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Feed and Educate Children in Salvador, Brazil

by Global Vision International Charitable Trust
Feed and Educate Children in Salvador, Brazil
Feed and Educate Children in Salvador, Brazil
Feed and Educate Children in Salvador, Brazil
Feed and Educate Children in Salvador, Brazil
Feed and Educate Children in Salvador, Brazil
Feed and Educate Children in Salvador, Brazil
Feed and Educate Children in Salvador, Brazil
Feed and Educate Children in Salvador, Brazil
Feed and Educate Children in Salvador, Brazil
Feed and Educate Children in Salvador, Brazil
Feed and Educate Children in Salvador, Brazil
Feed and Educate Children in Salvador, Brazil
Feed and Educate Children in Salvador, Brazil
Feed and Educate Children in Salvador, Brazil
Feed and Educate Children in Salvador, Brazil
Feed and Educate Children in Salvador, Brazil
Feed and Educate Children in Salvador, Brazil
Feed and Educate Children in Salvador, Brazil
Feed and Educate Children in Salvador, Brazil
Feed and Educate Children in Salvador, Brazil

Dear Supporters,

 

Greetings from a very quiet Educandário Creche Comunitária Sonho da Vovó Clara (ECCSVC) or Grandmother Clara’s Dream Educational Community Creche in Mata Escura, Brasil. Sadly, as we are seeing across the world, we have been forced to close to comply with lockdown restrictions in the fight to slow the transmission of Covid-19. This deadly virus is hitting everybody hard at the moment, but that blow is most acutely felt in poor communities like ours.  

 

Poverty stricken areas struggle to be able to take the basic measures needed to stay safe - on a practical level many homes in Mata Escura lack basic sanitation to make regular hand washing a possibility and sanitizing hand gel, gloves, masks, extra quantities of soap – these are items that are not in the budget of our families. As waves of panic buying have hit Salvador many of our families have been left behind – you cannot stockpile if you do not have expendable income. Consequently, many of our families have been very worried about dwindling supplies of basic items like baby formula, flour and eggs in the local stores. For our parents that work, most are employed in either essential manual services – for the transport system, refuse collection, cleaning, working in supermarkets etc and as such as still working – or in unofficial roles such as selling items on the beach, in the markets etc – there is no support in place for these workers, therefore there is little choice for many but to keep heading out and looking for ways to make money. It is a terrible dilemma faced by poor families, there is no lack of appreciation of the seriousness of the crisis, but when you have mouths to feed how do you stay home? 

 

Fortunately cases of Covid-19 in the local area have so far been limited, but there is evidence that numbers are beginning to rise sharply. This is extremely concerning given the poor, crowded and unhygienic state of the local public hospitals, coupled with poor diet and healthcare that will mean many locals, both young and old, will be disproportionately affected by the illness. The atmosphere in the area at the moment is one of fear and tense expectation.  

 

For our part the ECCSVC is doing what it can to help. Our school cooks have continued to cook up a storm – offering food for collection each day to our students and their families. We have also put together food and essentials parcels for families to take home – including comestibles and cleaning/hygiene supplies. Whilst our teachers have been unable to come to work due to the restrictions in place, our school administrator Eraldo, who lives on site, has been available every day to talk, support parents, to advise, help with practical solutions to the dilemmas they are facing, administer emergency aid and point families in the direction of the government assistance available.

 

 As in communities all over the world, Mata Escura is battling on. There will be tales of awful tragedy before this fight is over as I am sure there will be tales of wonderful community spirit and success against the odds; and the odds are stacked against many here. These are resilient people, with big, bold hearts and a fabulous ability to stay smiling through the roughest of times and I am sure they would want me to wish everyone the very best, stay safe and stay positive. 

 

On an entirely different note and in the spirit of focussing on the positive – our wonderful Andrea finished her studies just before the Corona outbreak took hold and has now qualified as a teacher. Andrea has worked in the school for nearly a decade and is beloved by staff and students alike for her calmness, kindness and fabulous sense of humour. We have been supporting Andrea to attend night classes at the local college and our students have already been benefiting from all the new techniques, knowledge and resources she has acquired. We are so proud of you Andrea, you have always been a marvellous teacher, but now it’s official! 

 

Thank you once again for your fabulous support that makes our work and the success of the children of our school a possibility.

 

With love and best wishes from the community of Mata Escura,

 

Brazil Education

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Dear Supporters,

 

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 are currently in the middle of their Christmas and Carnival break. This is the longest holiday in the school year in Brazil and coincides with the year’s hottest weather, when temperatures soar and studying in un—air conditioned classrooms can become impossible. Our project still works hard to support the local community during this period – we provide food parcels of rice, pasta and vegetables for our students to take home, to ensure they continue to eat well during the holidays. We also still offer reinforcement classes for older children and the school buildings remain open for children who want to pop in off the streets and play, dance or chat to our school founder, Sr. Eraldo, who is always a friendly face. 

 

The end of Christmas term was full of celebration in the school.  The Christmas 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.  

 

This year we also decided to mark some exceptional educational achievements in the school by holding a graduation ceremony for the students completing the first and second stages of their primary education. This was the first year we have held these ceremonies and they had a huge emotional impact on our students – it was so great to see them celebrate their academic work and realise the rewards and recognition that can come from participation in education. The ceremony also created a huge sense of pride amongst the parents that attended. In a community where education has been so underfunded and neglected by the authorities, it is key that we continue to reinforce the significance of learning amongst our families.

 

For the past week our school teacher 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 2020 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. We believe we will see a net increase of students this year, but we must wait and see.  

 

Thank you once again for your fabulous support that makes our work and the success of the children of our school a possibility. Happy New Year or Feliz Ano Novo! 

 

With Gratitude,

 

Brazil Education

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Dear Supporters,

 

Students at Educandário Creche Comunitária Sonho da Vovó Clara – an independent, community school offering free education and food to the children of Mata Escura in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil – have been extremely industrious in the last couple of months. 3 huge learning projects have been completed and the school has been a riot of colours with all the beautiful work…some of these colours have even spilled over into the streets of the Mata Escura favela! 

 

To begin the month of September students celebrated the arrival of Spring with the ‘Spring is Alive!’ project. Students completed work on the seasons, the life cycle of plants, birds and other animals and an art project to create Spring inspired carnival outfits. A large group of students then completed a fun parade through the streets of the favela, showing off their outfits and hailing the end of the rainy season and the arrival of drier Spring days. It was a lovely event that brought some much-needed cheer to the streets of this deprived town. It was great to see the students' pride in their school and their project work, the children sang songs as they walked and showed the positive side of life in Mata Escura, when all too often only the crime and deprivation in the area are visible. 

 

At the end of the month our younger students celebrated Day of the Tree (21st September). They created a lovely mural for the school entrance hall, featuring all their handprints making up the leaves of a giant tree. Teacher Andrea also took the older children into the wooded area at the back of the school and they identified trees and did some leaf rubbings. Mata Escura means ‘dark forest’ so it’s very appropriate that our students learn about trees! 

 

The beginning of October saw the start of ‘Transport Month’. We began with a practical project with the students making their own road signs and traffic signals. Our teachers then put their heads together to design a fantastic game, with a road layout on the floor and large movable buses. The students split into teams and played for points, going round the road course and obeying the traffic signals. This was fantastic fun and a great way for the children to learn how to understand the transport system and stay safe on the roads. With so many children walking long distances to and from school and having to cross numerous busy highways, this work could prove invaluable in preventing an accident.

 

 
We hope you enjoy these colourful photos of our fabulous Spring months (September and October) at the school and thank you for the donations that make our work possible.

 

With Gratitude,

 

Brazil

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Dear Supports

 

Students at 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 – 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 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 There have been some other big developments at the school in recent weeks. Our wonderful schoolteacher Andrea has been petitioning a local educational organisation to come to the school and provide some workshops for the teaching staff. Her tireless efforts came to fruition last month when the organisation sent a team to the school for 2 days of workshops with the teachers and students. They helped the school staff to create new ‘play’, ‘creativity’ and ‘relaxation’ zones in the classrooms and imparted many ideas on teaching methods and activities. They also coordinated a number of fantastic craft sessions with the children – some photos of which you can see below. A great time was had by all the students and the teachers gathered loads of new ideas and inspiration. 

Another bit of dogged persistence from Andrea also came to fruition last month, when a Salvador based street art group came in to brighten up the school with fabulous new murals and conduct a graffiti workshop with our older children. The school looks colourful, unique and vibrant since their visit and the inspiration and positive role models they offered to our older students were wonderful to witness. For the first time ever our older kids think the school looks ‘muito legal’…or ‘very cool’! One of the new murals features a representation of Vovo Clara (Grandmother Clara) from whom the school derives it’s name. Vovó Clara was a local woman, Maria. Maria was born on 12th August 1912 to a very poor family. She married young, had 6 children and raised a further 5 grandchildren. Although she was illiterate, she always instilled in her children the importance of education and despite great financial and social constraints 2 of her children went on to graduate as teachers - an incredible achievement for a family facing such difficulties.

This achievement brought Maria particular pride as teaching had always been the profession she had most admired and wished she had been able to pursue. Since an early age she had harboured a dream to open a creche and community centre to help the needy in her local community. As she entered old age she increasingly began to offer shelter and food to abandoned and needy children and vulnerable elderly people in the favela. She became well known locally by the nickname ´Vovó Clara´ or ´Granny Clara´ and worked tirelessly to help those in need - opening her humble residence to all those who needed her help and treating them as if they were her own children.

Maria tirelessly continued this benevolent work for many years and was a much loved figure in the local community. Unfortunately she eventually became frail and on the 26th January 1993 she passed away, aged 81, not before she had returned to school and learnt how to read and write - her belief in the importance of education never waned.

For 10 years after her death, her son Eraldo did not stop pursuing the dream of finally opening Maria’s creche. In 2000 he achieved his aim and the Educandário Creche Comunitária Sonho Vovó Clara opened it´s doors, offering free education, childcare and food to Mata Escura´s neediest children. We are so happy there is now a lasting tribute to Maria on the walls of the creche so that her story will be passed on to our future students. 

With Grattitude,

Brazil

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Dear Supporters, 

Students at Educandário Creche Comunitária Sonho da Vovó Clara (ECCSCV) – an independent, community school offering free of charge education and food to the children of Mata Escura in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil –broke up in early February for the most important holiday of the year in Brazil; Carnaval! The Carnaval celebrations in Salvador are the largest in the country –over 600,000 tourists visit each year for the week-long festival. School is closed during Carnaval week, a public holiday, during which time many people travel back to visit family in Bahia state’s rural interior.  For other families Carnaval offers a much-needed opportunity to earn some money. Small enterprises spring up all over the beachfront district during this period, and a very large number of the city’s children earn money that week selling drinks, snacks and souvenirs and finding parking spaces for drivers. Unfortunately, there is a darker side to Carnaval – 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.

Whilst the school was closed our teacher Andrea worked tirelessly to refresh the classrooms for the new academic year. Fabulous new signs and posters have gone up on the walls, really brightening up the classrooms and reinforcing some of our core values and the wall of our classroom for older students, which now features a quote from Nelson Mandela – ‘Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world’ – maintaining our older students’ focus on learning and helping to protect them from the city’s gang violence is a huge part of our work, this was a great choice of quote by Andrea.  

A lot of the other work in the school has been designed to make the classrooms as welcoming as possible for the new academic year. Students returned to lessons at the end of February and we were so delighted to welcome an entire class of new young faces – something only made possible by your donations. The ‘Rutina’ (routine) for each school day: ‘Acolhida’ (welcome & roll call), ‘Rodinha’ (sitting in a circle and talking/singing as a group), ‘Café’ (breakfast), ‘Atividades’ (lessons), ‘Recreação’ (Outdoor play or games/reading), ‘Higiene’ (Children have access to shower and brush their teeth), ‘Almoçar’ (Lunch), ‘Descansar’ (Afternoon nap – important as many children have disturbed sleep patterns at home), ‘Despertar’ (Wake up – activities and exercises to wake everyone up) ‘Lanche’ (Afternoon snack), ‘Musica’ (songs and music to finish the day) and finally ‘Saida’ (home time).  Setting up a clear structure for the day has really benefited our students and improved concentration levels. School runs from 7:30am till 4:30pm, helping parents and carers to go to work. Our extra intake of students now means we have 5 classes running – with teachers Andrea, Ana, Dora, Nilza and Ivone.

Andrea and the other school teachers have been putting together a fantastic school library twith story and picture books for the young students and factual texts to help the older kids with their homework and college studies. The library has already proved very popular, we’ve even seen children choose story time in the library over football at break time! All the books have been collected as donations and some are not in great condition – we would love to continue growing this fabulous resource.

Our school staff also worked together over the holidays to deep clean and repair the kitchen facilities. Our school cooks work tirelessly every day to provide breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack to our students and as you can imagine the kitchen takes quite a pounding! It was great to have this opportunity to smarten things up ready for the new term.

Thank you for reading this update and for your continued support, which makes our work possible.

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Organization Information

Global Vision International Charitable Trust

Location: London - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Carly Kruyer
St Albans, Herts United Kingdom
$3,296 raised of $150,000 goal
 
81 donations
$146,704 to go
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