The Minister of Education, Aloizio Mercadante, said that by 2014 around 100,000 women will have benefited from education and vocational training through the Thousand Women Program. On Monday (April 23) the minister participated in a ceremony attended by the Canadian Governor General, David Johnston. Canada is one of the partners in the program.
"Brazil has an interest in continuing its partnership with the Government of Canada, since it is a country that gives priority to education. One of our aims is to increase the number of places available, in order that more women can have access to education and become better professionals. The Thousand Women Program is becoming 'tens of thousands of women' said the Minister.
Maria Selma da Silva, one of the program beneficiaries, said that the program had facilitated her entry into the labor market. "I lived at home, taking care of my children. I had no profession, but the courses have made me see that I could change. Now I have a steady job in a hotel".
The program, which is run in partnership with the Association of Canadian Community Colleges, began in 2007 in the North and Northeast of Brazil. It currently serves 10,000 women enrolled in 112 campuses throughout Brazil. Later this year, 20,000 Brazilians will have access to vocational training courses in 214 centers. The partnership with Canada enabled methodologies used in Canadian community colleges for education and integration into the labor market since the 1960s to be adapted to the realities of Brazilian women.