One-fifth of the world's freshwater is in the Amazon, and in this precious region to mark the Swarovski Foundation's 10th anniversary, key initiatives were organised to raise awareness of the local water challenges and the Swarovski Foundation's longstanding efforts to improve water sustainability through the Waterschool in Brazil.
For the first time in Brazil, the Swarovski Foundation and partner Fundação Amazônia Sustentável brought local journalists from Vogue Brazil, ELLE Brazil, Exame and Estadao to visit communities along the Purus River in the Amazon to see first-hand the impact the Waterschool program has had on the ground. In the states of Pará and Amazonas, the Waterschool program has been rooted since 2014 reaching 18,000 young people in 135 schools in riverside communities to raise awareness about the importance of water. Jakhya Rahman-Corey, Director of the Swarovski Foundation shared:
We mapped the world’s major watersheds, such as the Purus River, to determine the efforts needed to protect water. Through our partnership and conversations with the local community, we are able to provide tools and resources including access to education and water and sanitation to empower the community to advocate for the protection of people and the planet.
The 10th-Anniversary Events
To build on this impact, Swarovski Brazil colleagues joined forces with the Swarovski Foundation to mark this 10-year milestone through a series of engagement events in São Paulo. One of which was a special panel discussion along the Pinheiros River to highlight ‘How we can reduce inequality and promote sustainable livelihoods'. The panel was introduced by Marisa Schiestl-Swarovski (Chair of the Swarovski Foundation) and moderated by Alexandra Farah (Fashion and Sustainability Journalist), and brought like-minded organisations and individuals together to raise awareness around this topic. Panellists included Jakhya Rahman-Corey (Director of the Swarovski Foundation), Raquel Luna (Waterschool Program Coordinator), Elaine Caccavo (General Director of CUFA Brazil) and Marko Brajovic (Founder of Atelier Marko Brajovic).
To further connect the Swarovski Foundation's 10-year impact with Swarovski customers, an exclusive evening in the Swarovski store at the Higienopolis Shopping Mall in São Paulo was hosted for 120 VIP customers. This event welcomed speeches from Jakhya Rahman-Corey and Raquel Luna, where they shared the impact of the Swarovski Foundation Waterschool program in Brazil. Customers left appreciating how they contribute towards the positive social and environmental impact of the Swarovski Foundation. Carla Assumpção, Swarovski General Manager for Brazil, Chile and Argentina shared:
Water has been part of Swarovski's history since the beginning and promoting local collaborations that give a voice to communities and their specific needs around the most precious common good we have in our country has never been more essential for maintaining a clean and sustainable ecosystem.
Connecting our colleagues globally with the work of the Swarovski Foundation is important as we all play a vital role in the success of its positive impact. Local Foundation partners such as Fundação Amazônia Sustentável and The Nature Conservancy joined our colleagues in the São Paulo office to share more about their efforts and the impact of the partnership with the Swarovski Foundation in Brazil. The initiatives began with an introduction by Carla Assumpção (Swarovski General Manager for Brazil, Chile and Argentina), followed by presentations from Marisa Schiestl-Swarovski and Raquel Luna on the Waterschool program in Brazil. Project Managers from The Nature Conservancy also presented the Reforestation Project in the Mantiqueira Mountains that has been supported by the Swarovski Foundation for a number of years. Colleagues had the opportunity to ask questions and engage with partners.