Hello, dear friends of the Young Eco-Leaders!
It’s been almost two months since our program started, and we have lots to share!
The first good news is that, in partnership with Belizario’s local church, we’ve managed to convince the water supply company to give the district the use of one of their big trucks twice a week so they can send their recyclable waste to a recycling association in Muriae. Recycling is of major importance for places like Belizario and Rosario da Limeira which lie above gigantic bauxite mines (the second largest in Brazil) – aluminum is the most profitable material recycled material, so the more that is recycled by the communities, the less mining companies will feel the need to exploit the currently untouched local resources. Iracambi´s community mobilization in a recent past was crucial to preserve natural resources and forest fragments. A strong society organization supported by Iracambi is therefore critical to deterring the mining companies.
And where do the Young Eco-Leaders fit in this initiative? Leading, of course. They are going to be part of the community mobilization, visiting houses and educating people on how to separate their recyclable waste and put organic waste in good use. Isn’t that cool? Our current semester is well underway, and we have just concluded our first theme: water. After some classroom learning on the topic, the students helped our volunteer Jacqueline Reu with her water quality project, carrying out practical research using bio-indicators in Iracambi’s streams. As part of this topic, we also took them to the biggest water treatment station in Muriae, so they could check out how the water flows in urban context. We also visited two rural producers: one who has no more water in his property after the hard drought and now depends on a good relationship with his neighbor to live and produce; and another one who believes his farm is a good model of how to effectively manage water resources. We wrapped up our water theme by discussing how climate change is impacting the rain cycle and our relationship with water. In just two months we have visited a lot of places and involved our students in a whole range of activities related to environmentalism and leadership. But this year has just begun, and we have much more ground to cover. The next topic will be food, an extremely important theme in a region mainly composed by rural family producers, and we’re all looking forward to have more practical activities as the program continues.
And, once again, it is important to say that all these wonderful things are only possible because of people like you, dear friends and supporters, who put your faith in us. With our rainforest regards, Gui, Binka, Robin and all the Young Eco-Leaders!
Hello, Dear Young Ecoleaders friends!Summer has oficially come and gone, as so did carnaval in Brazil. It means work time has finally arrived again, and of course our Young Eco-Leaders program is ready to kick-off!
So, what´s new this year?The first news is Diogo, our former Program Coordinator, has decided to migrate interely to agroecology´s path and will no longer be involved with Education for Sustaninability. The second is Guilherme, ex-Volunteer and Research Centre Coordinator, is more than happy to take over the Program, training his education skills and working closer to the community.
What else?This time, before starting the program, we decided to present it to the local community, so they could analyze it and share their perspective. The students, parents, teachers and local producers loved to be part of this semester´s planning, and the best thing is now we not only have a project for the community, but also a community group effort to educate our kids in Environmental Education. Isn´t it cool?Besides that, we´ll do our best to stress citizenship and leadership along all the course. We´re going to work with the "WEF (Water, Energy and Food) Sustainability Nexus". The idea is to bring hard science first, and then take them to a series of visits to observe how these global challenges are presented in local reality, urban areas and contryside. After each cycle they shall present their reports for the community (parents, teachers, local producers, politicians), pointing out challenges and discussing possible solutions. And what about experiments?There was already a science fair happening every semester in Limeira. Thus, we thought "What if we link the sciece fair to local challenges and our Young Eco-Leaders Progam?". And so it is, we´ll encourage the students to build their projects having in mind the WEFNexus, so when the fair comes our Young Eco-Leaders, who are already part of the event, will vote for the projects they´d like to put into practice with the local community. We´ll also give prizes for the teams which present the best ideas for local challenges. And of course along all the semester we´ll do our best to involve the children in local matters related to sustainability, citizenship and practical work, such as reforesting efforts and organized ecological walks. We want our young fellows active in the community, and we know they love action!And lots of other news really soon, as the program shall begin on next monday, 9th of March.With our best rainforest regards and enthusiasm,Gui, Binka and all the Young Eco-Leaders Team
Hello, dear Young Eco-Leaders supporters!
In our last “Thank you” letter our Young Eco Leaders were planning to do some reforestry along stream banks in several of the family farms round Iracambi where the whole community was concerned about the longest drought in eighty years, and some of the springs were beginning to run dry. Well, let’s just say our kids really walk the talk, and they walk fast! This week our Young Eco-Leaders took advantage of a rainy spell to do some serious tree planting. In fact they planted around 200 native species trees, and every one in our two groups had a chance to get their hands dirty, making everybody in Iracambi proud to be part of the action. Thank you for your part in this achievement!
And for those who are always looking for an opportunity to increase the impact of their contribution, we bring some very good news. We're happy to announce that on Tuesday 2 December, 2014, we’ll be taking part in #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back, when charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.
Our partners at Microsoft YouthSpark will be giving 100% matching donations up to $500 per donor, so if you were considering making a donation to our Young Eco-Leaders in the near future, Microsoft will double your money while funds last! Isn’t that great? But the funds end pretty fast, so as soon as the clock hits 9 a.m. NY time zone, it will be giving time! There will be an extra $175, 000 recharge at 3 p.m. (NY time zone) in case you miss the first round, but, here's another piece of good news. Even if your donation is not matched, Giving Tuesday is a great day to make a donation, because GlobalGiving is giving cash prizes for the project with the greatest number of donors and the project which raises the most money. Last year Iracambi was narrowly beaten into second place, and this year we're going for the gold!
UK donors please note - if you hit the Gift Aid button on the GlobalGiving UK site and provide your full postal address, GG UK can claim an additional 25% on top of your donation. Which is pretty cool. And US tax payers can claim a rebate on their tax return.
So tomorrow please share the news with your friends, family and colleagues and ask them to join you in hitting the link to our US project page or our UK project page to help us extend our program to all the many kids who are begging to join our program and become Young Eco Leaders. Thank you so much, we really appreciate your help!
Binka, Diogo, Gui and all the Young Eco-Leaders team