Education
 Brazil
Project #5933

Feed and Educate Children in Salvador, Brazil

by Global Vision International Charitable Trust
Vetted
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:

Housing in the favelas
Housing in the favelas

Dear Supporter, 

At our school,The Educandário Creche Comunitária Sonho da Vovó Clara (ECCSVC) or Grandmother Clara’s Dream Educational Community Creche in Mata Escura, the rainy season has just begun. Whilst the weather remains warm, frequent torrential downpours make life very difficult in the favela during this time.  

As favelas spring up and grow without any proper planning the land is often uneven and almost always lacks any sewer system. Mata Escura is no exception – the land upon which the favela is built is very hilly and almost all the roads are unmade dirt tracks. When the heavy rains hit this leads to soil erosion and flooding – roads become unpassable and houses are regularly inundated with dirty water, which overflows from the makeshift sewer system and trails rubbish and waste all around the town.

We typically encounter quite a few problems during this period. Students often suffer from illnesses, serious chest infections and pneumonia are common, made worse by chronic mould problems in the hot and damp favela housing. In addition there is the constant threat of Dengue fever. The Dengue mosquito is relatively common in Salvador and the threat is highest around still and stagnant water sources, like the puddles and water butts so common in the favelas during the rainy season. Dengue fever is a horrible illness, which can be fatal for the very young and very old. Contracting Dengue fever twice can induce Haemorrhagic Fever, which is extremely dangerous.Last year one of youngest students spent nearly a month in the public hospital with Dengue Fever and pneumonia.

Andrea, our school teacher, is always extremely vigilant in monitoring our students for signs of illness during this period and we increase our take home food rations to try and ensure student’s immune systems are as strong as possible. The school food menu is also adjusted at this time to provide foods such as chicken noodle soup, which locals believe offer defence against bugs in the rainy season.

Public transport also suffers hugely during the rainy season. Roads are not designed well enough to deal with the frequent inundations and the huge floods lead to traffic stoppages and enormous tailbacks. As bus services are cancelled our local families suffer. Parents are unable to get into the city centre for work and tourists staying away from the beaches the opportunities to earn money are greatly reduced. This difficult period is just another demonstration of why the charitable work of the ECCSVC – providing free of charge education, childcare and food – is so important to the community of Mata Escura.

The rainy season has once again revealed the need for further repairs to the school buildings and we will be using a portion of donations received these months to fix the holes in the roof and damp patches which have once again emerged.

We thank you for your generous and continued support of ECCSVC, we couldn't continue our work without your donations. 

Best Wishes, 

GVI Chartiable Trust

Links:

Dear Supporter,

As a result of the financial hardship and a lack of dietary education in the favela, many of the children show signs of malnutrition. These can include weight loss, poor growth, increased susceptibility to illness and poor concentration levels.

At the Mata Escura project we aim to improve nutrition by providing students with 3 balanced meals per day. The day starts with fresh fruit (bought locally) and yoghurt or mingau, a traditional Brazilian porridge. Lunch is normally rice, beans or pasta with chicken, beef or soya protein and before leaving in the afternoon children receive a soup. We also provide weekend and holiday food and fruit packages whenever possible to help ensure that children are well fed when not at school.The project employs a local cook, Sonia, to prepare the school meals. She is a very talented and resourceful chef, who creates tasty, healthy meals from scratch and with limited resources. We are very lucky to have her and happy to employ someone from the community in which we work.

We have begun to see the benefits of this work to improve nutrition with concentration levels improving greatly and the frequency of sickness amongst the kids reducing - please help us keep this up! Just $10 will provide 6 meals!

Thank you for your continued support.

All the best

Emma Astles

Links:

Dear Supporter,

Happy 2015! We wish you and your family all the happiness and prosperity to come in this New Year.

At our school, The Educandário Creche Comunitária Sonho da Vovó Clara (ECCSVC) or Grandmother Clara’s Dream Educational Community Creche in Mata Escura, Brasil, students have just returned to classes following a break over the festive season. Christmas was particularly happy this year as we were able to throw a small party for the children and celebrate the return of our fantastic teacher Andrea!

Our older ‘Banca’ students – who attend the school for extra tuition and help with homework when the local secondary college is closed (which happens all too often) – did a fantastic job of decorating the school for the party. Guided by Andrea they created a beautiful party table for serving the local foods enjoyed during the festive season. When you witness how much care is shown in presenting the food you understand how special these treats are for the kids – every last morsel of food is enjoyed and appreciated and it is lovely to be able to give our students a little bit of festive magic.

The party was a great success, with lots of dancing and games. There was also a small gift from Santa Claus for each child – only possible thanks to the kind donations we have received. Most of our students won’t receive gifts at home – in many cases their parents simply do not have the funds for this. They were ecstatic with the gifts they received at the party, although a little suspicious that Santa Claus might in fact have been Sr. Eraldo, our school administrator.

Returning to normal school activities – following the Christmas party the school term concluded for the summer break. All of our students received a food package to take home to help ensure that they and their families eat well whilst school is not in session. Malnutrition is a constant problem for our students and we witness the effects this has on their health, concentration and growth. Parents cannot afford a good diet for their children and in many cases simply cannot be around during the daytime to monitor what they are eating. We know of students who are given a packet of biscuits (cookies) between 2 or 3 siblings to last a weekend – it is of vital importance that we continue to provide good balanced meals in the school and food packages for weekends and holidays.

For the past week Andrea has been working hard to prepare the school for the new term and she has also been receiving visits from new students and their parents wishing to enrol. It’s great that we will have lots of new faces for 2015 and we are really hoping that all our regulars return – we know that many have travelled to the interior of the state to visit family. It is normal for some families decide to remain in the countryside after the festive period and, alongside the new faces we welcome, we are always prepared for some students to disappear. This is a pattern we witness every year; most of our families have migrated to Salvador from the very poor and barren interior of the state looking for employment. Unfortunately the promise of regular work in the city does not become a reality for most.  


Andrea has worked hard to clean and decorate the school ready for the new term – it is looking fantastic with the students work displayed proudly on the walls. We are currently discussing an improvement project, hopefully to begin next month, to give the classrooms a fresh coat of paint and improve some of the facilities before the rainy season begins.

Thank you for continuing to support this project.

All the best

Emma Astles

Project Director

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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