Picturing Hope in Brazil

The gifts to our speakers represents hope for the future: a collaboration between NCE Subsea and the Kolibri Foundation ensures Brazilian children’s education.

Published: 9 March 2015
Kolibri Children at Risk Foundation (c) Gregory Smith.jpg

Kolibri Chrildren at Risk Foundation

The story of Kolibri and its founder Gregory Smith is quite well known in Western Norway. In 1992 Smith left his comfortable life in Bergen behind. He sold all his possessions and auctioned off his house and belongings in order to leave for São Paulo, Brazil to work with homeless children. He formed the Children At Risk Foundation, an enterprise currently engaged in preventative work to keep children from ending up on the streets.

– We help these children establish an alternative path. We provide education and an opportunity for them to pursue their interests – they are given the chance to be children, says Vanja Hoff, head of marketing and financial manager at Kolibri.

– Gregory started out working on street level and lived among the children. This work required vast human resources in order to save a few children, and it did not necessarily remove the reasons why the children ended up on the street in the first place. Today we are able to reach thousands of children living in the risk areas, Hoff says.

Funding the Future

Gregory Smith is an enthusiastic photographer and his photos form the basis for the collaboration between NCE Subsea and Kolibri.  – We have purchased framed photos to present as gifts to the speakers at our various events. As these photos depict children in their learning environment, they represent a wonderful subject and a meaningful gift, and these events are terrific occasions for collaboration towards a worthy cause, says Heidi Skålevik, Branding Manager at NCE Subsea.

– This is the first time we base our collaboration on a larger purchase of Smith’s works. Kolibri values the initiative and hopes to pitch this model of collaboration to other Norwegian companies, Hoff says.

– Kolibri is fully dependant on people’s generosity. Private individuals, establishments, schools, and kindergartens contribute 99 per cent of our funding, she says. – A certain amount goes to our Foundation for Education, where the money provides young talents with further education, Hoff explains.

A Common Cause With Common Objectives

According to Skålevik, Kolibri’s focus on education was crucial to the collaboration. – Kolibri’s work is in accordance with our overall goal for the subsea industry, which is to contribute to a higher level of competence and knowledge exchange.

– Brazil is one of the prioritised areas for our activities and the fastest growing subsea market in the world. Poverty is still widespread and access to qualified labour is a challenge for the market, Skålevik stresses.

NCE Subsea has clear ambitions for establishing a presence in Brazil: – We wish to contribute to and strengthen local competence through our operations while simultaneously helping our member companies gain access to the Brazilian market, Skålevik explains.

A Positive Spin-off Effect

Vanja Hoff commends NCE Subsea’s way of thinking: – A foreign company that gains access to run their business in a certain area, should consider it natural to give something back. We wish to accommodate circumstances where Norwegian companies may provide Brazilian children living in the urban slum areas with the opportunity to improve their future prospects.

– NCE Subsea generates a positive spin-off effect that benefits this generation and the next. At best, organisations like NCE Subsea can help ensure the presence of a steady and skilled workforce in Brazil, Hoff concludes.

About Kolibri CARF

Formed by Gregory Smith in Bergen in 1992.

Manages projects and relief work to aid street children and children at risk in Brazil.

Provides education for children and adolescents through the Kolibri centres.

Is financed through donations.

Learn more on kolibricarf.no

Contact Information:

Anne-Grethe Solbakk

Head of Finance and Communication
+47 476 55 188
anne-grethe.solbakk@gcesubsea.no