Dear supporters and friends,
Here is the latest update from our Young Eco Leaders who are hard at work changing their little corner of the world. And this semester we’ve been literally getting our hands dirty, learning about different soil types, about how different soils have different filtration rates, studying the rate of soil compaction, and discovering that different plants require different soils.
Of course being young and super energetic, our students love going out on our forest trails. So we took them on a long hike to find seeds for our forest nursery. They learned how to identify several different tree species by observing the shape of the tree, its leaves, bark, and fruits, and observing the birds that eat the fruit. It's a big job - did we tell you we have twenty thousand plant species in the Atlantic Forest?. We also talked about creating organic fertilizer, and discussed the environmental and economic benefits of using it.
Later on we had a round table discussion on the challenges facing our community, and identified one problem which seems to be common to communities across the world: the quantity of garbage produced and discarded! As good researchers, we paid a visit to the recycling unit in our town, interviewed the staff, and then carried out a survey of garbage produced by the community. It's amazing what you can learn from examining what people throw away! We were able to build up picture of local consumption habits and in return relate that to health problems like obesity and diabetes. (You've guessed it - lots and LOTS of empty soda bottles.) We also discussed how some forms of garbage could be recycled into useful and beautiful items. At the end of the day our students are beginning to acquire a notion of some of the complex questions facing our societies and some of the possible solutions.
But the most important thing is this. We want to help raise a new generation of young people who are critical and creative thinkers. We want them to share their insights and information, with each other and with their families, since they are full of energy and love to talk! We were thinking about this last week when we had a meeting with the municipal Secretary of Education to talk about how we could involve the students more and more and really help them become change makers in the community. Because our future depends on them and it’s up to us, together with their families and teachers, to build a better future.
So we’re counting on your help, dear friends, because without you we couldn’t get it done.Together we’re fighting to create a program of environmental education that will transform our students and inspire them to go out and change the world!
rainforest love to you all,
Arielle, Luiz, Demian and the Young Eco Leaders
Hello, dear friends and supporters,
Half a year far from the rain season and reforestation efforts, we have amazing news to share.
First, we've been choosen (among more than 1500 other initiatives in Brazil) for a partnership with "Brazil Foundation", which will support our reforestation program for 12 months. Though the grant is not enough to cover all expenses, it shall be sufficient to guarantee 20 plantings at the end of the year. All the family farmers have been selected already, mainly based on their urgency, and their seedlings are vigorously growing in our tree nursery while you read this report.
Furthermore, last week, our friends from the Franciscan Association of Belisario told us that our project for building sustainable sceptic tanks in rural communities next to the State Park Serra do Brigadeiro had been aproved for a church's grant. It will be a great chance to improve the life quality of rural communities living by the park's mountain range, protect their water and biodiversity resources and also work with strategic local communities.
As you can see, we ve been keeping our hands busy, working hard with the surrounding communities to make sure we have the maximum positive impact with the resources available. Still, none of this would be real without the support of our friends and collaborators from GlobalGiving, our first succesfull partnership. It was your donation that initiated our "Forest $ Water" project when all we had was a problem with our springs drying up and a 1983 motorbike.
We invite you to celebrate our acomplishments with us!
Dear wonderful donors,
It's time to send you an update from our neck of the woods, and this quarter has been all about getting our hands dirty. Which is something that kids love to do - as do many of us who are kids at heart!
As you may have noticed, the weather patterns have been unusual lately. "Unusual" in our part of the world has meant that the rains arrived a full three months late - which is serious if you live in a rainforest. As a result, our students, their friends and families, and everyone they could rope in, have been getting their hands dirty planting out native tree seedlings from our forest nursery while the rains are with us.
Together we've been working with local farm families in the Environmental Protection Areas to reforest in catchment areas around springs and on stream banks, and, in order to ensure that those young trees have the best possible start, we've been making organic fertiliser. Using the Bokashi method of composting, we create a rich mixture based on living micro-organisms (yeasts, bacteria and fungi collected from the forest floor) fermented with rice, water and molasses. It's easy, it's fun, and it's effective. It speeds natural decomposition of organic matter, helps plants absorb nitrogen, and creates a healthy micro-environment for the young trees. Practical, hands-on science in the field, and the students love it. So do the young trees.
And it's because of your support that we're able to raise a new generation of committed young scientists - we couldn't do it without you. So please accept a big thank you to each one of you!
Toni, Arielle, Gui, Binka and the Young Eco Leaders