Palmeiras is a huge periphery with a slogan
placed at its centre which says: “God created the world and
we built the Conjunto Palmeiras” It’s a honour to say
“In this neighbourhood it was we who built.” Where is the world’s most beautiful place?
It’s the Conjunto Palmeiras. Do you think it’s
Paris, New York… What a shame!! It’s here where I live, I got married,
I have kids, I cry, I sing, This has to be the world’s most beautiful place. This has to be the world’s most beautiful place. What happened here in Palmeiras was
something quite commonplace at urbanised shanty towns
without income increase: Neighbours started to sell their barracks
and to go away to other shanty towns. Why did this happen?
Because they couldn’t pay bills anymore. Now they get bills for water,
electricity, phone… What a contradiction: We spent 21 years
to build a neighbourhood And now we can’t live anymore
in the very neighbourhood we built. So we said: Hey,
as we managed to develop the neighbourhood, We’ll achieve to make jobs and income
here within the neighbourhood With our own workforce,
with our own neighbours. At that time we created a story
about a leaky bucket: What is the money that comes into
our neighbourhood? There’re pensioners who earn money. So we threw a ball into the bucket
on the pensioners’ day. Do some people work?
Yes, some people work. Some people earn alms and suddenly
the bucket is full of balls. So quite a little money came in. Actually here in Palmeiras
we already had R$1,200,000 of monthly expenditure by neighbours
even 10 years ago. And when we asked ourselves… Where do we
buy these goods and which is the brand? All was bought from huge brands. So we said: Let’s create a programme which will be approximately
a stopper for the bucket. Each stopper, that I can place
onto the bucket’s leak, will be some money to stay here,
generating income. And then we started: in January 1998
we founded, naming in tribute to the Palmeiras (Palm Trees),
Banco Palmas. We have our social currency,
Palmas currency, Families take this currency and
spend at local businesses. And businesses buy at
other businesses, Thus the money circulates
within the community, so the wealth should stay here
in the very Conjunto Palmeiras. Our logic is: the bank lends
for production and consumption. If I manage to balance the production and
consumption at the same place, territory, People churns out jobs and income. What is the key topic of
the community bank?: There’s no poor territory,
there’s no poor neighbourhood,
there’s no poor city. Some territories, neighbourhoods and
cities are impoverished Because they lose their local saving. Any territory, neighbourhood and place, contributes to the economic development. Joaquim Melo was a seminary student
working for the poor who ended up with turning into a banker. He had to face with Brazil’s Central Bank
to create an own currency and to found Brazil’s first
Community Bank. This Banco Palmas which is now at
different parts of Brazil, will be much more multiplied, It didn’t come up from Harvard, Univ. of São Paulo or
other renowned universities without having anything against people,
anything against anybody, But at a shanty town in the midst of
the North-East in Brazil. Poverty is a sentence. It’s a gift from God,
you can’t be helped. We only have to
produce and consume, sell and commercialise
each other. If people believe in that,
I get whatever I want.