Feed a Hungry Child in Brazil Today

by Action Change (Formerly GVI Trust)
Feed a Hungry Child in Brazil Today
Feed a Hungry Child in Brazil Today
Feed a Hungry Child in Brazil Today
Feed a Hungry Child in Brazil Today
Feed a Hungry Child in Brazil Today
Feed a Hungry Child in Brazil Today
Feed a Hungry Child in Brazil Today
Feed a Hungry Child in Brazil Today
Feed a Hungry Child in Brazil Today
Feed a Hungry Child in Brazil Today
Feed a Hungry Child in Brazil Today
Feed a Hungry Child in Brazil Today
Feed a Hungry Child in Brazil Today
Feed a Hungry Child in Brazil Today
Feed a Hungry Child in Brazil Today
Feed a Hungry Child in Brazil Today
Feed a Hungry Child in Brazil Today
Feed a Hungry Child in Brazil Today
Feed a Hungry Child in Brazil Today
Feed a Hungry Child in Brazil Today

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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Dear Supporters,

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 marked the end of term with a Christmas party. This is a fabulous event and for many of our students will be their main celebration of the festive period. We make sure that every child receives a gift, some tasty party treats and a food parcel to take home for the holiday period. There is a always a lot of singing and dancing and the older children love to help out with the decoration of the school.

When we return from the Christmas break we will be entering the hottest months in Brazil and we are making sure we are prepared for the high temperatures in the school by digging out the fans, making sure drinking water is available in each classroom and giving the children opportunities to take regular cool showers. Of course running fans and extra water places a strain on our school’s limited finances, but with no budget for air conditioning and temperatures regularly in excess of 35 Celsius/95 Fahrenheit, these measures are essential for ensuring our little ones can get some much needed rest at nap time and that the hot temperatures don’t affect concentration levels and prevent our students from learning.

In the classroom we have had a big focus on numeracy this term. Our students have made some fabulous progress. The youngest classes have been learning their numbers 1-20 and have even been doing some counting in English! The older classes have completed some fabulous project work on using money, mental arithmetic and percentages – mathematical skills with real world applications that will really help our children in the future. We are realistic and pragmatic in our approach to education, we appreciate that social and financial pressures will prevent many of our students from staying in education for as long as we would hope. In the time that we have with them we try our best to ensure they are equipped with essential numeracy and literacy skills to ensure they have as many opportunities as possible in life.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all your support in 2018 – we receive no government funding and it is only your donations that make our school possible. Thank you for giving our students the chance for an education, a safe place to learn, grow and play and helping to create a supportive and sustainable community at the ECCSCV.  Feliz Natal e um prospero ano novo! (Happy Christmas and a prosperous new year!) from all the team in Mata Escura!

 

All our love, 

Brazil 

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Dear Supporters,

It’s been a busy term at the Educandário Creche Comunitária Sonho da Vovó Clara in Mata Escura, on the outskirts of the city of Salvador. In May we celebrated Mother’s Day with the children – we invited all our mums, dads and caregivers to attend the school for a special celebration with a song learned and performed by the children and lots of dancing afterwards. We also took the opportunity to show off all the wonderful work our students have been doing in the classroom – it is really important that we engage the local community in the work we are doing and ensure that we have parents support and contribution in the education of their children. There were lots of very proud faces – parents and kids alike – as we showed off some lovely pieces of work across all subjects.

In June each year Brazil celebrates São João – the annual celebration of the countryside and rural traditions. As many of our families moved to Salvador from the countryside seeking work in the big city this is always a poignant festival. Teacher Andrea arranged a party and helped the children to put together traditional outfits for the day. In the classroom we undertook projects relating to the differences between town and countryside life, did some beautiful countryside themed artwork and learnt some traditional songs and poetry.

There is always a short holiday for São João as traditionally Bahians use this period to visit family in the countryside. Students returned to school from this break in early July. As usual some families decided to remain in the countryside after the festive period and a number of new children also arrived at the school for the first time. This is a pattern we witness every year; unfortunately the promise of regular work in the city does not become a reality for most migrants and with the opportunity to visit home each year some decide to stay. We were pleased to see a net increase of 7 students overall.

The next big event on the calendar will be the Day of the Child in early October, this annual festival is marked by a party in the city park organised by the local council for all public schools. This is always a source of big excitement for our students – for most it will be one of only 2 days out each year (along with our annual Christmas park trip) and the kids are already asking for a daily countdown when they arrive for lessons.

Andrea, our school teacher, continues her success in her teacher training course at the local evening college. She has just passed to the advanced stage of her course and is about to begin a new semester at college. The students benefit every day from the new concepts and techniques she is learning, and she passes these on to our team of teaching assistants.  

Thank you for your support, which makes our work possible.

Grandma Clara's, Brazil 

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Action Change (Formerly GVI Trust)

Location: London - United Kingdom
Website:
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Project Leader:
Tyrone Bennett
London, London United Kingdom
$13,028 raised of $150,000 goal
 
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