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
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Rio de Janeiro,
Rio de Janeiro