The atmosphere was electric in the class that Gilberto “Giba” Gonçalves Marcos was teaching. The 28-year veteran of thyssenkrupp Elevator and Project SEED volunteer is open about how nervous he was.
“I had butterflies in my stomach, because it was my first time teaching. But I slowly relaxed and, by the end, I was happy with the result. The experience was wonderful,” he says. Of course it was. The subject was electricity, a field in which Giba is an expert.
One of the many interesting things about Project SEED is that even the employee volunteers who lead and teach the courses learn something new. That’s not the main objective, of course. Project SEED is primarily designed to mentor disadvantaged youth and provide them with a wide range of skills to help them move forward in the world of work.
But it is a big part of why the volunteers so enjoy volunteering. They practice new skills – like teaching! Giba used videos and other tools to demystify and explain the theories behind electricity, atoms, protons, and neutrons. He also included a practical component, where students could build an electrical circuit or complete an exercise with balloons.
Project SEED volunteers also learn new things about themselves, by interacting with students like Maxwel Gomes da Gama, one of the more than 20 students in Giba’s class. Maxwel was very excited about what Giba could teach him. “My father is an electronics technician, and I’ve been interested in that field ever since I was little.”
Maxwel taught himself to assemble computers at a young age. His father encouraged him by giving him a motherboard to tinker with, and he’s kept up the hobby ever since. Maxwel is now 19 and wants to study information technology. In the future, he wants to become an entrepreneur in the field and have his own business.
The electricity module for the first group of Project SEED participants and volunteers in Brazil is now finished. The young people are ready to graduate, and begin the next phase: the start of their professional lives.
And the employee volunteers? They’re already preparing for the next group of young people, digesting what they’ve learned and creating new lessons, for the new students, and for themselves. We did well, they say, and next time we’ll do even better!
Of course these veteran employees know all about electricity, safe working practices, sustainability and all the other things needed to work for a modern company in a globalized world. That’s the easy part! And now they’re learning how to share that knowledge, with kids who might not otherwise have a chance to have the good jobs that they have.
Keep up with the employee volunteers and Project SEED participants in Brazil and around the globe. Find all of their inspiring stories – in PERSPECTIVES.
Active in Brazil for 50 years, SOS Children’s Villages works for children through a variety of programs and initiatives. Areas of support include early childhood development, parenting, young mothers, youth employment, nutrition support, daycare/childcare and more.To the project