Hope for Children in the Amazon
The Amazon in South America is a tremendously important ecosystem for our planet. It is not only the largest forest in the world, but it is also known as the ‘lungs of the Earth.’ The Amazon rainforest produces more than 30% of the world’s oxygen while more than half of the world´s estimated species of plants, animals and insects are living in the tropical rainforests. The Amazon River is the largest river in the world by volume, and contains 20% of the world’s water. Additionally, approximately 1/4 of the world’s vitally important new drugs are derived from this area. Therefore, preserving the Amazon basically means saving our one and only Earth.
In 2010, Dooyoung Yoo (Vice-president of Latin America HQ) agreed on a contract with FAS (Foundation Amazon Sustainability). Since then Samsung has been supporting the livelihood of the native Indios residing in the Reservation Area of the Amazon without destruction of their ecosystem.
With the Government of Manaus State’s collaboration, Samsung Electronics Brazil started one of its CSR programs, “Hope for Children.” In order to provide a better environment for the children living in the Amazon, Samsung built the Environmental Safety Center which consists of schools, dormitories, health-care centers and scholarship committees in the forest. In addition, a public electric power supply was provided to the neighboring area.
“Samsung Amazon State School” held its official opening event in a small village called Tres Unidos, Aturiá /Apuauzinho (State Environmental Protection Area). Though this area is 1 ½ hours from Manaus by boat (70km) the area is almost 20% of the size of South Korea.
At the event, as Samsung representatives got off the boat, local people welcomed them with beautiful smiles and gave them handmade necklaces. One indio girl said that she was so happy for the opening of the Samsung Amazon School as it would allow her to pursue her dream of becoming a teacher. The school and community buildings were built by Samsung representatives as well as local people. Now that construction is finished, we thought it would be interesting to take a photographic tour.
Because of the vastness of the size of the area, not all students are able to commute to the school on a daily basis. Therefore, Samsung saw the need to build separate dormitory buildings for girls, boys, and teachers. In the picture above, you can see the boys’ dormitory building in the middle and the computer room on the right.
Taking a look inside of the school, we have a chance to see what the classrooms look like. There are boards, chairs, and desks ready to welcome the students, everything built to last. Starting next year, Samsung Amazon School will be officially approved by Brazilian government as an authorized educational institution.
Furthermore, Samsung cared not only about the look of the school but also about the high quality of education. Top class teachers are the mainstay of the educational foundation, and the government has guaranteed to provide a certain level of quality education. The picture above shows the teachers’ meeting room.
This shot shows part of the library. Although the shelves are not fully filled yet, the library means a lot to the students because books are incredibly expensive in rural Brazil. It’s not the library with the world’s largest collection of books, but it certainly is the library with the hope and bright future of the students.
Of course, what would a Samsung school be without access to today’s technology? In the computer room, there are a number of Samsung’s products. Even though the school is located right in the middle of the Amazon, there’s no difficulty using wireless internet on Samsung netbooks and students can even print out research and assignments with Samsung printers.
Finally, this is the theater that the local people built by themselves while others were working on the school. By putting woven leaves on the top of the roof, it was built in the traditional way of the locals. The finishing touch was the Samsung TV they placed inside of it. According to one of the local people, they have been holding community meetings here from time to time.
Students from Tres Unidos and the neighboring villages came to take part in the opening ceremony of Amazon school and Environmental Safety Center. This picture below shows some of the children celebrating the opening of the school by singing.
After the ceremony, everybody took pictures together. The man with the cane on the right is the village headman who speaks perfect Portuguese as well as the native language.
At the end of the ceremony, everyone held hands together in circles and wished for a prosperous future for the Samsung Amazon School and the students.
Community building projects like these rejuvenate Samsung’s commitment to the future. As our world becomes smaller, it is important to take care of all of our citizens, especially the youngest ones in the neediest places.
ESG > Citizenship