With ongoing investments strategically guided to the various social development programs and through partnerships such as the one with Fundação Abrinq, among others, the Usina São José has been substantially contributing to improve the quality of life of the population in the northeastern part of Pernambuco. The Social Inclusion through Sports Program (Pispe) bring results that express very well the importance of investing in sports—one of the most prolific ways to reach social transformation. Sponsoring athletes revealed by and developed in this program, the Mill was duly represented in the main athletics competitions of the country. And the programs also include other areas, such as: education, culture, health, and housing.
In order to encourage the practice of sports and physical exercises as tools of social inclusion and against sedentary behavior, the Usina São José has developed some projects, such as the Social Inclusion Through Sports Program (Pispe) and the Gold Medal, both designed for children and teenagers of the neighboring communities. Some athletes have been revealed to Brazilian athletics due to these programs, such as the Ubiratan brothers, which, being sponsored by the Mill, have shown expressive results in the main national competitions of this sport. Besides contributing with its own Social Responsibility projects, the Usina São José takes part, as partner or co-organizer, in projects from other institutions, such as Agenda 21’s Igarassu in Tracks and Sesi’s Future Athlete.
Education and Development
The Usina São José’s contribution to education is significantly relevant to the region. In addition to the 90% scholarship granted to collaborators’ children in private education institutions of the area, the Company aids in the professional education to youngsters and adults of the surrounding communities offering training in several specialties (Confectionery, Sewing, etc.), and giving them access to trainings destined to the development of the Mill’s own employees, such as the Boiler Operator training. Part of this workforce is absorbed by the Mill itself, part is referred to other mills nearby. Moreover, the Company has a excellent relationship with the government Education offices of Araçoiaba and Igarassu, contributing to maintain and expanding public schools, creating informatics laboratories, among other actions. The USJ has also other partners, such as the Ação Empresarial pela Cidadania, whose objective is development through environmental education and sustainability, and takes part in other projects.
The Usina São José is located in an area of great historical and artistic importance to Pernambuco, and its own history is intertwined with the state’s own history both by tangible and intangible heritage. In the Mill’s lands, there is one of the greatest relics of Brazilian baroque architecture: the Church of São José. Built in 1770, the temple has been officially declared a national heritage landmark by the Instituto do Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico Nacional (Iphan) and its original features have been conserved until today. The Usina São José’s Sustainable Community program, which includes the Childhood Villages project, does an effective work, develops several different activities—meeting the needs of the surrounding communities—, and encourages cultural development, specially the spreading of the rich culture of Pernambuco.
Some of the health programs developed to take care of the Usina São José’s employees are also available for the population. Among the most important are the programs created to prevent and fight leishmaniasis and Hansen’s disease, due to the high occurrence rates of these endemic diseases in the area. With an effective work, our team of healthcare agents has been very successful in those actions, ensuring that more than 96% of cure in the registered cases, such as the Hansen’s disease ones. Other sporadic healthcare actions by the Usina São José have indirectly contributed to the community well-being, such as encouraging the collaborators to have healthy hygiene and food habits, practicing regular physical exercises at home and at work.
Having a social commitment and touched by the climate tragedy that hit the region in 2010 and 2011, the Usina São José became mentor in the construction of popular houses, building and delivering eight homes totally free to the families struck by this natural catastrophe—a partnership with the national bank Caixa Econômica Federal. The Usina São José foresees that this action will be executed again, beginning this year.
The Usina São José trained a group of volunteers in 2010. They are 25 employees that spread the idea and enroll new workers from other areas, depending on the action to be executed. The program already made possible the participation in several different social and environmental actions, among them: the Childhood Villages projects, with gift donation and assistance and self-esteem development events for deprived communities nearby; blood donation; and the Reflorestart.