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