The purpose of the Teresa and Alexandre Soares dos Santos – Iniciativa Educação is to contribute to the national efforts to secure tangible training and qualifications for young people, especially those at risk of educational underachievement, and those who, due to financial, family, educational or social difficulties, fail to achieve educational outcomes that are within the reach of their capacities.
Iniciativa Educação believes that school failure can seriously compromise the future of young people, in particular of those who face socio-economic difficulties, but who are capable of achieving success in school and a decent professional future, if provided with adequate support.
Iniciativa recognises the immense investment that is currently being made into education, as well as the complexity and demanding nature of the challenges it poses. We do not intend, by any means, to replace the State or society in providing training and education for the Portuguese youth. Our intention is to contribute to the effectiveness and success of the tasks related to these areas, through exemplary projects that support the education and training of our youth. We design projects that we believe have the potential to become self-sustainable and serve as models for similar projects that may come to be taken up by state and local authorities or by society at large.
The Iniciativa will include a rigorous and independent assessment of the projects developed within its strategic focus, ensuring that the appropriate counterfactual method is applied in order to do so.
The Iniciativa is open to ideas, collaborations and partnerships that may contribute with human, material or intellectual resources to the various projects.
The first areas of intervention of the Iniciativa Educação are closely linked to three pressing issues that are currently affecting the Portuguese youth and society at large: the initial stages of learning how to read; the high risk of failure in transitioning to Secondary Education; and the lack of the scientifically-founded, objective information necessary to inform Parents, Professors, Students, and all of those involved in education.
In order to try to minimise these needs, the Iniciativa has developed three main projects:
The AaZ – Reading better, learning better programme
The AaZ – Reading better, learning better project, which is designed to help children who experience difficulties in basic literacy to develop their reading abilities and improve their fluency.
The Ser Pro programme
The Ser Pro project, which is designed to facilitate cooperation between schools and companies in order to create professional education offers that match young people's needs and support national progress.
The Online Information on Education (Ed_On) project
The Online Information on Education (Ed_On) project, which is designed as a means through which to share recent scientific research on education, and bring together statistics and data that are useful to Professors, Parents, Students and all those who wish to think about education in a modern, open way, basing their opinions on the best information available.
In addition to its strategic lines of action, the Teresa and Alexandre Soares dos Santos – Iniciativa Educação supports other projects that are already being financed by the family: the Arco Maior, in Greater Porto, and Semear, in Greater Lisbon.
The Arco Maior socio-educational project is aimed at teenagers and young people who have excluded themselves, or have been excluded, from formal education and training systems, without having completed compulsory education. Participants ideally should be between the ages of 15 and 18. Based on an analysis of each person’s school education, practical knowledge and social skills, a project is implemented to monitor their personal development. This training is completed alongside other learning, which aims to promote independence and social inclusion. Examples of this training include visits and internships at partner bodies. Young people receive certification equivalent to year 6-9 school leaving certificates.
SEMEAR is an integrated programme that seeks to promote the social inclusion of young people and adults with intellectual and developmental difficulties through social and professional integration in the companies and social businesses in the organisation. The Soares dos Santos family began providing social support in 2014, when the SEMEAR Program was launched. The programme was designed to train and insert people with intellectual and developmental difficulties into the labour market through the Higher Institute of Agronomy, which is where support from the Soares dos Santos family began.
What we don't do
Teresa and Alexandre Soares dos Santos – Iniciativa Educação has no political or religious affiliations, and no affiliations with any specific political parties. The Iniciativa does not engage in political discussions. The positions adopted by the Iniciativa shall be expressed, in large part, through activities and projects that contribute to the tangible training and qualification of the Portuguese youth.
This programme shall not provide support for other activities or carry out studies upon request. The Iniciativa will not take part in activities that involve political parties, will not provide any services for which it is remunerated, in any shape or form, and will not provide support or consultancy services.