PTR educates indigenous Brumadinho victims

Kamakã indigenous people intend to invest in agriculture with the funds from the Income Transfer Program, managed by FGV Projects.
18 十二月 2023
PTR educates indigenous Brumadinho victims

A large open-air classroom was set up within the Kamakã Kaê Há Puá Village in Esmeraldas, Minas Gerais, to discuss financial education. Beneficiaries of the Income Transfer Program (PTR), managed by FGV Projects, the indigenous community members were guided on the best use of money to turn it into a future income generator.

"The PTR is a program that has a beginning, middle, and end. Our concern is how these people will sustain themselves without the benefit. That's why we launched this unprecedented initiative to bring financial knowledge to the village, so they can consider how this money can be used to continue generating income," explained André Andrade, executive manager of FGV Projects.

The class was taught by FGV professors Claudia Yoshinaga and Henrique Castro, who specially prepared an easily understandable booklet on everyday economic issues for the occasion. Accompanied by students from the School of Economics of São Paulo (FGV EESP), the professors visited the village the day before to familiarize themselves with the location and converse with the residents. In the first meeting, they listened to the indigenous people's stories, their main complaints, and questions on the subject. On December 13, they presented concepts such as credit, interest, savings, emergency funds, as well as tips on how to save and invest.

Indigenous community member Elisabete Oliveira, 40, said she will start implementing the teachers' teachings right away:

"Who doesn't like spending? It's only bad when it runs out. But at the end of the month, I had no money and there were debts left. I will start writing down everything I spend in a notebook and save a bit in my savings account," she said.

The village chieftain, Marinalva Maria de Jesus, intends to use the money to invest in an automatic flour-making machine. Currently, all stages of cassava-based production – the main means of subsistence for the Kamakãs – are done manually, which makes the process slower. The root is responsible for producing flour, beiju, and tapioca starch, among other delicacies, used both for personal consumption and for sale. The indigenous people also sustain themselves by selling handicrafts.

Before the tragedy of Brumadinho, the Kamakãs also consumed fish from the river that runs through the region. However, today, the muddy water no longer provides one of the sources of food for the indigenous people, who became even more dependent on the help of philanthropic organizations:

"We relied a lot on donations of food baskets. With the PTR, we gained autonomy to go to the market and choose products. But this increase in income is temporary. That's why we need to think of a collective solution. The flour-making machine will help us continue walking on our own path. We will also invest in handicrafts so they can reach other countries," said the chieftain."

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