Productive Dialogue with Local Schools

Reinaldo Bulgarelli,

educator, managing partner and professor

Reinaldo Bulgarelli is an educator, managing partner of Txai Consultoria e Educação and a professor at FGV, FDC, FIA, UNICAMP and Sustentare, among other higher education institutions. Txai works in the areas of sustainable development, especially corporate social responsibility, ethics, human rights, valuing diversity, private social investment and corporate volunteering. Reinaldo is the author of the book “Diversos somos todos – valorização, promoção e gestão da diversidade nas organizações” ["We are all Diverse – Appreciation, Promotion, and Management of Diversity within the Organizations.”]

How do you assess the objectives and results of the Culture-based Education Program?

The Alpargatas Institute has become an important reference for all who want to contribute to improving the quality of education. In terms of objectives and results achieved, it is impressive how promoting culture makes children and teenagers feel part of a community with a history and, therefore, see their prospects in it. In their testimonials, students demonstrate this sense of belonging once they come to know the people who are part of the community’s history.

How important is private investment in improving public education policies in the country?

Private social investment can make all the difference when it comes to public education policies. But only providing resources is not enough. It is necessary to contribute with knowledge, political coordination capacity and promotion of meetings. The Alpargatas Institute engages in dialogue with different sectors of society in order to promote the rights of children and teenagers, especially with regard to access to quality education. This respectful relationship, constructed together, makes a difference, by listening to and understanding local, regional and global demands.

How does a large company also benefit from this initiative?

A large company gains in terms of image and reputation. Engaging in local and global issues is essential for companies to be successful. And everyone wins because the contact with local reality – by means of social investment and the involvement of executives and managers in discussions with different sectors of society – expands vision, repertoire and the possibility of making better decisions. Those who are not familiar with the communities where they undertake their activities tend to have business losses.

What is the role of the Alpargatas Institute in the social and educational development of the communities where it operates?

Providing resources, along with the capacity to build alliances and partnerships, is essential because it reflects a vision of the world that involves schools, communities, families, children and sustainable development. The Alpargatas Institute contributes to the extent that it is involved in these communities, while at the same time it takes on global challenges to sustainable development.

How do the basic pillars of the program promote the achievement of improvements in education in Brazil?

The schools, regardless of how qualified their professionals are, need the participation of parents, volunteers and social programs to deal with the changes we are experiencing in the world. The Culture-based Education Program integrates the different currents of education. Students are encouraged to understand content based on a wider view of the world. In addition, they perceive the historical, social, political and economic context.