For almost four decades, the Center for Popular Education and Social Training has been working to promote solutions and improve the quality of life of communities and families in the semi-arid region of Paraíba. Founded in 1985, the NGO focuses its efforts on the sustainable development of family farming in the region, seeking viable alternatives for living with the local reality. Watch:
José Dias, executive coordinator of the organization, recalls the period of construction of the entity. “The CEPFS emerged with the purpose of strengthening family farming and over time it worked from the training point of view, but from 1994 onwards it began to work with social technologies to materialize what had been worked on from the training point of view , as proof that it is possible to live in the semi-arid region when you have social technologies to improve quality of life, especially in terms of capturing and managing rainwater”, says the coordinator.
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Since its founding, more than 90,000 families have participated in CEPFS training processes and around 3,000 cisterns have been built with the help of the center. Through different programs and innovative social technologies, the organization trains family farmers, helping with production even during periods of drought, ensuring food security and strengthening communities.
With a specialized approach, CEPFS adopts two main areas of action: the first axis is based on the environment and sustainable development, with the application of social technologies and the second axis is community strengthening and development, where the organization promotes the protagonism of family farmers, involving communities in decisions that affect their lives.
Farmer Otaciano Cavalcanti is one such example. “In the past I wanted to plant a little bed like this. I would plant there in the dam during the period when there was water and today I’m producing here in the backyard at home, right? We are learning to live with the drought, right? Because if we don’t learn to live with it, we will suffer more every day”, shares the farmer.
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The practice has helped farmers to realize the potential of the semi-arid region, says José Dias. “As they have water, they begin to realize that they have conditions and knowledge. And when this knowledge is exchanged, shared with each other, it becomes a new knowledge, that is, a deeper knowledge of the possibilities of living in the semi-arid region, understanding that it is possible to work from the offers that nature itself offers”, he explains.
Even with the impact of the center’s work over these 38 years, the entity understands that its work has limitations, but that it is also mainly a way of proposing and showing the viability of actions. “Of course, what is worked on is as a reference for public policies. We understand that for a more massive service it is important that these references worked by the NGOs constitute public policies of the state for the massive service of the population”, points out the coordinator.
Committed to transforming realities, CEPFS has played an important role for 38 years in the search for solutions for the sustainable development of family farming in the semi-arid region of Paraíba. To learn more about the work of the Center for Popular Education and Social Training, visit the website cepfs.org.br.
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Source: BdF Pernambuco
Editing: Vanessa Gonzaga
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