This year has had an unusual start for all of us - as we stay put for quarantine, we are working on detailing our work for this school year with two new schools! Last year we focused mostly on practical environmental learning journeys with practical activities such as trails and treasure hunts, a regenerative culinary workshop and mindfulness excercises. This year we are adding a new component to our curriculum: art therapy!
Our pedagoge and resident art coordinator have been taking lessons on art therapy and artistic expression to formulate a workshop for the children to connect with nature and express the feeling through painting, mosaic and modelling. We will focus on using natural and recycled elements to show children how their creative outlet can beautify spaces and care for their environment.
Previously, we had worked with children of the community decorating public spaces such as plazas, school murals and other infrastructure - this has proven to be a children's favorite so it was naturally time to incorporate it to our in-campus learning journeys!
We will keep you posted as things go back to normal and we can begin our work. In the mean time, stay safe and as always, we extend you a sincere thank you for your support!
Mar 16, 2020
By Johanna Barba - Julio Otoni Team
Vaccination Campaign Team
We just wrapped up our summer camp activities in the Center, which included English lessons and games with the help of our international volunteers. Now that carnaval has passed, we are back in the regular school calendar rythm, and are tutoring in after-school programs.
This month we ran a measles vaccination campaign in the community center in partnership with the health secretariat of the municipality of Rio de Janeiro. The community center is not only a place for children to get tutoring and come together to play, but also an important focal point of community welfare. Vaccination campaigns and other health-related events are often part of our activities.
A big thank you to our donors who help us provide a safe space in the Julio Otoni favela - stay tuned for more stories of our community center!
Feb 20, 2020
Starting the year with reforestation
By Johanna Barba - Sinal do Vale team
Since the end of 2018, we have been focusing our reforestation efforts in the area around a spring in our property that had dried out and is coming back. While we planted more than a thousand trees, it is common for some of them to die from exposure to the elements. This is why, every couple of months, we make rounds to check the general health and tree count.
We began the year with the native seedlings that had been growing in the nursery ready to go, so after a monitoring session, we planted another 200 trees to substitute the ones that didn't make it. The good news is, the original seedlings that survived are bigger and can provide shade and protection to the new ones.
Since there are only a couple of months left of heavy rainfall, we also applied hydrogel activated with our own organic biofertilizer to the "nest" of each new seedling, so they will have better chances os survival!
Thank you to our all donors who not only help us to plant trees, but also to expand our research on cost-effective techniques to bring back the Atlantic Forest.