By : Nora Chisnell
The NCR Foundation makes impact grants that make everyday easier for those in need in the communities where we work and live. Belém, the capital of the Brazilian state of Pará, is one of the most populous in the country and a gateway to the Amazon River. NCR has a modern ATM factory further up the river in Manaus.
While all children in Brazil have a right to a free education, many children with disabilities either don’t attend school, and many more don’t complete school once enrolled. In Para, 8.1% of children and adolescents have a disability, yet only 1.7% of the children enrolled in primary school do, which falls to 0.7% in the last years of school.
In partnership with UNICEF the leading humanitarian organization for children, an NCR Foundation impact grant is helping to fund the ‘Rivers of Inclusion’ initiative. This aims to build capacity, programming and awareness within the educational and social support system. It also educates parents of children and adolescents with disabilities about services that enable them to attend public schools and learn according to their individual needs.
“This initiative is making a huge difference to families and children with disabilities in Brazil,” said Yvonne Whitaker, NCR Foundation administrator. “The opportunity to receive an education gives a child a strong foundation to enter a life where they can thrive and accomplish all their goals!”
With UNICEF, Glaucio Barros, NCR Chief Financial Officer for Brazil recently visited the Municipal School Lyceum Mestre Raimundo Cardoso, located in the Icoaraci neighborhood, one of the most vulnerable neighborhoods in the city, where he had the opportunity to talk with teachers, parents and children. Here, he met six year old Angelina Braga who has been visually impaired since birth.
The school, which is part of the project, serves 20,000 students and about 40 children with disabilities. Despite the potential to serve a greater number of children with disabilities, enrollment is low because parents of disabled children are not aware of their educational rights and services offered. That’s where Rivers of Inclusion comes in.
With a two-year, $500,000 NCR Foundation impact grant, the project achieved the following in its first year: