Project #5933

Feed and Educate Children in Salvador, Brazil

by Global Vision International Charitable Trust
Students hard at work
Students hard at work

Dear Supporters, 

Our students are currently marking the change of seasons with a series of nature-based projects. The rainy season is over and we are shortly moving into the intense heat of summer. Andrea, our school teacher, has been focusing on the environment and the students have been looking at animals, insects and plants in and around the school.Some fabulous work has been produced and we can’t wait to show our nature displays to the children’s parents during the annual Christmas Party.

Andrea is now 18 months into her teaching degree and she is flourishing. She has introduced so many new techniques and activities to the classroom, which are resulting in great successes. We have had 4 new readers this term! Andrea is brimming with confidence and this is benefiting our students no end.

Our school cooks, Claudia and Sonia, deserve a special mention too – they have been doing some incredible work in the kitchen recently. They ensure our children receive 2 hot meals per day plus an afternoon snack. They also organise food and fruit parcels for the children to take home. Recently they have been working in intense heat wave temperatures – but these ladies are tough! Never a word of complaint and meals always delicious and nutritious.

The rising violence in Mata Escura continues to be a problem. Drug gangs are a blight on the local community and Andrea has been fielding many upsetting and difficult questions from our students about things they have witnessed in the local streets. We try to remain positive at all times, whilst giving the children strong and clear advice about how to stay safe and not become involved. This problem is one of the main motivations for the work we do – keeping our children off the streets, away from the gangs and in education is our principal objective and now, more than ever, we can see how important that is. 

Thank you for your continued and generous support. We couldn't do what we do without you. 

With Gratitude, 
The team from Grandma Clara's Dream 

Refueling before tackling
Refueling before tackling 'Homework Club'
View from our classroom- into the jungle beyond!
View from our classroom- into the jungle beyond!
Sao Joao Celebrations
Sao Joao Celebrations

Dear Supporters, 

Students have just returned to classes after a 2-week break for the São João holidays.

Although religious in origin, São João (or St John) has changed over the years to become a celebration of the countryside and rural traditions. In the regions surrounding Salvador, Brazilians celebrate by dressing in simple country styles, preparing traditional foods and dancing to forró – a musical style originating in the North East and based on a combination of accordion, zabumba bass drum and triangle.

School staff arranged a São João celebration at the school – a great opportunity for the children to learn about these traditions and their rural roots. Many of our students’ parents are simply too poor or too busy working (or both) to support their families to be able to celebrate these occasions at home. Our school teacher, Andréa, also gave out awards to the students’ with the term’s best attendance, best results in different subjects, most improvement, the hardest workers and the most helpful and polite students.It was a great fun day as the photos show!

The period following the São João holidays is always an unusual one in the school. A huge number of our families originally migrated to Salvador’s favelas from the state of Bahia’s enormous rural interior in search of work. Bahia’s countryside is harsh, towns are isolated, the land is dry and difficult to cultivate, industry is almost non-existent and deprivation is rife. Opportunities are so limited that young people are forced to migrate to major cities such as Salvador to seek a better life for their families. However, as we know, Salvador is also rife with problems of its own – violence, drugs, poor infrastructure – despite the lack of opportunities, the difficulties faced in the city can often cause families to return home to the countryside.  

Taking advantage of the São João holidays to visit home, families often decide to stay and we hold our breath when school reopens to see which kids will return. We do not like to lose any students, but we fully understand the difficult decisions that our families face in the struggle to provide for their children and themselves. 

We are looking forward to the start of the new school term and welcoming our students back!

Thank you for your continued support and generosity. 

With Gratitude, 

Educandário Creche Comunitária Sonho da Vovó Clara
(Grandmother Clara's Dream Educational Community Creche)

Take home holiday baskets
Take home holiday baskets
Our school chef, beloved teacher Andrea & parent
Our school chef, beloved teacher Andrea & parent
Happy Easter!
Happy Easter!

Dear Supporters, 

We have just completed a very busy few months here at the Educandário Creche Comunitária Sonho da Vovó Clara – an independent, community school offering free of charge education and food to the children of Mata Escura in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil.

Easter Celebrations

On 25th March, the children celebrated Easter with a mathematical Egg Hunt organised by our local school teacher Andrea. Students had to solve maths puzzles to follow the trail and find their chocolate eggs, which were hidden around the school buildings and sports pitch. Everyone enjoyed the day and even the youngest kids had fun making their Easter Bunny ears in a joint craft session for all the students. A special thank you to our wonderful teacher for spending half the previous night drawing and cutting out ears!

We are very proud of the progress that our students have made in maths learning – and it was great to see the pride in their faces as they excelled in this fun Easter exercise. Many students in the favela of Mata Escura spend only a limited number of years in school before financial constraints or adverse influences can pull them out of the education system.  Whilst we aim to develop a passion for learning in each child, we are also pragmatists.  We realise that in the time we have with our students it is critical that we help them gain a good command of basic skills, such as maths and literacy, to give them the best chance of employment and a brighter future.

Dia fo Indio

19th April marked the Dia do Índio or Day of the Indian. This festival celebrates Brazil’s indigenous peoples, their culture, values and history. It is also an important moment to reflect on the plight of indigenous communities, facing extreme poverty and the effects of deforestation. The majority of our students are of African ancestry – in fact the city of Salvador has over 80% of inhabitants of African descent. The city’s population is largely descended from slaves, brought over from Nigeria, Angola and Benin to work on the sugar cane plantations established by the Portuguese settlers.

Our school director, Sr. Eraldo, has a passion for ensuring the children appreciate their African heritage and understand their history. He has arranged lots of cultural activities for the children to help reinforce this. Dia do Índio provides a perfect opportunity to focus on another facet of the fascinating story of Brazil.  Students marked the day by reading and discussing some poetry from indigenous authors, creating a map of Brazil marking the different indigenous ethnic groups and even learning some words in the Tupi language. Afterwards, the children made indigenous style headdresses to take home and did some great face painting.

Mother's Day

1st May is Mother’s Day in Brazil. As is traditional at the school, the mothers of our students were invited for a small party. The day before the students made cards to present to their mums and helped decorate the classroom ahead of the party. Sonia, our very talented school cook, prepared coffee and cake and it was lovely to see a very good turnout of nearly 20 mothers.

It is really important for us to involve parents in the work of the school, to ensure they have confidence in the work we do and we have their support. Our students also love the opportunity to show off their work (and their mums!) – its always a great day and this year’s attendance was really great.

School Revamp

Following the end of the rainy season, our older students also helped to give the school classrooms a bit of a revamp. You will see their great multicolour painting on the window shutters, which had become damaged during the wet months. This has really brightened up the classrooms and their multicolour scheme is much cheerier and more attractive than the sober dark blue that the adults chose 2 years ago! 1-0 to the kids in the design stakes! 

Thank you for your incredibly generous support! 

With Gratitude, 

GVI Charitable Trust

Dia do Indio
Dia do Indio
Mum's enjoying their cake!


Getting in the carnival spirit!
Getting in the carnival spirit!

Dear Supporter, 

The Carnaval celebrations in Salvador are the largest in Brasil – last year over 600,000 tourists visited the city for the week-long festival. Schools are closed during Carnival week, a public holiday, during which time many people travel back to the countryside to visit family.  For other families in

Schools are closed during Carnival week, a public holiday, during which time many people travel back to the countryside to visit family.  For other families in Salvador, Carnaval offers a much-needed opportunity to earn some money. Small enterprises spring up all over the beachfront district during this period, and although the local authorities have been tightening the restrictions on unauthorised street vendors, a very large number of the city’s children still earn money that week selling drinks, snacks and souvenirs and finding parking spaces for drivers. We have witnessed children as young as 4 years old selling canned drinks along the Carnaval route. The situation for these kids is far from ideal, but it would be naïve to try and prevent families from taking advantage of this opportunity.

Unfortunately, there is a darker side to Carnival – crime rates (already amongst the highest in Brasil) take a dramatic rise during this week. Pickpocketing and drug dealing reach endemic levels and children, owing to their size and protection from prosecution are sadly often involved. It is the continued work of our school to try and protect our students from becoming involved in Salvador’s criminal side. At the school our kids marked the Carnaval celebrations with a party – there

At the school our kids marked the Carnival celebrations with a party – there is lots of dancing and games and students helped to decorate the classrooms. Our older students also helped teacher Andrea with a huge spring clean of the school.

The return to school after the Carnival holiday marks the start of a new academic year in Brasil and we are currently welcoming lots of first-time students through the doors. Andrea is doing a fabulous job of settling them in and making them feel welcome.  We are always very proud of how our older kids welcome new students so warmly and new friends are made very quickly.

An update on the Zika Virus

All of Brasil is currently caught up in the Zika virus crisis. With Salvador’s tropical climate, illnesses borne by mosquitos have always been an issue – dengue fever is common amongst the local population. Dengue prevention campaigns in the previous years have made the local population aware of the risks of leaving open water sources where mosquitos can breed. For the most part, people are very vigilant about this and teacher Andrea has been doing some refresher work with the kids to remind them of the danger. The problem for our community lies in what they cannot control – the lack of sewer systems and running water in many homes and the very poorly maintained drains in other areas. Flash flooding is very common in Salvador and we are entering the rainy period when mosquitos are at their most prevalent in the city – everybody is rightly concerned that without proper government assistance, the efforts of the locals to control the Zika mosquito will not be enough. 

Thank you for your continued support!

With Gratitude, 



THANK YOU from Grandma Clara
THANK YOU from Grandma Clara's.

Dear Supporter, 

2015 has been a very busy year at Educandário Creche Comunitária Sonho Vovó Clara or Grandmother Clara’s Community Creche in Mata Escura, on the outskirts of Salvador, Brazil. As we approach Christmas, we can reflect on some fantastic successes.

Our school teacher Andrea, has completed her first 2 terms of a teaching degree. Andrea was born and bred in Mata Escura and this qualification has long been her dream. She is understandably very tired, running classes at our school in the day and studying in the evening, but she is loving every minute of the course and discovering so many new ideas and techniques to use with our students. She says that every day she feels energised and more confident in front of the kids. We always thought she was fabulous, but it’s great that she is learning more and more ways to enrich her teaching. Your donations have helped fund Andrea’s course fees – and her successes not only help the children in the short term, but also give them a fantastic example and inspiration for their futures.

Another Mata Escura local who has benefited from employment at the school is Sonia, our wonderful cook – and in turn all those who study there have benefited from her incredible cooking. Your donations not only cover Sonia’s salary, but also provide 2 hot meals a day for our students, drastically improving their health and attention span in classes. This year we have expanded our fruit program to ensure that each student, and their younger and older siblings receive a piece of fresh fruit every day – with fruit to take home for the weekends and holidays. Sonia’s kitchen also underwent an overhaul this year, replacing the old cracked tiles, with new more hygienic ones and replacing some of the tired equipment to allow her to prepare food more efficiently for our growing intake. This again would not be possible without your donations.

There have also been some great successes in the classroom. Often these are gradual changes in a child’s behaviour that are difficult to articulate in a short text, but nonetheless vital to their development and future. One child in particular comes to mind – she was very withdrawn when she came to us last year – she communicated poorly, sat on her own and often refused to even attempt her school work. This year Andrea has made huge strides with her. Now when this child arrives each morning she has started greeting school staff with a hug, she has formed a solid friendship with another girl in her group and uncovered a love for drawing and craft activities. It’s been a gradual process, but the warmth, encouragement and nurturing that Andrea has shown her have paid off hugely.

We have also had lots of first time readers this term – children in Salvador start public school late, often at 7 years old – the schools are overcrowded and hours are short and erratic. If we can help our students start learning to read, write and count at age 4, 5 and 6 then we are giving them a fantastic head start – and hopefully igniting in them a passion for learning that will ensure they continue in the education system.

This week students are preparing for the annual Christmas party. They are making decorations, hanging hand made banners around the school and the older ones are helping Sonia in the kitchen. The Christmas party is always a great moment to celebrate the achievements of the year – none of which would have been possible without the support of our kind and generous supporters.


With Gratitude, 

Emma, Co-ordinator



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Organization Information

Global Vision International Charitable Trust

Location: Exeter, Devon - United Kingdom
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Kate Robey
St Albans, Herts United Kingdom

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