Social commitment in Brazil: Programa Voluntários

In 2001, a volunteers’ programme called Programa Voluntários was set up at Faber-Castell’s Brazilian factories. The programme encourages and supports participation by employees in charitable projects in nearby communities. Participants help local people primarily by sharing their skills and knowledge. Faber-Castell supports the programme by providing funding and giving employees time off work to take part in these community activities. As well as building schools and providing educational materials, employees take part in regular themed days and courses and fundraising activities. They can attend talks about social and ecological problems and discuss possible solutions with members of the community. Faber-Castell also devotes a lot of energy to in-house training and health promotion. Employees can take advantage of free literacy, language and computer classes and even preparation for university and MBA courses, all provided by qualified teachers in specially equipped classrooms. There are addiction prevention and hygiene courses and also leisure activities such as crafts and music lessons. Daily exercise sessions during working hours help to improve ergonomics in the workplace. The Faber-Castell Club provides free sports and leisure facilities and a swimming pool for employees and their family members. Through all these measures, Faber-Castell actively helps to improve employees’ quality of life and build a relationship of trust and respect.