Planting the Future

Started: 2012, still ongoing.

Planting the Future (PTF) is a social impact project focused on increasing the living and educational standards of children in Ponta Pora, a border town between Brazil and Paraguay.

This project was started in 2012 by students of the Strategy and International Management (SIM) program at the University of St. Gallen as part of the SIMagination Challenge course and has been carried on by the following generations of SIM students.

This year the sixth generation of SIM students will be back to Ponta Pora and bring their support and energy!


Ponta Pora is a border town between Brazil and Paraguay where an open border without security controls creates the perfect conditions for drug and arms smuggling. Add the fact that the region is one of the poorest in Brazil and you’ll soon understand that the local youth are easily attracted by crime, most of the times just to make a living out of it.


In general, Planting the Future as a project has changed and adapted to new challenges throughout its generations.

This project started as a tree planting initiative in 2012. Prior teams developed it towards the direction of agricultural entrepreneurship and business education training. What different PTF generations have in common is that they have always worked alongside the local youth to "build future together".

The focus of the fifth generation has been the construction of the capoeira school’s canteen in Ponta Pora, so that the children could pass more time there away from the streets.

This year we’ll continue the ongoing effort for sexual education in the town and help a foster home on the Paraguayan side of the town repair their infrastructure. In fact, the latter is in such poor conditions that every time it rains the building floods.

Risk and challenges

In any project of this kind there are certain risks involved that we have to mitigate. Political instability has for sure to be mentioned. Part of our project in Paraguay relies also on some government funding to keep the foster home running.

Apart from political risk, we have implementation risks we are fully aware of and we’re working to minimise them through strong links with the local community. Contacts with local stakeholder like the head of the police and the mayor have already been established in the past generations. For sexual education, we will be joined by a Brazilian doctor to minimise cultural distance and acquire the proper know-how.

How you can help us

We have recently opened a crowdfunding campaign on where you can give your contribution to our project. You can find the link below.

We understand if you cannot contribute by pledging just yet – there are other ways for you to help us achieve our goal by spreading what we do and staying up to date. We need you to:

  • Spread the word about our project and share this page
  • Stay connected with us on Facebook and Instagram

Learn more about our project on out website or like and share our page on Facebook:

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us via email:

Amelie, Ana Cristina, Andrea, Daniel, Luca, Namrata, and Thomas

Planting the Future team 2018