«This is only the beginning, and we are stronger than ever», Dream Learn Work Chairman Halvard Idland commemorated during anniversary event.
The event took place on September 29, 2016 in the Firjan building in downtown Rio de Janeiro, and after presentations by students, Chairman Halvard Idland and General Manager Ana Luiza Carboni-Brito, refreshments were served at the rooftop terrace.
«10 years is a lot and we are very proud to have reached the point where we are today. We are stronger than ever, and this is only the beginning», Dream Learn Work Chairman Halvard Idland said in his address to the event.
He hopes to see the NGO, created as a response to a challenge given by former Norwegian Minister Erik Solheim to Norwegian companies in Brazil, grow even stronger in the future. Mr. Solheim challenged the companies to show more social responsibility, and DOF Subsea, Jotun, Det Norske Veritas and Vard went ahead and founded Dream Learn Work (DLW). Today, a wide range of companies participate in and support the work of the NGO, helping young people towards a better future. Many of the companies and representatives of the educational institutions that the organization cooperates closely with, were also present at the event.
The Norwegian Brazilian Chamber of Commerce has also been supporting DLW in its activities since the beginning. In 10 years DLW has helped nearly 500 young Brazilians to fulfill their dreams of getting an education, a professional career and to become economically independent.
«Investing in young people through education and work, has always been our main focus, and we would like to grow together with our important partners. Our aspiration is to grow even more, maybe outside of Rio and maybe even outside of Brazil. There are no limits», Mr. Idland said.
The Dream Learn Work program emerged as a desire from several Norwegian companies in Brazil to offer vocational training to young Brazilians and at the same time, comply with their own need for qualified manpower.
The NGO is however facing challenges, and many are competing for the same resources in a difficult economic scenario. Finding jobs or scholarships for the DLW students is however the biggest challenge the organization is facing.
«But we have the tools and we would like to overcome these challenges through an open dialogue with our partners. 90,5 percent of our students currently complete their courses and this is incredible considering the life situation of many of the students», Mr. Idland said.
Several DreamLearnWork participants shared their dreams and experiences during the event.
«It´s important to dream, and I want to paint other people´s dreams. Where I come from, art is not valued. I want to teach children the art of painting and graffiti and the importance of having dreams. I would also like to take the chance to thank DLW for helping me find my way», graffiti artist Igor Moreno said.
«My dream is to study pedagogy and to open an orphanage», says Thamires Lacerda.
«I wanted to become a photographer, a dream that has come true, thanks to DLW», said Tayanne Martins,who was also taking photos at the event.
«I needed the little push that DLW gave me. Now I am studying to become a dental prosthetist technician», Jaqueline da Silva Dias said.
«Today we have asked our participants to tell us their dreams and the path they have taken to fulfill these dreams, and it is amazing to hear that we have had an impact on their vision for the future and that our support makes a real difference. All of them said that they want to realize their ambitions and give back to their communities, to help others. Hearing them I feel we are doing something right and really improving their outlook for the future», says General Manager Ana Luiza Carboni-Brito.
By Runa Hestmann, NBCC journalist