CEMINA (Com., Edu. and Info. and Adaptation)

CEMINA ( Communication, Education, Information and Adaptation) is a not- for- profit organization founded in 1990 to empower women and communities through the use of the radio. Over the years CEMINA has created 400 women's radio programs and has been awarded with various prizes. The radio model, created by CEMINA, is considered a social technology and has been disseminated not only in Brazil but in other countries as well. Since 2007, CEMINA has shifted its focus from radio to the capacity building for social start ups and education for adaptation to climate change. One of its main projects is Adapta Sertao ( www.adaptasertao.net) which aim is to develop a social technology that benefits t...
Apr 7, 2014

Healthy Food is now Art for Julio Otoni Children

cosmic fruit mandala
cosmic fruit mandala

Two volunteers, Guna Sauline and Hernan Almiron have inicitiate a new class that focus on transforming healthy food in artistic shapes. The title of the class is Dynamic Art  and the vision is to estimulate children to do artistic shapes with their bodies, with healthy food and with paintings. 

Julio Otoni is like most low income communities in Rio de Janeiro. Children eat unhealty  processed food flavored and colored artificially.  The transition is not easy and requires  creativity to capture children's attention and interest.  Thanks to this project this is happening and children are eating healthier and also learning  how to express themselves using their bodies and also painting.  Recently in one of the classes they have painted their souls. 

This class will last until the end of the year and is a good exemple of an activity that has a lot of potential to improve children's wellbeing.  It could be expanded to more children if donnations can support it. They money is need to buy the material.  It is a wonderful initiative that can help change unhealty food patterns, so critical to improve the current state of health of children at Julio Otoni and around the world. 

Drawing Souls
Drawing Souls
Freshly made snacks
Freshly made snacks
Jan 9, 2014

The Highlights of 2013 - Engaging with Children

discovering sounds and lyrics from Latin America
discovering sounds and lyrics from Latin America

The highlight of 2013 was an increasing involvement of volunteers, both foreigners and nationals.  Rio de Janeiro, which is the next two years will host two big sport events, World Cup ( 2014) and Olympics ( 2016) is attracting people from around of the world.  The city is peculiar. It is beautiful, has interesting touristic infrastructure and at the same time, is a sample of social disparities and lack of care for the abundant nature in which the city is embedded.  Responsible travel is a trend all over the world. People, especially young people, want to enjoy the city and at the same time contribute with something that adds value to the place they are visiting.   The Community Center Julio Otoni has embraced  these opportunities. Through the Hostel Casa 579, the project is able to receive volunteers and organize the contributions that they can offer for children and the community.

Volunteers were connected to Julio Otoni since its inception in 2005, this last year the program has received a new injection of enthusiasm and commitment.  Today the volunteer program has a director that coordinates the demand and the planning alocation of these human resources.  Believe it or not, it is quite challenging to find ways in which people can contribute despite  their country of origin and the language that they speak.

Three volunteers deserve our special attention. Rachel Marquez, from the US;  Niger Soares, from Rio de Janeiro and Natalia Mercado from Argentina. Together with many other volunteers they totally revitalized the center, engaging parents, creating new activities, organizing events, theater plays, outside promenades for the children. The result of this engagement was the final party of the year where children, parents, friends, foreigners and volunteers clearly showed in their faces the satisfaction for the real benefit created.

It is important to say that the project that host 50 children every single day runs on very little money. The main resource we have are people and their motivations to care for the children and improve the environments in which they live. 

The story of the year is the childrens choir that filled with light and charm  every single event, connecting all of us to beauty and to our hearts.  They learned music from the Andean region, they got used to the new rythms of Latin America helping them to understand that besides being Cariocas ( name given to people born in Rio) and Brazilians, they belong to a continent that is Latin America.

Our blog, www.juliootoni.wordpress.com and our facebook page/ juliootoni have photos and more highlights of this very simple and positive story. We end here manifesting our gratefulness to our donor and friends, many of them anonymous. They believe on the power of positive energy in making the world a better place for all of us. 

Enjoyng the Rythms with Drums
Enjoyng the Rythms with Drums
Visiting Exhibition in Favela Mare
Visiting Exhibition in Favela Mare

Links:

Dec 19, 2013

Creating Connections with Nature

Working with Bamboo
Working with Bamboo

Living so close to nature in the Atlantic Rainforest provides anyone who visits SINAL a deep appreciation and respect for nature. There is an abundance of trees, fruit, animals and plants that have infinite possibilities to help children create lasting connections to the natural world. SINAL has worked to create connections with nature by engaging children in projects that utilize the abundance of nature. 

Our final semester of the year had children experimenting with materials on the property such as bamboo, young fruit trees, and local produce such as mangos. Lessons were centered around local materials that are in abundance on the farm. For example a big part of Brazilian culture for children is building and flying your own kite. Thus a lesson was dedicated to learning about bamboo, how to sustainably collect the material, and then using the bamboo to build kites. Later during the mango season children were taught about the mango tree, how to collect mangos using local bambo fruit pickers, and making fresh and healthy juice out of them along with other fresh fruit produce on the farm. Furthermore children were given opportunities to learn about cultivating plants in our Childrens Garden. Concepts such as caring for plants, growing them from local seeds, and harvesting the vegetables were all demonstrated. 

SINAL looks forward to a happy and productive 2014 by building on our already successful program and showing children even more of the abundant nature that surrounds us. Thank you for all your donations and allowing our program to continue. 

Love from SINAL

Learning about Plants
Learning about Plants
Enjoying Nature
Enjoying Nature
Local Mangos!
Local Mangos!
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