Fourteen year old Valdinei lives in a small village in our isolated mountain area of Brazil's Atlantic Rainforest, and works part time in order to help out with the family budget. Valdinei and his fellow students are among our most enthusiastic Junior Scientists, coming regularly to Iracambi to do hands-on real science. But recent budget cuts in his school district mean that the children can no longer come on the school bus so we need to find an alternative solution.
Students like Valdinei now have opportunities of which their parents could never dream. In this rural area they are the first generation to get an education and they love it! Their only chance to learn about the rainforest is through our Junior Science program, and, while many students have access to the school bus, Valdinei's school can no longer provide transport. We urgently need funds to buy a van to keep Valdinei's school in the program and give a chance to other underserved rural children
A van will not only provide transport for Valdinei's group of Junior Scientists but will allow us to work with Junior Scientists from other rural areas, bringing them and their families to the Research Center to share the excitement of what they have learned and pass on their enthusiasm to their friends and family. The more young people learn to understand and appreciate the rainforest, the better the chance that they will care for it for future generations.
Valdinei puts it best- on Face Book. "It's been a great pleasure to be a Junior Scientist because we young people must evolve all the time and I learned lots of things that I never knew. My group did an excellent job, and got really good at researching so I don't want this opportunity ever to end. Because we new generations need to learn about soils and water and how to plant forest trees and the biggest dream of my life is one day to be able to pass on what I learned to other researchers."
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).
Brazilian rainforest research in action
Conversation International's Biodiversity Hotspots
Why We Need the Atlantic Forest?
Iracambi's Junior Scientists at work