Davi launching his book
Dear Friends and Supporters
Here we are again, with so much to share about the Afroteca (Afro-library) and the other Viva a Vida activities we’ve been able to carry out with your support.
I - SUCCESS STORY – Children’s Book Launch
The story of a boy who loved to study, learn and go to school, this is how we sum up the book “The Little Prince of Cordoaria”, presented to the public at the Pelourinho International Literature Fair (FLIPELÔ) in Salvador. Little Davi’s book was launched during a poetry performance by Tiago, the Revolutionary Poet. Tiago is also Viva a Vida’s Youth Mobilizer.
Davi is a pupil in the second year of elementary school at the Nossa Senhora de Santana Municipal School, the main school in the Cordoaria Quilombo. Since April he has participated in our AFROTECA activities.
As part of the racial-ethnic workshops run by Educators Mariana and Ana Clara, Davi and the other children were encouraged to write booklets based on the book Alika by Regina Luz. The children were asked to reread the book and write their own, based on Alika, on their community or by making up their own story.
Davi’s book “The Little Prince of Cordoaria” was the most striking of almost 30 booklets, and we were so impressed that we decided to give wings to his imagination and publish it. This was how he became the first quilombola child to write a book.
Davi’s mother Jéssica, who is a manicurist, explained that, before he joined the project, she had received complaints from school about Davi’s behavior. “The school’s Director told me afterwards that she’d seen great improvements, and he’s so happy with the book he’s written, it’s so emotional for a mother,” she said showing how proud she is of her little author.
“This project has the right tools to drive local development through education, it has great potential to positively transform the community’s life,” said Magnólia, Manager of Institutional Affairs at Braskem in Bahia.
We are so happy with the repercussions this had in the press, with supporters and the community, with everyone present at the launch, including Alika’s author, Regina Luz, who gave our young writer a warm hug.
As a result of this, every now and then children turn up at our offices with their scribbles and drafts, wanting to transform them into books. A huge surprise and a great joy for the community, which now has motivated, potential new authors.
HERE’S TO MANY MORE YOUNG QUILOMBOLA WRITERS!!
II – AFROTECA ACTIVITIES
1. Regular workshops: regular workshops continue with children from the 2 elementary schools in the quilombo. We have been focusing on quilombola and local authors, such as Dona Cadú (from Bahia) and Esmeraldina Santos (from Pará). These two black women are practitioners of samba de roda and provide a lot of great content to explore with the children. Fifty children participated in the workshops.
“It’s so inspiring, these children need to have a different future. I’m full of emotion today, seeing my book [a seed] planted by such a committed team” Children’s author Regina Luz
2. Storytelling in the Square: we’ve had two fantastic sessions, one to listen to the stories from the Book of Riachão, an important samba personality in the state, and the other to listen to the wonderful story of the Dangola Hen, a black hen that caused quite a stir among the children. Both activities were run by our storyteller Maju.
“What great work you do. I’m a fan!” Rosenubia, teacher at the Marques de Abrantes Municipal School
3. Training: we held our 2nd meeting about Education for Ethnic-Racial Relations, with our Consultants Vanessa and Maria. They discussed the theme of Territory with the team and volunteers, including the importance of mapping, studying and developing activities related to the history of the territory.
4. Black Women’s July: we received the Brincandere project, designed by the Municipality of Camaçari’s Racial Equalities Department, which offered turban and doll workshops, while our educator Mariana told stories, and Tiago recited poetry. The Nossa Senhora de Santana school brought 30 children and other students visited. These activities were in response to the month of July, when we pay homage to black women.
5. Book launch: the first example of a booklet written by a quilombola child was launched by the Afroteca Muvuca at the Pelourinho International Literature Fair. Aged only 8 years, Davi wrote “The Little Prince of Cordoaria”.
“Congratulations to Viva a Vida for the project and for helping so many children from the Cordoaria Quilombo to develop a feeling of belonging! Wishing long life to the little princes and princesses of Cordoaria!” Mariana, Children’s Education Coordinator at SESI School.
6. Socio-environmental education: Braskem, one of the Afroteca's funders, organized a really lively group to run a workshop and construct a hanging spice garden. The children got their hands dirty and put up the garden in their school so they can continue to look after it.
7. Mobile Afroteca: in September we started storytelling sessions outside the quilombo. For the first session, we went to the Maclina da Glória Municipal School and the Esperança da Estiva Creche, both in Vila de Abrantes. In all, we will work with six hundred elementary school children (aged 5 to 12 years old). We are working on the book AMOR DE CABELO (Loving Hair) which tells the story of a girl looking for the perfect comb. The aim of the workshops is to raise the children’s self-esteem and bring racial identity into these discussions.
“Your work is really powerful and beautiful”, Mateus Ribeiro, Journalist
III – RASTA CINE EVENING:
We ran one more edition of the RASTA CINE EVENING on the theme of identities, with the launch of the Documentary Pra que me olha assim? (“Why are you looking at me like that?”). The short film was produced by Black Youth and Political Participation, an initiative of the NGO Cipó. The community got involved with a capoeira presentation by the group Aquilombar, Drumming from the group Tambores de Cordoaria, an Exhibition and Poetry performances. The Tupinambá Indigenous Community also attended. It was a great party!
“A beautiful evening. With important community involvement, sharing our documentary and exchanging our experiences and histories.” CIPÓ’s Youth Coordinator
IV – YOUNG PEOPLE:
a) Human Rights, Racism and Violence Workshops: this year the workshops are called “I believe in the guys”. We are working with 30 class groups from our long-term and supportive partner, the State College of Vila de Abrantes, meaning that approximately 900 high school students will participate. The workshops focus on 30 black personalities and discuss the erasure of their histories and memories. Poetry is one of the main instruments we use to engage young people and a poetry evening will be held in November. This activity is mediated by Tiago, the Revolutionary Poet.
b) Federal Institute of Bahia: we took some young people from the State College of Vila de Abrantes and others from the quilombo to visit and find out more about the Federal Institute of Bahia’s Camaçari Campus. The aim was to encourage young people to enroll in the technical and university courses the institute runs and to provide all the necessary support for enrolment and study materials.
V - THEATER:
Our former theater students were invited to perform a sketch for a presentation by teacher, actor and director Simone Requião, at the Theater of the Federal University of Bahia. The performance touched on racism, domestic violence and homophobia. It was a great opportunity to bring former students together and remember the power art has to impact on people!
VI – RACIAL LITERACY:
The NGO Atados invited us to run an intervention for five hundred people from the pharmaceutical industry on the theme of racial literacy. We took a team of 23 people who used the history of 30 black Bahian personalities and discussed what the groups knew about them. The idea was to demonstrate that most people do not know the history of great black intellectuals and artists, for an obvious reason: structural racism. The activity ended with the production of fantastic posters (donated to Viva a Vida to use in our exhibitions) and toys made by the participants and donated to children in the quilombos.
“You are amazing! What an honor to get to know you!” Daniela Lira, Atados Group Coordinator.
VII - CEO Circle Retreat 2023:
Learning, connecting and dreaming about the future: we had the great privilege of participating in a meeting for NGO leaders from around the world, organized by the Global Fund for Children and held in Turkey. There, we presented certain aspects of our work in a session: Connecting young people to their aims: the leadership and transformation process.
This was a very significant moment in Viva a Vida’s history, but, for now, we’re leaving more details about this amazing journey until our next report, so we can focus on our most brilliant achievement over these months: the first children’s book written and published by a quilombola child!
Many thanks from all of us for your amazing support, which ensured all this could happen!
Storytelling in the quilombo
We love playing in the Afroteca
The mobile Afroteca visits a local school
The hanging garden
Former theater students together again
Poetry and racial literacy
Young quilombolas on a higher education visit
With our international colleagues in Istanbul