Workshop offered by Sitawi, through the Man Gap project, aims to train indigenous peoples of Mato Grosso to manage the Solidarity Revolving Fund

A financial education workshop brought together more than 70 people from the indigenous territories of the Zoró peoples, Apiaká, Kayabi and Munduruku in Mato Grosso. The initiative is part of the Man Gap project, developed by Association of the Zoró Pangyjej Indigenous People? APIZ.

THE Finance Workshop for managing the Indigenous Solidarity Revolving Fund was taught by representatives from Sitawi and the Man Gap project and aimed to provide financial knowledge to train indigenous communities and leaders who will receive and manage the Revolving Fund, aimed at developing the Amazon nut value chain, through the construction and the improvement of factories processing this almond, which are being created in these territories.

Oficina de finanças da Sitawi, através do projeto Man Gap, para capacitar povos indígenas do Mato Grosso a gerenciar Fundo Rotativo Solidário.

Among the project's advances, the structuring of the Solidarity Revolving Fund Indigenous, led by Sitawi Finance for Good, which will receive an initial contribution from the REM MT Program and aims to provide financial support to these people, promoting the working capital necessary to carry out the project's actions. The objective is to support productive organizations in communities in the long term, promoting their financial autonomy and sustainability in productive activities? especially those related to brunette of the Amazon.

?The finance workshop was fundamental to our management. We managed to understand a little how this resource management issue works. It is very important and is showing a very positive result for the Zoró people. This increasingly strengthens us, as we are on the association's board of directors. Is this something new for our people?, comments Alexander, indigenous leader of the Zoró Pangyjej Indigenous People's Association? APIZ.

The workshop

During the workshop it was possible to exchange and learn about finance, focusing on the cash flow statement and the accounts that make it up, such as revenues, costs, expenses and profit margins. With this, participants were able to have a more strategic vision and think about appropriate pricing for each product, thus generating more income for the indigenous nut extractive people.

The participatory methodology ensured that the results were not just concentrated on the leaders, but on the entire community, building collective knowledge so that they can help each other effectively.

?One of the most interesting lessons was about the need and importance of having the real scenario and not the ideal one, in order to have a cash flow consistent with the reality of the cooperative or organization. Can we understand the importance of analyzing each flow to reach the result, with financial education that is more appropriate for our reality? comment Lígia Neiva, Technician at Funai CTL Rondolândia/MT, who has worked with the Zoró People for 35 years on the ethnodevelopment, social services and education fronts.

The importance of chestnuts

The main advantage of building chestnut processing factories in the territories is the increase in income and gives autonomy of extractive communities. According to calculations carried out during the workshops, the processed chestnut is worth ten times more than the in nature ? as it is currently sold. 

Second Ana Beatriz Villela, senior coordinator of Impact Investment at Sitawi, the workshop was able to make clear the increase in income for families in the communities. “The importance was to show the value of these agro-industries for the territory because they didn’t know how much they could impact financially. We were able to show with data, numbers and examples the difference between selling nuts in nature and the beneficiary. They were able to take ownership of the project and have the prospect of better conditions through it?, he highlights.

João Montenegro, Impact Investment analyst at Sitawi highlights the importance of multiplying wealth through organic socio-biodiversity products for these people. ?This is an old dream of the people. They said in the workshops that these factories were already dreamed of by their parents and grandparents, who always lived in this sales context. in nature and they always wanted to get out of it, to have a better perspective. And the most important thing of all was maintaining indigenous leadership in the management of these factories and this Fund. We knew that it wouldn't make sense to bring non-indigenous people to take care of this?, he reinforces.

Collective efforts that ensure change

The initiatives were made possible by the REM MT Program, a contribution from the governments of Germany and the United Kingdom, which benefits those who contribute to forest conservation actions. Ana Beatriz highlights the importance of the connection between indigenous communities and government and philanthropic initiatives that aim to promote forest conservation and the socio-environmental development of the territory.

“Through these initiatives, it is possible to contribute to keeping the forest standing, promoting the autonomy of indigenous peoples, considering their cultural and traditional specificities,” he comments. The involvement of different actors and the union of efforts and resources, both from the private and government sectors, are essential to guarantee a more sustainable future.

?The generation of this wealth locally boosts the economy, directly and indirectly, favoring a network of small businesses, which provide services and/or sell products to indigenous people, multiplying this capital within the same region where the chestnut is produced. This is the concept of a sustainable economy: value chains developed with low GHG emissions, favoring the local consumption of organic products with high nutritional value by the region's population, gender and generational inclusion, social inclusion and, mainly, ensuring the conservation of this natural heritage that is the Amazon forest?, commented Paulo Nunes, coordinator of the Man Gap Project. 

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