Education in the Land of Pequi: Goiás Chapter Best Practices

Vander Finotti and Lucas D’Nillo, Goiás Chapter Members

Created in 1967, the Partners of the Americas Goiás (POA-GO) Chapter has a long history of promoting exchanges of members and ideas.

In 2016, the Chapter began working to greater develop the local community through social projects. As most of its 30 members are professors, POA-GO has mainly focused on projects related to education. Having teachers from both the private and public sectors enables POA-GO to reach people with different income levels.

The Chapter also created Brazil’s first PartnersCampus Chapter in 2016. If it were not for the energy and enthusiasm of our younger peers, we would not be where we are today. They have heightened our overall members and impact. Although they are attending college, the PartnersCampus youth are very open supporting the professional Chapters projects. Together, our focus on inclusive education has changed lives and helped people gain access to quality education. 

Our best practices are inspired by the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 to fight for guaranteed quality education for all through our projects:
  1. GOIÁS SEM FRONTEIRAS (GOIÁS WITHOUT BORDERS) – Created by the Goiás State Government, the project provides public high school students the opportunity to participate in an exchange program with a full scholarship. POA-GO also provided English classes to the students in the weeks beforehand.
  2. CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROJECT – Our exchange programs with the Wyoming Chapter have been crucial. The Education and Culture grant from the U.S. Department of State has given support to several of our members throughout the past few years. Not only has this opportunity attracted new chapter members, but it also has allowed our chapter to reach a wider network across the state. Teachers from different cities, such as Itumbiara, Goiânia, and Inhumas have participated. As we were able to attend classes and visit schools in Wyoming, these exchange programs have made a real difference in our professional lives, with a significant impact over our local reality in Brazil. Since most members are professors, the Chapter created a workshop project, where the members offer courses in their expertise areas. The courses are offered in-person or online for the local community with accessible prices. This project also serves as a great fundraiser for the Chapter.
  3. ALUMNI DAY – Alumni Day is a joint project with the Brazilian Embassy in the United States and its alumni. Once a year, chapter members and U.S. embassy program participants volunteer in an institution in Goiás. This project always occurs in commemoration of our volunteers and usually includes setting up donation points around the city that close on Alumni Day.
The traditional and PartnersCampus Chapters of Goiás have worked together to help the local community and expand access to quality education. In 2018, the Chapters held their first Leadership Retreat: a day of workshops that are related to leadership for local youth and members of Partners chapters. The existence of both chapters in Goiás allows PartnersCampus Goiânia members to continue their engagement with Partners, changing lives across the Americas long after graduation.
Due to the hard work of our members, the Goiás Chapters have been chosen to host Partners’ fifth annual What Works 2019 Conference in Goiânia, Goiás, Brazil from November 16-20. We hope to see you all there!