Hello, Dear Young Ecoleaders friends!Summer has oficially come and gone, as so did carnaval in Brazil. It means work time has finally arrived again, and of course our Young Eco-Leaders program is ready to kick-off!
So, what´s new this year?The first news is Diogo, our former Program Coordinator, has decided to migrate interely to agroecology´s path and will no longer be involved with Education for Sustaninability. The second is Guilherme, ex-Volunteer and Research Centre Coordinator, is more than happy to take over the Program, training his education skills and working closer to the community.
What else?This time, before starting the program, we decided to present it to the local community, so they could analyze it and share their perspective. The students, parents, teachers and local producers loved to be part of this semester´s planning, and the best thing is now we not only have a project for the community, but also a community group effort to educate our kids in Environmental Education. Isn´t it cool?Besides that, we´ll do our best to stress citizenship and leadership along all the course. We´re going to work with the "WEF (Water, Energy and Food) Sustainability Nexus". The idea is to bring hard science first, and then take them to a series of visits to observe how these global challenges are presented in local reality, urban areas and contryside. After each cycle they shall present their reports for the community (parents, teachers, local producers, politicians), pointing out challenges and discussing possible solutions. And what about experiments?There was already a science fair happening every semester in Limeira. Thus, we thought "What if we link the sciece fair to local challenges and our Young Eco-Leaders Progam?". And so it is, we´ll encourage the students to build their projects having in mind the WEFNexus, so when the fair comes our Young Eco-Leaders, who are already part of the event, will vote for the projects they´d like to put into practice with the local community. We´ll also give prizes for the teams which present the best ideas for local challenges. And of course along all the semester we´ll do our best to involve the children in local matters related to sustainability, citizenship and practical work, such as reforesting efforts and organized ecological walks. We want our young fellows active in the community, and we know they love action!And lots of other news really soon, as the program shall begin on next monday, 9th of March.With our best rainforest regards and enthusiasm,Gui, Binka and all the Young Eco-Leaders Team
Hello, dear Young Eco-Leaders supporters!
In our last “Thank you” letter our Young Eco Leaders were planning to do some reforestry along stream banks in several of the family farms round Iracambi where the whole community was concerned about the longest drought in eighty years, and some of the springs were beginning to run dry. Well, let’s just say our kids really walk the talk, and they walk fast! This week our Young Eco-Leaders took advantage of a rainy spell to do some serious tree planting. In fact they planted around 200 native species trees, and every one in our two groups had a chance to get their hands dirty, making everybody in Iracambi proud to be part of the action. Thank you for your part in this achievement!
And for those who are always looking for an opportunity to increase the impact of their contribution, we bring some very good news. We're happy to announce that on Tuesday 2 December, 2014, we’ll be taking part in #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back, when charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.
Our partners at Microsoft YouthSpark will be giving 100% matching donations up to $500 per donor, so if you were considering making a donation to our Young Eco-Leaders in the near future, Microsoft will double your money while funds last! Isn’t that great? But the funds end pretty fast, so as soon as the clock hits 9 a.m. NY time zone, it will be giving time! There will be an extra $175, 000 recharge at 3 p.m. (NY time zone) in case you miss the first round, but, here's another piece of good news. Even if your donation is not matched, Giving Tuesday is a great day to make a donation, because GlobalGiving is giving cash prizes for the project with the greatest number of donors and the project which raises the most money. Last year Iracambi was narrowly beaten into second place, and this year we're going for the gold!
UK donors please note - if you hit the Gift Aid button on the GlobalGiving UK site and provide your full postal address, GG UK can claim an additional 25% on top of your donation. Which is pretty cool. And US tax payers can claim a rebate on their tax return.
So tomorrow please share the news with your friends, family and colleagues and ask them to join you in hitting the link to our US project page or our UK project page to help us extend our program to all the many kids who are begging to join our program and become Young Eco Leaders. Thank you so much, we really appreciate your help!
Binka, Diogo, Gui and all the Young Eco-Leaders team
Dear wonderful friends and supporters,
Our Young Eco-Leaders field program of good practices for family farmers is up and running, and we`d like to tell you all about it!
As you saw in our last bulletin, in order to fulfill our mission to save forests and change lives, as serious scientists we had to go to the field and get our hands dirty, this time side by side with the family farmers who live in the Environment Protection Areas (EPAs). Once again, we are trying the recipe of combining old models of production and young student’s dreams and curiosity in the same pot, hoping to get sustainable production alternatives in accordance with Mother Nature’s principles.
So, we believe the big question everybody wants to ask is, how is it working in practice?
Professor Diogo started his job making the kids understand the pressures that lead family farmers to cut the forest and use the land unsustainably. Then he showed them some organic production techniques (making organic fertilizer from efficient microorganisms from the forest floor), and income alternatives straight from the rainforest (like the harvesting Acai from Jussara Palm tree). This way our young fellows will have a solid repertoire of practices they can try out in the family farms.
And now that our Young Eco-Leaders have both worlds in their minds and hands (the conventional and the organic way), they have begun to plan their interventions and sketch out the hypothesis they will test in the field. And the unbelieving, amazing news this time is that during the same week our Young Eco-Leaders were starting to plan their experiments, we received a big group of friends, supporters and specialists in practical science from Partners of the Americas who, beyond their perfect timing, also gave us valuable hints and ideas of how to implement the field experiments. What an amazing way to create a solid eco-friendly sustainable farming culture in the EPAs and beyond, isn’t it?
And of course this field program of eco-friendly good practices wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for the support of our friends and donors, who make our dreams come true. You are the ones who believe in and help our project every time we need, and keep the kids inspired, young curious minds working to make our world better!