Education
 Brazil
Project #5933

Feed and Educate Children in Salvador, Brazil

by Global Vision International Charitable Trust
Vetted
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
Mum's enjoying their cake!

Links:

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, 

Emma

Links:

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.

From the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU, MERRY CHRISTMAS & A HAPPY NEW YEAR!  MUITO OBRIGADO, BOAS FESTAS E FELIZ ANO NOVO! 

With Gratitude, 

Emma, Co-ordinator

Links:

Djair was a gentleman even as a little boy!
Djair was a gentleman even as a little boy!

Dear Supporter, 

This month I would like to share with you some pictures of our students so that you can see how much they have grown since they first started here with us.

We were so pleased to see these familiar faces return to the school recently. Djair, Renata, Rodrigo, Gustavo and Diogo were amongst our very first students here at Grandma Clara's. In fact Renata, Rodrigo and Diogo attended from day one!

Djair is now working hard to help his family, whilst the others are still studying and doing very well and coming back to our school for help with homework and activities in the afternoon.

Here are some great photos showing how these fantastic kids have grown up. It is an incredible gift to be able to witness these children grow and blossom into such kind hearted and wonderful young people. 

Without your donations, who would know what would have become of these wonderful children? 

In other good news, we recently had a wonderful group birthday party with a huge cake! This is a tradition that we introduced back in 2010 and is funded by your donations. Most of our kids come from families where birthday celebrations are not affordable. We don’t do anything flashy as we don’t want to set a precedent that could be upsetting for children if they move school or outdo their family’s efforts. Instead, we have a joint party for all the kids with birthdays in that month – we eat some tasty food, sing songs and, as it’s Brasil, there is dancing of course!  We also have a lovely custom of asking each child to give the birthday boys and girls a hug and wish them ‘Parabéns’ (Congratulations!) – this is always a very nice calm moment in our chaotic school and helps encourage consideration and kindness amongst the students.

Huge thanks to all our donors as always – your help makes this work possible! 

With Gratitude, 

Grandma Clara's

Twins, Rodrigo and Renata!
Twins, Rodrigo and Renata!
Diogo & Gu. Can you spot Diogo in the group pic?
Diogo & Gu. Can you spot Diogo in the group pic?
Happy birthday everyone!
Happy birthday everyone!

Links:

A dream come true!
A dream come true!

Dear Supporter, 

I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge and heartfelt thank you to all of our supporters. Your generosity has surpassed our expectations and we here at Grandma Clara's are indebted to you all.

I thought that this would be a great opportunity to remind you all about the story of how this all started, to remind us all of how far we have come. The school is named after Maria Clara Barbosa, Grandma Clara. She was a local women, who, although illiterate, instilled in her children the importance of education. She had also always admired teaching and it had long been her dream to open a creche or community centre. In her older age she began to offer abandoned children food and shelter from her own home, and from this Grandma Clara, as she became affectionately know, was born. 

After Grandma Clara passed away in 1993 her son Eraldo took over and 10 years later he finally managed to make his mother's dream a reality by opening Educandario Creche Comunitaria Sonho Vovo Clara. The creche offers shelter, free food and education to some of Mata Escura's neediest children. It has been no easy task to keep the creche going and Eraldo has relied on volunteers and charitable donations of food, clothes and money to keep Grandma Clara's dream alive. 

In his own words, "The battle is a big one, but I am not going to give up the fight for these children, who are our future. Every one of their hugs, kisses and smiles gives me renewed determination not to stop battling for them." With that kind of love and commitment it is no wonder that this project has seen such success! 

Thank you so much for showing the creche such generous support, we couldn't have been where we are today without you!

With Gratitude, 

GVI CT

Thank you for supporting us!
Thank you for supporting us!

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Global Vision International Charitable Trust

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

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