Center for Popular and Social Education
Cepfs (Center for Popular and Social Education) - Transformando o Sertão Since 1985, this non-profit NGO has been working on solutions for sustainable development to help family farming in the semi-arid region of Paraiba.
The main purpose of this organization is to improve the quality of life of communities and families in the region focusing on rainwater capture and management for human consumption and healthy food production.
Professionals, students and volunteers together with community associations help promoting social inclusion with the active engagement of local residents.
To boost knowledge and local aptitudes of rural communities by means of promotion, development and dissemination of solutions and socio-environmental technologies as well as training and counseling for the sustainable human development in the Brazilian semi-arid region.
That the rural communities in the Brazilian sertão (arid region) become ready, organized and well-equipped for strengthening citizenship and sustainable coexistence with the semi-arid reality allowing human development in all its dimensions.
Where we work
Cepfs operates in 10 towns and 116 communities in Paraiba. The characteristic of this Brazilian semi-arid region is the recurrent drought. The rains are irregular in time and space – the annual average rainfall ranges from 200 mm to 800. In Brazil, the average is 1.761mm. To be prepared to get through drought periods is the difference between to have or not to have what to drink, eat or produce.
“Even cry, I cried to live someplace where there was water. Now that there is, we do not wish to leave.”
Maria Alves da Silva
Fava de Cheiro Community, in Teixeira (Paraiba)
In 2005 and 2009, CEPFS won the Seal of Social Innovation through its participation in the Social Innovation Award in Latin America and the Caribbean, promoted by ECLAC (a United Nations agency) and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The goal of the initiative was to identify and acknowledge the merit of innovative initiatives in Latin America and the Caribbean in terms of social development, based on the analysis and systematization of results, thus providing benchmarks for reapplication.
In 2018, CEPFS was certified by DOAR Institute with the Seal of Management and Transparency, which is an independent certificate granted by the institute to non-profit organizations that prove their compliance with PGT (Transparency and Management Standards) criteria. Therefore, the purpose of the certificate is to encourage, legitimize and highlight the professionalism and transparency in Brazilian social organizations.