Caju, a new approach

Nissan and the daring of going beyond sports at Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Nissan, as a Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games sponsor, wants to leave the city of Rio de Janeiro something more than sponsorship of the mega-event. Committed to continuing the transformation that sport can provide, we studied various socially vulnerable regions and areas in Rio de Janeiro in order to leave a social transformation for the Marvelous City. We found the biggest challenges in the neighborhood of Caju, in the city’s port area. In this location, we created “Caju, a new approach”, a social project focused on youth and adult education.
Despite being just a few minutes from developed, high-value areas, such as downtown and the “Marvelous Port” district, Caju has one of the lowest human development index ratings in the city of Rio de Janeiro, according to Brazil’s national statistics agency, IBGE. Studies commissioned by the Nissan Institute show the need for educational support for the region’s youth, especially to complete high school, vocational training and labor market entry training.
Based on the main goal of transforming lives through education, the Nissan Institute dove right in to make this possible, together with its main partners, who also believed in this dream: Fundação Gol de Letra, Firjan and Sebrae.
“Caju, a new approach” will offer courses to support elementary and high school education, university entrance exam preparation courses, and vocational certification courses for young adults in the neighborhood.
Fundação Gol de Letra will be the project’s partner institution, as it has been present in Caju for 10 years and it has a team with great expertise in education and community relations. The courses will take place in the “Asia” building, next to the institution’s main building. As part of the project’s arrival, each space at the Gol de Letra site will gain the name of a continent, alluding to the meaning of the Olympic Rings.
The renovation of the building, which will be officially opened on September 6, was led by Nissan engineers who also volunteer for the Nissan Institute. The work was based on Nissan’s concepts of accessibility and sustainability, which were also used to build its plant in Resende, Rio de Janeiro (Nissan’s greenest plant anywhere in the world) and the Parque das Águas Municipal Infant Education Center (a model nursery built by the automaker in Resende). The Asia building’s features include the harnessing of natural breezes and daylight, adapted classrooms to receive people with disabilities, and the use of solar panels, in partnership with companies EDF and EGPE, able to provide 100% of the electricity needed for the building to operate.
Some courses will begin before the end of this year, but the vast majority will accompany the school calendar, starting in the first half of 2017. The selection process will be carried out by Fundação Gol de Letra, supervised by the Nissan Institute. The institute will conduct initial supervision for five years, during which time around 6,000 lives will be transformed by the project.