Brazil: Literacy training for guaraná producers
Reading, writing and counting lessons offered to adults in guaraná producing communities where education resources are scarce.
The guaraná fruit, the extract of which is known for its concentrated caffeine content, is an iconic feature of Brazilian biodiversity and agriculture. It has long been cultivated through family farming in remote rural areas in the region of South Bahia. The geographical isolation of the guaraná-farming communities has contributed to high illiteracy rates and makes them particularly vulnerable, socially and economically. This tends to lead to low self-confidence among the farmers. Difficulties to read, write and count also affect their daily working life.
Forming part of the “Guaraná valorisation programme”, our literacy project aims to provide a basic education to the producers and their communities so that they are able to read, write and count. Five young and motivated people from the communities who had completed middle school were trained as educators by a socio-pedagogical coordinator from our local partner, the non-governmental organisation Floravida.
It was important that trainings were delivered by someone from within the community to ensure a good understanding of the local context and to create a climate of trust for the learners. 98 adults benefitted from the first series of classes that were conducted in five communities. As of 2021, classes are continuing in two additional communities.
“The challenge and daily difficulty of motivating rural and manual workers to study at night was substantial, but after reading the first sentences in messages from farmers, even with errors, we knew that the literacy course was the start of a significant change in their life.”
Erika, Floravida Institute Programme Coordinator