Project #5933

Feed and Educate Children in Salvador, Brazil

by Global Vision International Charitable Trust
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 One child in particular comes to mind – she was very withdrawn when she came to us last year – she communicated poorly, sat on her own and often refused to even attempt her school work.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


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!


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, 


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


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


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



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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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