Mrs. Asma al-Assad inspects a number of NGOs in Brazil
Writer/Source: Sana (3/7/2010)
Mrs. Asma al-Assad on Friday met Director of Finance for Brazilian Service of Support for Micro and Small Enterprises (Sebrae) Carlos Alberto Dos Santos at the government-owned Brasilia University.
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Sebrae is an NGO concerned in business and projects. It was established 4 decades ago in cooperation between the public and private sectors and scientific research foundations. It helps create a competitive environment for the business sector.It provides services for project analysis and credit proposals.
Mrs. al-Assad listened to a presentation by Dos Santos on Sebrae services in setting up small projects and small companies, offering consultation and training project owners as well as the financial and insurance facilitations.
She also held talks with the officials in charge of the project on the work mechanisms in projects and educational curricula and the legal framework governing their work.
Dos Santos pointed out to the importance of the Brazilian experience and Sebare project in involving university students in the world of business pioneers. 140,000 students from all over Brazil are participating in work groups and virtual companies.
Dos Santos added that the Brazilian law gives advantage to small companies through decreasing taxes and facilitating procedures.
Mrs. Asma al-Assad hailed the rich and important Brazilian experience, considering it as evidence of an integrated national vision and strategy in supporting projects and its positive impact on national development.
She talked about Syria's experience in the field of business incubation, and the civil and private sectors participation in supporting small projects. She also spoke about the first law in Syria and the Arab region that encourages small foundations.
Mrs. al-Assad also inspected the Technological Support Center at Brasilia University, which is an incubator similar to a free electronic port open for all people to establish virtual competitive companies in which 1700 researchers and professors are participating.
Deputy Director of the Business Incubator, Genova Morais, pointed out that the support center works on saving and organizing the data for the researchers and those who are interested at the university to help them in setting up projects and companies.
"SEBRAE project helps them organize the administrative and procedural matters and thus transforming knowledge to sustainable development", she said.
After that, Mrs. Asma al-Assad toured the departments of the Technology Support Center at the University. She referred to the importance of exchanging expertise and boosting development cooperation between Syria and Brazil.
The importance of the visit to Brasilia comes due to the fact that Brazil contains more than 400 incubators. SEBRAE Project provided more than a million work opportunities last year through the incubators and small projects at a time when global companies were firing workers.
Later, Mrs. al-Assad , accompanied by wife of Brazilian vice-President Maritza Ramos Gomes Da Silva, visited Abrace Center for Children suffering from cancer where she inspected the center of the hospital. Abrace Center deals with the rehabilitation of children suffering from cancer physically and psychologically.The center embraces 21 children aged from five to eighteen years old. It relies on voluntary financing.
Mrs. al-Assad toured the center's departments and talked with the children and their parents. She was briefed on the services provided here.
She pointed out that Syria has a similar pioneering experience supported by the NGOs in cooperation with the government and the private sector.
Mrs. al-Assad asserted that the big social challenges require great efforts to be confronted. She added that the NGOs play an increasing role in confronting the social and family challenges and in providing initiatives, spreading awareness and social and family care in addition to the medical care.
Later, Mrs. Asma al-Assad visited the Catavento scientific museum in Sao Paulo, accompanied by Director of Culture in Sao Paulo state Andrea Matarazzo.
Mrs. al-Assad toured the museum's sectors and reviewed the interactive shows that explain scientific phenomena and how they use play to relay information and present scientific facts to visitors.
Mrs. al-Assad pointed out that using play to relay information provides an atmosphere that mixes imagination, science, play and fun, creating a passion for science and research.
She affirmed that this approach improves children's critical thought and enables them not only to apply what they learned, but also to use the thinking process in different situations, which transforms them from negative recipients of knowledge to makers of knowledge.
She also briefed the director of Catavento museum on the Masar exploration center which is currently being built in Damascus, underlining the similarities between it and the museum and discussing means of exchanging expertise and cooperating in this field.
The Catavento museum, established in 2009 and funded by the Sao Paulo government, is aimed at children between 12 and 18 years-old. It is visited by 2000 children each day.
The Masar exploration center in Damascus aims to create a unique, enjoyable and stimulating educational experience, encourage innovation, and help the youth find their place in the world through exploration and research in an interactive and challenging environment. The center is aimed at families, and will be equipped to receive 500,000 visitors each year.
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