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Promoting drug education in Brazil: PROERD

Communities across the world are having to deal with drug abuse and addiction on a daily basis. In Brazil, we support the drug abuse resistance project: PROERD, which provides children and parents with the skills they need to avoid involvement in drugs, gangs, and associated violence. Patricia Limeres, Community Relations Coordinator tells us more. 

As a business, we endeavour to make a positive difference in the communities and regions surrounding our operations.

And that’s why we have provided our support to the Programa Educacional de Resistência às Drogas e à Violência (PROERD) programme – the Brazilian version of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) programme, originally founded in the USA – for the last decade.

What is PROERD?

PROERD is an educational programme, taught by police officers, designed to combat drug use and abuse among children. Currently 58 countries have implemented the programme’s teachings, adapting them to local realities.

In Brazil, the programme has a strong presence within the state of Goiás, and has been developed there by police officers from the 18th BPM - Military Police of the State of Goiás in conjunction with local schools and Anglo American.

Between 2004 and 2015, PROERD has benefited nearly 29,500 children and adolescents and 250 parents and guardians.

How is Anglo American involved?

We have supported PROERD since 2006 and, in this decade of partnership, we have helped to ensure 24,000 participants have graduated from the programme.

We have provided support for the programme by sponsoring gifts to award those participants with the best writing skills and attitudes, making programme participation even more attractive. We also contribute by enhancing their capacity to manage the project and to measure progress and results.

Our Community Relations team monitors the project by participating in the PROERD classes, as well as by joining the graduation events and analysing the regular report results.

What does the PROERD agenda cover?

The PROERD curriculum is organized into 10 weekly classroom-based lessons and is applied twice a year in public and private schools of the Catalão, Ouvidor, Goiandira, Nova Aurora Anhanguera, Cumari, Davinópolis and Três Ranchos municipalities.

Classes are run by police officers who aim to educate students about the harmful consequences of involvement with drugs, with the help of teaching resources, audio-visuals and case studies.

It covers information about drugs (existing types, effects, how to identify them); how to make safe and responsible choices; as well as a variety of other topics, including drug laws and how to resist peer pressure.

It’s important to distinguish that education doesn’t stop with the children either.

Parents are also included in the programme, and are taught how to help their children cope with the pressures and protect children from violence.

A key objective of PROERD is to establish the role of the military police in drug prevention and violence and the role of the community in supporting the police in these efforts

Does it work?

According to the local military police, PROERD has increasingly gained the support and trust of parents, students and educators.

They also report that PROERD has contributed to the significant reduction of juvenile offenders involved in violence, drug use and abuse, and helped to increase the trust of police officers working in local communities.

Making this type of positive difference is key to Anglo American’s approach to mining.    

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