Transformation, this is the philosophy and mission of Instituto Novo Sertão. Created in 2012, the institute aims to change the face of the Sertão: ending poverty and inequality, where hope and new beginnings are possible. Domiciled in the small town of Betânia do Piauí, the third city with the lowest municipal human development index in Piauí and is among the 30 most needy cities in Brazil.
Its missions, long or short term, are varied and relate to the cultural sector (music, dance, sports, theater) and the social sector (sustainable agriculture, distribution of drinking water, distribution of food and clothing, internet). However, one observation became clear during the emergency aid: the importance of perpetuating a lasting transformation, in order to change the hinterland.
It is with this in mind that Instituto Novo Sertão is committed to promoting and achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Among them are: poverty eradication, zero hunger and sustainable agriculture, quality education, clean water and sanitation, decent work and economic growth and reduction of inequalities.
These objectives were reinforced as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020. It was seen that the health crisis increased social inequality, and this inequality further highlighted the social precariousness of poor regions in Brazil. In order to reduce certain socio-economic disparities, Instituto Novo Sertão installed an internet signal in remote communities in the rural area of Betânia do Piauí, and with that, it was possible for students to follow classes at a distance. This project reached 100 people and 50 hours of classes were produced for young people and children.
The year 2020 was also a beautiful occasion for the region with the creation of a symphonic band and the opening of a music school. This initiative has the participation of 45 children and young people, and the symphonic band has more than 50 instruments. As a result of the pandemic, sports projects were suspended. However, following the health standards established by the government, it was possible to resume physical activities in the second half, such as the Futsertão project, where 150 young people and children participate.
In addition, the Novo Sertão Institute, together with Betalab and Bora Permacultura, created the Beta School, with the mission of training rural families in the semi-arid hinterland to implement sustainable and responsible agriculture, in order to increase income from the sale of surplus. It is worth mentioning that this type of project is of great importance, considering that the emergency aid ended in January 2021, and could take up to 3.4 million people into extreme poverty. Thanks to the Escola Beta project, 30 families in two communities were trained, and an income of R$ 4,162 reais went to the producing families.
In order to perfect itself in the management of social organizations, Instituto Novo Sertão has a partnership with AMBEV, where it participated in a training course. The institute is the first organization in Piauí to participate in the VOA program to acquire the management and trust seal.
Therefore, the activities and projects of the Novo Sertão Institute are not simply aimed at improving the socio-economic situation of the residents of the municipality of Betânia do Piauí, these actions serve to highlight the emergency and the need to invest in the Piauí hinterland. The missions of Instituto Novo Sertão are a way to fill huge gaps left by the government of Brazil in the areas of education, health, security, leisure and infrastructure.
Therefore, it is important to point out that Instituto Novo Sertão is a non-governmental organization, where its operation depends directly on donations and private funding. Therefore, the creation of partnerships, the adoption of projects by third parties, and the help of volunteers are essential to continue the changes and achievements in the backlands of Piauí.