Dear donors and Project friends.
Project "Provide Vegetable Gardens for Families in Brazil" pursues on its objectives to offer assistance for persons, families or communities wanting to establish organic vegetable gardens or low cost tree nurseries. Due to new donations to SALVEASERRA, our NGO, we are enlarging our horizons, as you will see.
The first thing I would like to report is that our other GlobalGiving project, “Trees and Education Protects the Atlantic Rainforest”, bought from Antonio dos Santos that received a tree nursery from this project in 2010, 167 saplings of different Rainforest trees, palm trees and fruit trees. Antonio sells saplings from his tree nursery at the local market, increasing his income. His saplings are already at the Serra da Concordia Wildlife Sanctuary tree nursery, were we produced our Atlantic Rainforest seedlings. This year we bought other 1100 seedlings with the help Tree and Education project donors. These saplings will be planted late this year. Please see attached pictures.
The project continues to work with the Cambota Community where we are presenting them a new proposal that is to discuss with the neighborhood their future and what possible actions can be taken to prepare them for it.
This new project in the project is called: The vision of your future. What do you think about it? What can you do about it?
It has four points:
1. Develop Environmental Awareness in the community.
2. Promote citizenship, organization, training and qualification of local inhabitants, always searching and seeking ways to improve wellbeing, with more and better work, jobs and income.
3. Produce locally fresh and health food and fruit, on personal and/or communal vegetable gardens, in backyards and in the numerous vacant spaces that can be found in the area.
4. Introduce the concepts of Permaculture.
"Permaculture is a method and movement developed during the 1970s to assist people to become more self reliant through the design and development of productive and sustainable communities and its gardens and farms. Permaculture ecologically seeks to develop sustainable human settlements and agricultural systems, designing them to attempt to be a natural ecosystem. The word "permaculture" originally referred to "permanent agriculture" but was expanded to also stand for "permanent culture," and can described as "a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than premature and thoughtless labor; and of looking at plants and animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single project system. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permaculture. More information on the theme can be easily obtained.
As first steps to Permaculture, we plan to teach and train this community how to make low cost: 1. Composts tumblers from plastic pickle barrel, to recycle organic matter from schools and homes, 2. Red worms composting bins, also to recycle domestic kitchen wastes. 3. Solar water heaters that can reduce greatly electric showers bills and 4. Use of plastic soda bottles as light source. See an example here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHTD_RX3J2I.
The compost produced will be used as organic fertilizer for our vegetable gardens.
Recently the project was presented to Residents Association direction in a meeting in my house which was followed by a visit to the community. To the Cambota community we are proposing a partnership and a collective effort to renovate and recondition a square and the dressing room of a football (soccer) field, applying different permacultural construction techniques, as the superadobe and the earth paint for walls panting. We want to introduce the techniques and finance all the necessary materials and they would provide a task force to do the work in a couple of weekends. The negotiations continues. Please see attached pictures.
In another activity, recently we promoted a course of Container Gardening that can become one of the most important tools to combat hunger and malnutrition. All over the world people are producing their own fresh food in many different types of containers and many are also decorating their houses with ornamental plants in containers, which is a practical idea for gardening, both in urban and in rural areas. Please see attached photos of the course.
“Provide Vegetable Gardens for Families in Brazil” project is essential for the success of the work of SALVEASERRA, offering a real chance for us to interact with communities and help to improve economical, social and environmental situation, preparing them for a better future in this difficult and problematic world.
Thank you very much for your help and support.
Our project advances on its objectives to offer assistance and investment for persons, families or communities wanting to establish organic vegetable gardens or low cost tree nurseries.
We are not doing much because most of the donations received until now have already been spent in several other initiatives as you can see in the former updates and we almost don’t have any funds left. From June 2011 until today the amount of new donations obtained was $531 which is not enough to undertake nothing new.
Two where the activities we were involved in the June report:
1. The training courses ended well and more than 60 students got their diploma as electricity, masonry, painting, and tile setting technician, what was a great gain to Cambota and other neighborhoods.
2. This family we were trying to help but the man had serious health problem seems to be able and willing to start talking again. We could not find them, neither at their garden nor at their homes. See some pictures of their vegetable garden that is starting to produce again.
As you probably know, the Vegetable Gardens project runs along our other project with GlobalGiving, called “Trees and Education Protect the Atlantic Rainforest”. This project brings schoolchildren and groups to visit our wildlife sanctuary and to be close to nature, teaching them the need to protect the waters, the Atlantic Rainforest and the Environment.
The Vegetable Gardens project takes us back to these communities, making possible to bring information on several environmental, educational and citizenship issues, trying to develop an environmental consciousness. There we can promote courses to capacitate and organize local residents and they will contribute to protect the local environment, find new green opportunities and jobs, produce fresh, healthy food in community gardens or individual families gardens. We also work at the houses backyards, trimming old fruit trees and planting new ones.
As we go together, we have new plans for next year which will be possible with totally unexpected super donation that project “Trees and Education Protect the Atlantic Rainforest”, will receive as the winner of the Environment category of the 2011 Wave of Change Neutrogena campaign.
This is really great and rare opportunity for us making possible to plan for the next 4 years, expanding projects operations to 2 or 3 neighboring counties and conveying knowledge and new and up-to-date information to uninformed and unaware citizens with a sub project called SALVEASERRA Caravan, mentioned in other updates.
Here the Neutrogena campaign site: http://www.neutrogena.com/category/wave%2Bfor%2Bchange.do
Another important fact is that next year we are going to introduce in our region the Mandalla’s Integrated Production System, developed by Willy Pessoa, also an ASHOKA fellow, which consists of an innovative agro-cattle production method integrating several social technologies making possible to small rural and urban lands to grow in synergy fruits, vegetables, green leaves as well as to cattle small animals, feeding a entire family and generating surpluses that can be sold to the communities.
For more information on the Madalla System visit:
We consider that project “Provide Vegetable Gardens for Families in Brazil” is essential for the success of the work of SALVEASERRA converting your donations into small investments, offering a real chance of a very important economical, social and environmental shift in the lives of many people, preparing them for a better future in this so difficult and problematic world.
I need your help to vote for and recommend the SALVEASERRA project, which as you probably recall is an NGO in Valença, Rio de Janeiro, an Environmental Protection Group working to save the Serra da Concórdia, one of the very few areas of mountainous Atlantic Rainforest remaining and providing vegetable gardens for families in Brazil. We are finalists in the Wave of Change campaign run by the Neutrogena cosmetics company.
Every year our main sponsor, the GlobalGiving Foundation conducts a partnership with Neutrogena (www.neutrogena.com) for a fundraising campaign called Wave for Change. This raises money for worthwhile projects.
The nine Wave for Change finalists were chosen from the catalog of projects supported by GlobalGiving, in three categories: Education, Environment and Disaster Recovery: Rebuilding Lives.
This year, I am delighted and proud to say, the SALVEASERRA project Trees and Education Protect the Atlantic Rainforest has been selected from among 188 projects to be one of the three finalists in the Environment category. This is a rare opportunity for us.
Now the important thing: only ONE project will be selected in each category to share the money being raised. Winners are being chosen by voting on the Internet. The other six finalists will receive some coverage on MTV and in other media channels and other promotions, but no financial support.
For us this is an uphill struggle. My main competitor is a very good and attractive U.S. project with a strong appeal for nature lovers. It also has a patriotic advantage because of course Neutrogena is an American company. American.
To win this competition we will need a massive mobilization of all our friends, and friends of friends in Brazil and around the world. We need to use Facebook, Twitter, e-mails and whatever personal networks may be available.
That’s why I am seeking your help to vote and ask your friends to do the same. As you know, saving what remains of the Atlantic Rainforest is very important, and SALVEASERRA exists mainly with your donations and without any regular government support. This project walks hand in hand with the vegetable gardens project and in the same communities.
To vote in the campaign you do not have to buy any product; you just go to the Neutrogena page and vote: http://www.neutrogena.com/category/wave+for+change.do
Make sure you click on Protect the Rainforest in Brazil!
Voting closes August 31, 2011, and you can follow the progress of the vote by returning to the same page.
Please accept my sincere thanks.
Please visit these links to see slideshows of a recent visit we had of Melissa Balgley and Joshua Niederman from GlobalGiving made to Valeça when they wrote very pleaseant reports about the 2 projects they visited.
My name is Melissa Balgley and I am an In the Field intern visiting GlobalGiving partner organizations in Brazil! Read here about my visit to Providing Brazilian Families with Vegetable Gardens…
Last year, Denise Maria Wargas Vieira received a greenhouse from SALVEASERRA and its project “Providing Brazilian Families with Vegetable Gardens”. Denise is the president of the Association of Small Organic Farmers of Valença, and is very involved in the organic movement in the area. Denise’s farm was an oasis after driving around the deforested, dusty, overgrazed fields of the region. It is a beautiful plot of land, with banana plants providing shade from the hot sun. For me, seeing farms like Denise’s always seems to be proof that small scale polyculture farms are so much more natural (and productive) than monoculture productions of sugarcane, banana, or soybeans.
Since receiving her greenhouse, Denise is able to produce seedlings and sprouts that she sells at the weekly market and to other small farmers in her organization. This not only enables Denise to generate more income, but also helps the other farmers because it saves them one month of work waiting for the seedlings to sprout. Before the greenhouse was built, Denise earned about Brazilian minimum wage every month. Now, she makes the equivalent of Brazilian minimum wage every week by selling her products and sprouts at the farmer’s market!
This project is extremely important as it complements the work of SALVEASERRA’s other project, “Trees and Education Protect Rainforest in Brazil” (http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/protect-brazil-rainforest/). This project’s goal is helping with the reforestation of degraded land outside of Valenca, Rio de Janeiro. On top of this, SALVEASERRA brings schoolchildren to a beautiful private reserve to appreciate the beauty of the nature and recognize the need to protect the Atlantic Rainforest. SALVEASERRA wants to move towards making community gardens as well as gardens for individual families. With this new addition to the project, communities surrounding Valenca can contribute to protecting the environment and producing fresh, healthy food. This will also give the children who participate in the Trees and Education project continuity in environmental activities.
The Atlantic Forest is a beautiful area of Brazil that is in danger of being completely destroyed. SALVEASERRA is working to protect this area of natural beauty, and appreciates your continued support in order to do this! SALVEASERRA is very excited that they were chosen for Neutrogena’s Wave for Change campaign, but they need your votes! Vote today at http://www.neutrogena.com/category/wave+for+change.do
Project update June 2011. "Provide Vegetable Gardens for Families in Brazil"
Dear donors and project friends,
“Provide Vegetable Gardens for Families in Brazil” project goes on and advancing in its objectives, which are: 1. to offer help, assistance and some initial investment for the establishment of organic vegetable gardens or low cost tree nurseries for low income persons and families, and 2. through these actions and in association with the actions of our other GlobalGiving project: http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/protect-brazil-rainforest/, reach the communities of students and citizens we take to visit the Concordia Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary, through the “A Day in the Forest” ecological/educational guided trekking, and promote with them citizenship, the status of rights and duties of citizens, freedom of will and most important, help the community walk by itself and make their own projects. These projects are in Valença City in Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil.
As said in the last report, we started to work with a community called Cambota, a neighborhood of Valença and we are happy to say that there are already some fruits of this partnership, with the possibility of a new vegetable garden for a group of people and the chance SALVEASERRA had to bring 5 professional technical skills courses (masonry, electrician (two groups), placer of tiles and painter), with 25/30 places in each, to this community, where among other problems, unemployment and lack of qualification is a major concern.
One day I discovered on the city newspaper that the local office of the National Employment Service, which is very much concerned with the near to come 2014 Football World Cup in Brazil and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and the immense amount of construction work to be done and the lack of specialized workers, was offering training courses to Valença City and unbelievably, having problems with the local Municipality to place them. As we always thought that the municipal public schools buildings that remain empty every night, during weekends and all 3 months of holidays, could be used permanently as bases of training centers for the development of the inhabitants of a neighborhood, we found this an opportunity and the next day went to see the director of the NES, when, beforehand we offered the Cambota schools and the Local Association headquarters to receive the courses and as practicing ground for students. The director was delighted with the possibility of finding a place for the courses and with the argument that it would be much easier to bring the teachers to the school than move students from this neighborhood, at night, to study in another place. The same day we presented the idea to the directors of the schools that accepted it and consented to proceed with the project. This way we could progress meeting all parts and arranging the details. Everything went well and these courses are happening at this moment at one of the school.
This unique event was a great gain for the Cambota communality that sent most of the students that totaled more than 90 in all 5 courses.Their new official course diploma will certainly facilitate finding a job and the school has two new painted classrooms and some electric repairs and two houses in the community received had some construction work done by students.
With this simple idea and punctual SALVEASERRA intervention everybody won.
You will see below a sequence of pictures of all this process, from the first meetings to the courses and practices.
From Joaquim, the school responsible in charge of opening the school and organizing the courses, we learned that 2 of his brothers, Gilberto and Natalet Dias and an associate, Teresinha, a few years ago used to have a large and productive vegetable garden, but due to a serious disease and the loss of the irrigation system pipes they used, (the owner removed them), stopped producing, but that now, they would be willing to receive some help to restart producing. We went to visit them, to analyze the terrain, their water availability and quality, their condition to produce organic vegetables under the general organic concepts. Everything was excellent, with the possibility of new producers of quality and quantity organic vegetables made real, we were ready to help with a new watering system and other small investments when we received the information that Gilberto was ill with a heart problem and would have to go to a hospital to get a Pacemaker. This made everything stop as the family is worried with this medical situation.
Unfortunately, because of his condition Gilberto cannot work at a vegetable garden anymore and the two remaining ladies are looking for another relative to come help them restart a vegetable garden. We are waiting the deployment of his situation.
Please see a series of photos of our visits to their land.
As most of the donations received until now were already spent in several initiatives, (see former updates) we almost don’t have any funds left. The donations obtained so far have reached $1,963.
There is no real problem because this project runs along the “Trees and Education Protect Rainforest in Brazil”, but I am sure that we could do well with your new donations that are converted into small investments that help us offer a chance of change to many families in Brazil. This change may represent an economical, social and environmental shift in their lives, preparing them to look for a better future in this so difficult and problematic world.
We really need your help and support,
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