Sep 25, 2015

Melque's inspiring speech

Melque at the training course of mediators
Melque at the training course of mediators

Dear supporter,

If you have been following our story, you might remember that Vaga Lume’s educators have been traveling around the Brazilian Legal Amazon region since June this year to monitor and evaluate the work carried out at the community libraries where the organization operates.. Since the beginning of the trip, which is called "Vaga Lume Expedition - 15 years ", we've visited around 74 community libraries out of the existing 159.

Two weeks ago, I, together with two of Vaga Lume's educators, Celice and Aline visited the community libraries in Carauari, in the state of Amazonas, and met Melque. Melque has been helping Vaga Lume carry out its mission in Carauari since he was a teenager and today, he is the Representative of the municipality’s Local Team. Every month, Melque takes a small boat and begins a journey along the river Juruá (which is a southern affluent river of the Amazon River) to visit each community library that Vaga Lume helps to maintain. He usually takes with him new books to fill up the bookshelves and to encourage the people who live in those communities to engage with the project and to connect themselves with literature and reading.

During the last Expedition to Carauari, Melque took Vaga Lume's educators to a meeting with young protagonists that was being held at Pupuai's community. There, Melque introduced Vaga Lume Association to those who didn't know what it was, and made a brief speech: "I know that many of you have a library in your community that often receive books from Vaga Lume. I know that plenty of you here recognize the importance that those books have to you, to your parents, to our communities and to the region. I believe that education is something that leads us to a great future, and because of that, I'm part of Vaga Lume's team. We have the same beliefs; we consider education an empowerment tool and we know how important it is to put this tool in your hands. You, young protagonists, know what's best for yourself and for the place you live in. You know the importance of preserving your culture and what you -and all of us- need to do to keep it sustainable and alive. You have the tool that gives you power to build your own future".

Melque knows how important this job is because he understands the difference that books and reading had made in his life. Today, he knows how to read, but even more important than that, he knows that the world is much bigger than he thought. Today, he knows stories from all over the world! Through his own experience, Melque found out how inspiring literature can be and, because of that, he also became a role model for the children, young people and adults around him.

This is a simple but often repeated story of someone that does everything he can to provide a better education to the people of his community. And, thanks to your generosity, Vaga Lume is able to make it possible too. Every simple action can make a profound difference!

Your donation has been helping to change the life of Melque, young protagonists and all who live around them!

Thank you for being part of it!

Warm regards,

Daniela, on behalf of the very proud Vaga Lume Team.

Storytelling at Taquara's community library
Storytelling at Taquara's community library
Children enjoying the library of their community
Children enjoying the library of their community
Vaga Lume's educators and the Local Team
Vaga Lume's educators and the Local Team

Links:

Jul 16, 2015

First Stop of "Vaga Lume 15 years Expedition"

Story telling at Ms. Edna's home
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!

Warm regards,

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
Girl enjoying reading at Ms. Edna's home
Ms. Edna at her home
Ms. Edna at her home
Vaga Lume educators with Ms. Edna
Vaga Lume educators with Ms. Edna
Story telling at Ms. Edna's home
Story telling at Ms. Edna's home
May 18, 2015

Building Engagement!

House chosen to become the library (blue one)
House chosen to become the library (blue one)

Vista Alegre Community, Roraima State – Building Engagement!

 

Dear Friend,

 

Vaga Lume's project was created 14 years ago in order to facilitate access to books and libraries to the Amazon people from rural areas. It’s important to mention that the methodology applied considers that reading should be part of a pleasant routine for children, teenagers and adults. Also, that Vaga Lume doesn’t build the structure of the library; they receive literature books, shelves and mats together with a great lot of experience gathered throughout the years on how to effectively run libraries in small isolated villages so kids can acquire the taste and enthusiasm for reading.

The library you’ll see now was first installed inside a school. It is located in a rural area called Vista Alegre, near Boa Vista city, within the State of Roraima. Until recently, children could only borrow books during the week, since the school was closed during weekend, preventing people’s access to the library.

Last December, a group of Vaga Lume’s educators - Celice, Marcia and Paulo- went to Vista Alegre for a monitoring and evaluation expedition. They had a meeting with all those interested in the library and they decided together that the best way to gain full access to such facility was to build an exclusive space for the library! The problem was that although they were willing to do it, they didn’t have the money for that. So, the educators shared their experiences and called everybody to act together in this challenging enterprise! Some of Vaga Lume’s volunteers and many children understood they needed to engage people from local businesses and their surroundings to get the library built. The educators came back to São Paulo leaving behind a movement that soon would bring the library into action. On March 27th, the new community library of Vista Alegre, outside of the school and with its own exclusive space, opened for the first time! Can you imagine their emotion? And ours?

Some children sent messages to Celice, one of the educators, after they finished painting the library saying,

“Hi Celice, I’m Ana Vitória, I helped a lot! Although I still don’t know how to read, I helped a lot!”

“Hi, my name is Celia, we moved the library out to Alberto Ribeiro’s house and today our team painted the walls!”

“Hi Celice, my name is Maria Luiza, and I painted the house. I‘m going to read to all children that want me to do so!”

If you want to see the building process and the community´s engagement, watch this video done by Vaga Lume’s volunteers to keep the memory of their successful enterprise:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cw-FnvuSvk8&feature=youtu.be

Needless to say that all these accomplishments are only possible because of you! Thank you very much for your support and attention to Vaga Lume! We are very motivated to support people in creating their own libraries and the donations we receive from you really make it happen!

In that sense, it is time to say, once more, thank you! By donating to Vaga Lume, YOU have made it possible. You are in this with us, so we should celebrate this together!

Other stories and news are available at www.vagalume.org.br/english.

If you have any doubts or comments, do drop us a line!

 

Best regards,

Thais, on behalf of the very proud Vaga Lume Staff

Children painting inside the library
Children painting inside the library
Children painting inside the library
Children painting inside the library
Maria Luiza painting
Maria Luiza painting
Children from Vista Alegre Community
Children from Vista Alegre Community
 
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