Learn the story of people who make it happen and fight for a fairer and more positive society. The special series #UniquePeopleAndTheirStories is told through videos published on our Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube pages and touching testimonials. Watch now:
Adauto Gusmão de Lima (Três Lagoas, MS)
22 years old, treasurer of the Três Lagoas Culture Home in Mato Grosso do Sul state, a painting teacher, member of the city orchestra and a fine arts student.
“When I was younger, I was seriously ill and the doctors told me I had just a few years to live. Fortunately, I received good treatment and never had any more crises. While I was being diagnosed and recovering, I realized I needed a distraction.
That’s when I started going to the Culture Home, an NGO that conducts various visual and musical projects for the community of Três Lagoas, where I live, with the support of companies like Fibria.
I began with the painting workshop. I didn’t even know I had this talent. Then, I went on to cello classes. I come from a humble family of five brothers and divorced parents, so I never expected that I could have a special affinity with the arts and music. Today, I’m 22 years old and, four years ago, I was invited to become a painting assistant instructor at the NGO. In a short time, I became a teacher.
With Nilva Barrozo, who coordinates social projects and is the president of the Culture Home, I learned a pulp painting technique. It’s not easy to use this material for art, but she created a perfect method using oil paint that is now one of my specialties.
I believe companies help society through initiatives that transform people’s lives. If I hadn’t started to attend the NGO’s workshops, I don’t know what would’ve become of me, I had no hope… But then, I started to look at my life differently and understood that I can achieve whatever I want. Today, I participate in the Três Lagoas string orchestra, I give private painting lessons and, next year, I’ll graduate in the Fine Arts.
I believe art transforms people’s lives and my dream from now on is to see the Culture Home grow and help even more people, just like it helped me. I want to continue to work together to give back everything I received, with much love.”
Gustavo Mota da Silva (Jacareí, SP)
23 years – research assistant at the micropropagation laboratory of the Biotechnology department at the Fibria Technology Center
“When I used to pass by the Fibria unit in Jacareí, the city where I live, I used to tell myself: ‘I want to work at this huge company, it must be so cool.’ It was my dream. Then I started looking for vacancies on the company’s website, until one day they began a selection process in my area. I was delighted and thought to myself: that job will be mine! I prepared myself and tried to be bold in all the phases. The result? I got the job!
At the end of 2018, I will have completed three years at the company. I work on the production of eucalyptus seedlings at the Fibria Technology Center. Here I found out that the company organizes voluntary actions involving its employees. Last year, I participated in the Volunteer Challenge, held in partnership with Votorantim Institute, where they formed groups to help charities in the Vale do Paraíba region.
My group chose an entity in São José dos Campos that helps kids and teens. It needed a few repairs to the building and a new room. We really dug in: we had some construction materials donated and organized groups to work on weekends, with support from the community. We even planted a small garden for the kids. But our work did not end there; we are still following the institution’s work, it has become our responsibility.
I was once told that it’s no use being a good professional if you are not a good person, and that stuck in my head. Every day when I wake up I think to myself: what can I do today to help others?
I admire companies that manage to transmit to their employees the importance of social work, more so because this is a collective responsibility. My parents always taught me that we must help others. I always try to be a better person. This is my path.”
Alba Batista Nascimento (São Mateus, ES)
45 years old – president of the Dilô Barbosa Quilombola Community Association and the state coordinator of quilombola associations
“In my family, I’m the third generation of quilombolas, or escaped slaves, who live here in the community of Dilô Barbosa. My parents had eight children, and I had three. Only one of my brothers doesn’t live here. I’m married, 45 years old and my life has been a struggle.
Like every quilombola, our subsistence is based on farming. We are simple folk, and many of us live in wooden houses. But get by however we can. I work every day to fight for actions that improve the quality of life for all of us.
Six years ago, we were one of the first communities to participate in Fibria’s Rural Land Development Program, at the Aracruz Unit in the state of Espírito Santo. It’s a great initiative, because it helps to have a structure for sowing and reaping the rewards to live a more dignified life. Many quilombolas have dreamed of having their own plot of land to plant, and the company made this dream come true, giving us all the required support.
We received seeds, fertilizers, training and technical orientations on how keep the fields as varied as possible. We also have logistical support, because transportation here in the community is difficult. I think it’s important when we find partners along our path. It’s always a big help and we realize that we’re not alone. It lifts your spirits, you know? Because the struggle of we quilombolas isn’t easy.
What most drives me and keeps me alive is to wake up every day knowing that I’m healthy and to see that I have the strength to keep fighting for our people. We can never give up.”
Photo by Araquém Alcântara
Edna Ferreira dos Reis (São Mateus, ES)
48 years old – Vice-treasurer of the Association of Small and Midsized Producers of São Geraldo
“What we want is a table full of food, our children smiling and a dignified way of life. For the past four years, I can say I’ve enjoyed all that. On my one hectare of land, we grow cassava, beans, okra, pumpkin, orange, lime and banana. We even have urucum, which you can grind into food coloring. It adds a bit of color to meat, pasta… It’s good to make colorful food, right?
Our production changed a lot when Fibria arrived in Aracruz, Espírito Santo, close here to the community of São Geraldo. Before, we farmed with difficulty between the eucalyptus rows, and there wasn’t much diversity. It was basically beans, cassava and corn. Then, the company’s technicians started to help us, teaching us how to plant, make fertilizer and care for the land. I learned to make coverings for the trees and how important that is, because, since we don’t have irrigation, we need to save rainwater. We can’t let our crops die, right? God forbid!
And over these four years, once a week, a technician comes here to see if we learned everything the right way, to instruct us on how to improve our crops more and more and to see if we need anything… We’ve all become friends, one big family. And I’m very happy. Every Wednesday, I go to Fibria, to the local producer trade fair, with my fresh fruits and vegetables so the workers there can buy from me. They love it. And so do I.
I’m married, have three kids, with my eldest Fernando living in another city. Fábio, my middle son, helps me and my husband in the fields every day. My youngest, Suellen, is still a child, so she only studies. All this is the best thing that’s ever happened to me in my life.”
Photo by Araquém Alcântara