Junior Scientists Restoring Brazil's Rainforest

by Iracambi
Planning with the community
Planning with the community

Dear donors, 

First of all we want to thank you for your amazing support for our Junior Scientists!  You are definitely the best!

And then we want to share with you that TODAY, July 16th, is the day that we are turbocharging our Junior Scientists as they graduate and become Young Eco-Leaders. And all donations received before midnight EDT today will be mached by 50%. Way to go! Here's the link to the new project  http://goto.gg/17660

How about that for perfect timing as the new semester begins? The two groups of Young Eco-Leaders will be visiting their partner farm families for the first time this week, and tomorrow they'll be joining a GIS presentation and workshop with their families and colleagues. We've uploaded our GIS online so that it will be available to the local community, and our Young Eco-Leaders will be in the forefront of working with this exciting new technology. 

So as well as adding to the data on the GIS and learning how to use it to help in taking sound conservation decisions, they'll be measuring water quality and quantity, monitoring weather patterns, reforesting around springs and stream banks, monitoring soils and potential areas of erosion, and making their voices heard in decisions that affect conservation planning in this delicate rainforest ecosystem.

Please help us support them in this, the next stage in their lives as tropical scientists and guardians of the rainforests on which we all depend!

With so many thanks and rainforest love,

Robin, Binka, Gui, Diogo and the brand new team of Young Eco-Leaders  


Junior Scientists looking to the future
Junior Scientists looking to the future

Dear wonderful supporters,

Three years ago we had a dream. We wanted our school children to develop a new appreciation of the extraordinary rainforest in which they are privileged to live. We wanted to show them that science is one of the most exciting subjects they could ever study. We wanted them to understand how they could make a real difference in the world.

And, thanks to you, we've been able to fully fund our Junior Science program! Time and again you have responded generously to our appeals for help. Last September you helped us raise the money to buy a Kombi van and we can now take the students out into the field, even on those days when rainforest roads are muddy and almost impassable. In April you helped us raise the money to buy a new server and computer to house our GIS, so that Junior Scientists could access a technology that their teachers never dreamed of. Your donations have allowed us to buy scientific equipment to teach students how to monitor the health of our forest, soils and water, and share their findings with their families. You have helped us maintain our system of forest trails where we recently hosted 300 members of the local community to celebrate Earth Day. You have supported our forest nursery and our forest restoration projects. For the first time our night cameras have recorded the presence of mountain lion, ocelot, and margay – proof positive that our conservation efforts are bearing fruit! 

With your help we are raising a new generation of young scientists, who in turn are influencing their families. And it’s looking like our Junior Scientists are unstoppable….. Next week the new semester begins, and a selected group of Junior Scientists will become Young Eco-Leaders. They’ll be taking their newly acquired skills into the Environmental Protection Areas to work with local farmers on hands-on conservation projects.  Better conservation management means healthier food, forests, soils and water, attracts increased conservation funding, and opens the way to new economic opportunities to revitalize rural areas.

As a member of the Microsoft YouthSpark program, Iracambi is part of a worldwide movement to educate and equip young entrepreneurs. With your help we’re empowering youth to use their scientific skills to become drivers of change in their communities. We hope that you will stay tuned as our Junior Scientists become Young Eco-Leaders, and welcome you to continue to follow their achievements through our new Global Giving project: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/young-eco-leaders-powered-by-junior-scientists/

And once again, many thanks for your continued support. We couldn‘t do it without you! 

with rainforest love, Robin, Binka, Gui, Diogo and the Junior Scientists - soon to become Young Eco-Leaders!


Junior Scientists -  redy to change the world!
Junior Scientists - redy to change the world!

Dear Iracambistas, friends and supporters,

As people around the world gather to watch The Beautiful Game with its triumphs and heartbreaks, we'd like to remind you that, passionate as we are about soccer, there's more to Brazil than the World Cup! So here is a brief report from the Iracambi Rainforest Research Center, home to Junior Scientists@ Iracambi.

Our Junior Science project is thrilled to be a member of Microsoft’s Youthspark – a program that seeks to create opportunities for youth leadership across the world. And today, June 25th, is a very special day for Youthspark Partners. From 12:00 midday EST on June 25th to 11:59 am June 26th all donations to our project will be matched by Microsoft by 100%. So, regardless of who wins or loses in the World Cup today, your donation have twice the impact! 

But first, we want to tell you, dear friends and supporters, that we really appreciate the way in which you have stood by us over the past year. Thanks to you we’ve inspired, educated and equipped dozens of Junior Scientists, and with your help we were able to buy the Kombi van which has allowed us to take our students to places where school bus drivers dare not go. On the last Microsoft Youthspark matching funds day your generosity enabled us to raise the money for a new server and a desktop computer to house our GIS mapping project. As we speak, the Iracambi GIS team is hard at work putting our data and maps on line. Which means that, for the first time ever, farmers and planners in this isolated rural area will have access to the information they need to be able to make the best possible use of their natural resources. Better care for the rainforest, more productive family farms, healthier communities.

In a couple of weeks when the next semester begins, our Junior Scientists will be heading for the Environmental Protection Areas to learn at first-hand how some of our organic farmers are reconciling forest protection with the production of healthy organic food. Since almost all the raw materials used in school meals comes from local farms, closer cooperation between Junior Scientists and family farmers benefits everyone! Together with the farmers our students will be creating and testing hypotheses, conducting practical applied experiments and analyzing the results. Junior Scientists will create their very own mini agro-ecology plot to restore forest cover and provide nutritious food for themselves and their families. And, since we want to give a voice to our local youth, we plan to involve them in the management councils of the Environmental Protection Areas, working alongside farm families and empowering one another to become proactive members of the community.

Thank you, dear donors, for supporting Iracambi’s Junior Scientists – together we’re raising a new generation of transformational leaders! Here’s the link to our project – would you consider sharing it on your networks? http://bit.ly/1m6l5jv 

Iracambi, Microsoft and you, together we’re protecting the forests, supporting sustainable agriculture, and training young scientists to be the leaders of tomorrow.  Pretty good deal, don’t you think? Or, as we say here in Brazil in the language of the World Cup - GOOOOOOOAL!         


Junior Scientist Joao Pedro collecting tree
Junior Scientist Joao Pedro collecting tree's data

Good morning, dear friends and supporters!

We wanted to send a big thank you and update to all of you who over the past months and years have helped to support our Junior Scientists @ Iracambi, as they equip themselves to learn about and care for the wonderful biodiversity of the rainforest.

The new semester is well under way and our teacher Diogo has his hands full with fifty Junior Scientists who can’t wait to get out of the classroom and into the field to collect data on weather, tree seedlings, soils and water and get themselves in shape for working on their very own conservation project in the Environmental Protection Areas. And thanks to our lovely Kombi van, bought with the help of friends, donors and Iracambistas worldwide, we no longer have to rely on the school bus drivers who can be temperamental when the roads are muddy!   

But wouldn’t you know it, at the very moment that our Junior Scientists are collecting data to feed into the Iracambi Geographical Information System, the server which oversees all the data on our computer network is beginning to show serious signs of age! The server and the dedicated GIS computer are crucial elements in storing the data which is then transformed by our GIS specialists into maps which can be used by the local community to help in conservation planning, both in the Environmental Protection Areas and beyond.

However, the good news is that the Junior Science program has been adopted by Microsoft as part of their YouthSpark program which is aimed at equipping young people with the skills they need to enter the workplace. Plus there will be a lightning 24 hour funding campaign on April 16th beginning at midday EST, during which time Microsoft will match every donation by 50% - as long as funds last. As if that wasn’t enough, they're going to award a $10,000 prize to the organization that receives the highest number of donations! So please ask your friends, family, boss, neighbors, and every good looking stranger you meet to chip in. Every dollar counts, and each individual donation gets us nearer to winning the $10,000 prize for the most popular supported cause.

As you may suppose, Iracambi’s communications coordinator Guilherme is hard at work contacting friends and supporters across the world, and if you could help out on that day he would be a happy man! He has set himself the goal of raising $8000 to enable us to buy both a new server and a new desktop computer to store our GIS data. Donations should be made by credit card or Paypal, and in order to qualify for the 50% counterpart, they have to hit the site between 1200 midday EST on 16th April and 1200 midday EST on the 17th.


How about that for an easy way to grow your donation?! Please consider helping if you can. Any donation of any size is welcome!

Thanks so much for your help, and rainforest hugs,

Guilherme, Diogo and all the Junior Scientists 


The Iracambi Kombi - thanks to you, dear donors!
The Iracambi Kombi - thanks to you, dear donors!

Dear supporters and friends across the world 

This is turning out to be a great week! And we'd love to ask you to make it even greater. Read on....

First of all, the Iracambi Kombi van has arrived. This was bought with donations raised in ourSeptember fundraiser, in the course of which our gallant band of Rainforest Heroes went without birthday presents, and went down on their knees to friends and family in order to raise the funds we needed. In fact Iracambi was narrowly pushed into second place in the funding competition by another GlobalGiving organization, but we qualified for bonus funding anyway.

So, at last, we have our own transport and will no longer have to depend on the good graces and good organization of the local school bus. The first team of Junior Scientists arrives tomorrow to start the academic year, and already we are getting complaints from other would-be Junior Scientistswho didn't manage to get through the selection process. We'll do our best to accommodate them next semester.

So what's all this about the humming bird? Well, CA Technologies from New York has selected four GlobalGiving partner organizations that work in science education to share in their fiftieth birthday celebration. Here's how it works. For every one who follows this link http://bit.ly/1ary2Um and selects an organization, they are making a donation. This week, March 9 -14 each donation is worth $50.  So far, Iracambi has managed to get 47% of all the donations, and it's all thanks to our supporters like you.  

Could there be an easier way for you to help our work in the rainforest? It's as easy as 1,2,3. Please click for us, share us with your networks, and help the Iracambi humming bird fill up that pot of gold. Thank you so much!  

And we'll report back soon on the result of the funding drive, and of course we'll tell you how our Junior Scientists are doing!  

rainforest hugs

Robin, Binka, Toni, Leandro and all the Junior Scientists      

The Iracambi humming bird and the pot of gold
The Iracambi humming bird and the pot of gold



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Organization Information


Location: Rosario da Limeira, MG - Brazil
Website: http:/​/​en.iracambi.com/​
Project Leader:
Binka Le Breton
Rosario da Limeira, Minas Gerais Brazil

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