Free apprenticeship programme for underprivileged youngsters in Brazil


Failing education system in Brazil

Brazil’s education system is failing as most poor Brazilian children enter public schools. Most of these schools lack quality teachers, teaching materials. Once teenagers leave highschool and need to their national test to enter the better public University only the lucky few make it. This because the wealthy teenagers have had quality private education and enter the best public University. What lasts is expensive private Universities. Most drop out of school at a young age because their is little faith in education. Those who finish school and do not make it into university need to invest heavy in quality vocational courses to obtain a better job.


Our experience working with teenagers

Bart Bijen the owner and director of Eco Caminhos has runned an orphange for 6 years in Brazil and knows the problems of the system. In Brazil children in poverty still gain a lot of attention. When they turn teenagers lacking oportunities they are seen as criminals even before they commit the first crime. Teenagers without formation are completely neglected by the government and society. Either these teenagers have a very strong desire to make the best of their lifes or they end up in drugstraffic, prostitution and other forms of crime. In the period before and during the world cup and olimpic games, the Rio favelas where cleaned by military intervention. It was presented as a big succes. Now 1 year after the olimpic games the situation is back to what it was and possibly worse.



Eco Caminhos’s apprenticeship programme

At Eco CAminhos we do not want to sit and wait until the government starts realizing that education is the best way to reduce crime.  Of course we can not solve the problem in Brazil but we can offer a high quality vocational education programme for teenagers. And hopefully we can also set an example to other organization.

Eco Caminhos wants to invite motivated youngsters for a fantastic oportunity. Our apprenticeship programme is one of our main projects at Eco Caminhos. We want to offer a 1 – 2 year vocational training programme all inclusive. Accommodation, healthy food, vocational training, school support, evening school, activities such as sports, game nights, camping weekends.

Eco Caminhos will provide those who are motivated an apprentice programme of choice in bioconstruction, permaculture, renewable energy, hospitality or eco turism. The youngsters will grow in self-confidence and will be stimulated to follow their dreams.

The program offers the following opportunities:

  • Offer youngsters the opportunity to work at a Beautiful Eco Farm in Brazil
  • Learn about permaculture, bioconstruction, organic farming, eco tourism, hospitality, languages.
  • Live arround people who have over 10 years of experience working with youngsters.
  • Providing motivated youngsters the opportunity to learn a vocation in all Eco Camihnos areas.
  • In case youngesters lack primary / secondary school diploma’s Eco Caminhos will demand evening school while Eco Caminhos provides educational support.
  • Provide youngsters with healthy organic organic food, stimulating the practice of sports for health and team building.
  • Provide vocational, traineeships and job opportunities outside Eco Caminhos for those who have proven to be motivated and sufficient educational basis to learn.
  • We offer a very safe environment, airport pickup service and take care of taking apprentice to any medical healthcare service in case needed.



The need for paying a stipend

Eco Caminhos also realizes that underprivileged teens can not come and participate in a programme without at least a stipend. We want to start the programme offer R$ 500 per month. This because without income, how can they pay for transport, a visit to their families. Often their families live in poverty. The teenager can send part of the stipend to the family for support.  Once Eco Caminhos becomes profitable we want to invest 25% of the profit into educational projects.



How is the teenager selected

Eco Our criteria for a teenager a quite simple: The teenager should be in need. We normally use our network to contact orphanages, NGOs or schools in poorer areas of Brazil. We ask those organizations if they know a teenager who has excellent behavior and motivation.  Simply because out of our experience we first want to help those who really want something in life and lack the opportunity. We than have an interview, visit their homes and talk with their parents / responsible. If the teenager agrees in comming we do a test week and month. For us educational level is non-relevant. Motivation and respect is all that matters.

Now It is important to understand that not all teenager will succeed in the programme. We do believe the succes rate will be high but of course we can not make succees garantees.



Sponsor a Teenager

With R$ 6000 per year (R$ 500 stipend per month) we are able to invite a teenager. All other expenses such as accommodation, food, school support are covered by Eco caminhos. An organization, individual or group of people who want to support a teenager will have the opportunity not only to sponsor but to follow the progress of this teenager closely. We will send reports and allow 3-monthly chats between the teenager, the programme coordinator and the sponsor to be able to monitor progress. In case you are interested in supporting a teenager please contact us