In 2010, 16-year-old Eusébio Abreu dos Santos already knew that he wanted to succeed in life. The problem was that he didn’t know how. Like many Brazilian young people, his opportunities were limited. His family was poor, and he lacked the training and connections required to get a “good job”.
Luckily, Eusébio’s aunt knew about a program that helped kids like him. So he enrolled in a professional training course in electronics offered by a local Porto Alegre charity – the Pão dos Pobres Institute. One of his teachers was Edison Moraes, a volunteer and an employee of thyssenkrupp Elevator Brazil.
Today, Eusébio is 23. He has a car, a house, a wife and two cats. He also has a steady job in elevator maintenance and repair with thyssenkrupp Elevator. His dream of a better life has come true, thanks to the combination of Eusébio’s commitment, a good program and knowledgeable teachers.
Stories like this are what motivate thyssenkrupp Elevator to expand their outreach, especially in countries like Brazil. That’s the idea behind Project SEED, which kicked off in Brazil in December 2017 .
thyssenkrupp Elevator has been helping to train young people in Brazil over the past five years. That work – of inspiring and supporting the next generation of elevator mechanics and administrative assistants – has been so successful that the company now wants to dramatically expand its impact.
At the heart of this ambitious model are thyssenkrupp Elevator employees who volunteer their time. One such employee is Alef Machado Pancieri. Both his university education and his job as an administrative assistant were once beyond his wildest dreams. But a vocational training program led him to an internship offered by thyssenkrupp Elevator. Remembering how it was for him at age 16, Alef now volunteers his time to give other kids the same chance that he had.
“I owe everything I have today to that opportunity that thyssenkrupp gave me: with my salary I paid for college, home, car, everything I have.”
Alef Machado Pancieri, thyssenkrupp Elevator employee volunteer
The Project SEED kickoff in São Paulo set the goal for its first year: give 100 children and youth the tools to become successful adults. Personnel from SOS Children’s Villages, local families and youth, and thyssenkrupp Elevator employees spent long hours discussing the nuts and bolts of how this could work.
The kickoff also celebrated the ongoing charitable work of other organizations already working with SOS Children’s Villages, such as Cirque du Soleil, which helps train young people to become circus performers. Participants in the circus course showed off their skills at the kickoff – a wonderful example of how young people can be transformed by such a program and thereby become an inspiration for others.
Why Brazil? It’s simple: Brazil has huge numbers of disadvantaged and unemployed young people. SOS Children’s Villages in Brazil knows many of these kids. At the same time, thyssenkrupp Elevator is there, with lots of employees who are ready, willing, and able to volunteer their support.
In Brazil, final preparations are now underway and Project SEED will soon “go live”. In the meantime, the next stop will be Pune, India, for a kickoff in late February. With Project SEED, thyssenkrupp Elevator is showing its deep belief in the promise of youth, and in the ability of thyssenkrupp Elevator employees to move mountains.
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