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Bolsa Família

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See how programs to encourage school attendance open new doors for Brazil's young people.

• Young beneficiaries are example in secondary education

• Experts show the impact of apprenticeships for the beneficiaries.

• Article: the effects of the Bolsa Família  on education

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In addition to increasing the time in school, the poorest 20% also advanced in their studies. In 2002,  of the students 15 years of age, only 32.1% were enrolled in the school year appropriate for their age. In 2002, the increase jumped to 53.8%. Thanks to the Bolsa Família, educational inequality among social classes fell from 31% to 19.4% in only one decade.

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Specialists say that the guarantee of a minimum income has a highly positive impact on education. Not just because of the elimination of hunger and the risk of child labor, but also because greater economic security increases the psychological well-being of the parents, who can then dedicate themselves more to the future of their children. And the future is promising: the Bolsa Família increased the participation of the 20% of the population at the lowest income levels in the school system.

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The Bolsa Família moves local trade and commerce and generates employment. Photo: Eduardo Aigner/MDS

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Do you know how that story about the Bolsa Família leading to indolence began? It began with the large landowners complaining that the program was absorbing all the local rural labor.

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Of the 4.5 million people in Brazil who are creating formal companies through the Individual Micro-entrepreneurship (MEI) Program, around 10% receive benefits from the Bolsa Família program.
In the North and Northeast regions the percentages are much higher: 35.8% and 37.8% respectively. By becoming a “formal” company, the micro-entrepreneur finds it easier to open a bank account and obtain credit, and also has social security coverage, including maternity leave and health and retirement benefits.

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1.3 million individuals from low income families are enrolled in Pronatec, to learn a profession and get a higher paying job Photo: Ana Nascimento/MDSThere are those who say that the Bolsa Família provides no pathways out of poverty.  But the truth is that the program offers various means of access – to dignity, to citizenship, to the future.  From the program, the beneficiary gains access to many other opportunities, and they clin

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