Story telling at Ms. Edna's home
Vaga Lume returns to the Amazon with the “Vaga Lume 15 years Expedition”
During a four-month expedition, educators will be traveling to the organization’s libraries in the rural Brazilian Amazon in order to evaluate the project’s progress within the last 14 years
Vaga Lume’s history begins with three friends traveling throughout the Amazon to get to know and to better understand the region and its inhabitants. After traveling for some time, it became clear that there was a severe lack of investment in education in the region and extremely poor access to books. It was then that Vaga Lume was born, the first project being the Expedition program, which to this day continues to create greater access to books and to literacy by means of the “triplet” methodology: the donation of literature books; the training of volunteers to be reading mediators; and the incentive for community management of the libraries.
For the first time since the founding of the organization, and approaching the 15th anniversary celebration, Vaga Lume will go back to each one of the 159 participating rural communities in 23 municipalities* throughout the Brazilian Legal Amazon region. Nine Vaga Lume educators will spend more than 150 days traveling to the communities that have been participating in the project. This trip was “baptized” as the “Vaga Lume 15 years Expedition” and has already started, with the first visit having taken place on June 11th, 2015.
“The goal of such an expedition is to return to all of the participating communities and to evaluate the current status of the project in each one, along with auditing the work that has already been done. Since 2001, the project has reached more than 22,000 children and young-adults and has distributed more than 86,328 new literature books. We are so proud of all we have accomplished!” says Sylvia Guimarães, one of Vaga Lume’s three founders and current president. It is important to say that, throughout time, Vaga Lume has always been aware of the cultural and educational actions taking place in its libraries, considering whether something was the best strategy, which modifications would bring about the best improvements, and how to reflect on the results. The difference in the Vaga Lume 15 years Expedition is the fact that all 159 libraries will be visited, and evaluated, at once!
And, the good news is that we already have an amazing story to share with you since the start of our expedition! It is about an incredible woman that has helped to carry out Vaga Lume’s mission on Marajo Island, in the northeast of the state of Para. Ms. Edna Maria Vasconcelos Silva is 55 years old and a teacher. Edna used to live in a rural community called Fazenda do Desterro (Desterro Farm) where she used to manage the Vaga Lume community library with kids and locals. After a few years, she moved to the small city of Soure, where she plays an important role on the city’s board of education. She is part of the Vaga Lume’s Local Team, which connects the Technical Team, based in São Paulo, to the rural communities of the Amazon. The Local Team also supports local needs related to volunteer training, receiving and distributing books, the development of partnerships with the Municipal Secretariat of Education, local companies and organizations, etc.
Last week, three of Vaga Lume’s educators, Aline, Lohana and Luisa, visited Soure and found out that Ms. Edna had assembled, in her own home, a collection of literature books, similar to the ones Vaga Lume donates to its libraries! She did this so that everySaturdaychildren from her neighborhood could participate in story-telling sessions and enjoy reading moments.
Ms. Edna’s efforts along with those of three thousand other Vaga Lume trained volunteers, are what make a difference every single day in these communities! We believe that adult engagement is crucial to reinforcing and improving childhood education. We are so proud to say that we are a part of these people’s lives and helping to make a difference! You are in this with us, so we celebrate these accomplishments together!
In short, it is needless to say that all these accomplishments are only made possible because of you! YOU have certainly made a difference. Thank you very much for your support to Vaga Lume.
Other stories and news articles are available at http://www.vagalume.org.br/home
If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to drop us a line!
Thais and Laura, on behalf of the very proud Vaga Lume Team.
*Belém, Castanhal, Soure, Barcelos, São Gabriel, Macapá, Chapada dos Guimarães, Campinápolis, Santarém, Oriximiná, Tefé, Uarini, Ponte Alta do Tocantins, Caracaraí, Pacaraima, Portel, Breves, Carauari, Cruzeiro do Sul, Ouro Preto do Oeste, Barreirinhas, Mirinzal, Guimarães.
Girl enjoying reading at Ms. Edna's home
Ms. Edna at her home
Vaga Lume educators with Ms. Edna
Story telling at Ms. Edna's home