge of developing methodologies and strategies for social intervention in the community, the FEO assumed a new focus: the education of the adolescent, with the objective of forming responsible, conscious and participative people and stimulating the Youth Protagonism. It is at this moment that the institution chooses the mission of Educating for Life, through Work, on the basis of Values and surpassing Limits.
Also in that year, FEO signed a partnership with 11 public and private entities from Bahia to recover and modernize State of Bahia’s Lyceum of Arts and Crafts, an institution that offered artistic and professional formation for youths from Salvador (BA).
From the 1990s onwards, the FEO supported the publication of several books related to adolescents and Youth Protagonism, which addressed issues such as sexual education, public policies for youths and improvements in schools. During this period, the Foundation participated in discussions and contributed actively to the creation of the Statute of the Child and Adolescent (ECA), confirming its direction towards youths and their protagonism.
In partnership with the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (Unicef), the Foundation launched the "Only Schools can Correct Brazil" campaign to stimulate the debate on education in the country. The advertising piece was watched by more than 146 million viewers. The purpose was to mobilize the Brazilian society around the guarantee of a qualified public primary education.
The institution was renamed the Odebrecht Foundation (FO). It also launched the "Adolescent for a Better School" campaign, which awarded the best proposals presented by 2,850 youths aged 13 to 18 from 422 municipalities in 19 Brazilian states. In total, 924 papers were presented on how it could be possible to improve the public school.
The FO supported the Pact of the Discovery Site for Education, an action that aimed at mobilizing and articulating actions with the objective of guaranteeing the entry, permanence and success of children and adolescents in schools. It benefited the following Bahia municipalities: Eunápolis, Porto Seguro, Santa Cruz Cabralia, Prado and Belmonte.
Focused its operations in the Northeast region, a space marked by low Human Development Indexes. It then joined the "Alliance with Adolescents for Sustainable Development of the Northeast" program. The focus was on generating opportunities for rural youth. The program, which was completed in 2004 with the creation of the Alliance Institute, was the result of a partnership with the Ayrton Senna Institute, the Kellogg Foundation and the National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES).
The year marked another important turning point for the Odebrecht Foundation. Maintaining the vision of acting on the cause of social and economic problems, the FO defined as its focus the promotion of sustainable territorial development. It created then the Development and Integrated Growth Program with Sustainability (PDCIS), whose focus is the Southern Bahia Lowlands region, supporting the emergence of a new generation of young protagonists, multipliers of knowledge for their families and communities.
The Tribute to the Future was created, an initiative that serves as an important source of fundraising, both inside and outside the Odebrecht Group, to enable educational projects aimed at the formation and socio-productive inclusion of adolescents in rural areas of the Southern Bahia Lowlands.
The Odebrecht Foundation was awarded with the 2nd Brazil's Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Award from the General Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic, awarded to projects that contribute with effective results to the achievement of Sustainable Development. The institution was the only business foundation to win the award.
The PDCIS was recognized with the United Nations Public Service Award in the category "Improving citizen participation in public decision-making processes through innovative mechanisms".
In July, the founder and great supporter of the Foundation, Norberto Odebrecht, passed away. The institution continued with the commitment to keep alive its legacy, giving continuity to the PDCIS’ actions in the Southern Bahia Lowlands, a desire recorded by Norberto in a will.
The Odebrecht Foundation celebrated 50 years and renewed its commitment to youths and their families, inserted in their own communities. To mark the date, an intense communication campaign was carried out, with the publication of an institutional video and a special magazine with the history of the Foundation.
After 15 years of existence, the PDCIS had its impact evaluated using structured methodology to identify and quantify its results. The work also provides for the systematization of the social technology, aiming to evaluate the capacity for reapplication in other regions.
The Tribute to the Future campaign celebrated its 15 year anniversary. Also in 2019, we attained the Transparent NGO seal. Promoted by Instituto Doar, this recognition confirms the transparency of the information that we provide on the internet, highlighting our commitment to ethical and transparent activity with integrity, always in search of best third sector governance and compliance practices.
After the Impact Evaluation had proven the efficacy of PDCIS, and its potential for reapplication, we systematized our social technology. Launched in Norberto Odebrecht`s centenary year, the publication aims to facilitate PDCIS reapplication in regions of social vulnerability in Brazil, and around the world.
We changed our name to the Norberto Odebrecht Foundation, thereby reaffirming our commitment of keeping our founder`s legacy alive.