Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children

by Vaga Lume Association
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Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Provide Quality Education to 15000 Amazon Children
Vaga Lume's founders: Sylvia, Lais, and Fofa
Vaga Lume's founders: Sylvia, Lais, and Fofa

The project started with a visit by the founders to the Brazilian Amazon and has already impacted over than 100,000 children.

Through a cultural experience, a trip to the giant Amazon, the group of friends Sylvia, Laís, and Fofa began Vaga Lume’s story. In their early 20s, they traveled to Pará state to experience the region’s riches and gifted the communities with a small collection of books.

Transformed by the region’s cultural, social and environmental wealth, the trip in 2001 was more successful than they imagined. The books that were given by Vaga Lume positively impacted people in the region. Vaga Lume could not stop.

In 2002, Vaga Lume's Expedition was immersed in the Brazilian Legal Amazon to implement 22 community libraries to boost children’s potential. After 9 months, the friends returned to São Paulo and received countless letters requesting more books.

Vaga Lume made history.

On October 16th, Vaga Lume completes 20 years of history and reaches significant numbers of its work in rural communities in the Amazon, including indigenous communities and quilombolas - the descendants of enslaved population who escaped plantations: there are 86 community libraries spread over nine states in Brazil. Thanks to your support, more than 138,000 books have been donated, more than 4,800 reading mediators have been trained, totaling more than 890 volunteers and more than 100,000 impacted children, youngsters and adults.

Each library is designed and built together with the communities so that the books and materials meet local demands. A team of educators takes care of the entire process of selecting the book collection and training reading-aloud mediators: the basic conditions are settled for the communities’ engagement. 

Vaga Lume’s methodology is based on 5 pillars: book, reading aloud mediation, community management, local culture, and cultural exchange. These five points include providing the necessary infrastructure for the community libraries such as books and shelves; promoting reading aloud mediation training;  supporting the community management; treasuring local culture by registering the community traditions; and promoting the cultural exchange between different regions in Brazil. Vaga Lume’s libraries are a space to share knowledge, a space where children and adults from the community have access to information and entertainment. 

With your support, we have been able to impact the lives of thousands of children.

Follow Vaga Lume to learn more about our projects: 

Instagram: @_vaga_lume_

Facebook: @associacaovagalume/

Vaga Lume's first trip to the Brazilian Amazon
Vaga Lume's first trip to the Brazilian Amazon
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In recent months, Vaga Lume held two meetings to get closer to those who live in rural communities and municipalities in the Brazilian Amazon.

A tradition in the Net Program since 2015, the Teenager’s Meeting is a moment for the participants from São Paulo to meet. Before the pandemic, it was held in parks or cultural spaces. This year, following the recommendations for social distancing, we held Zoom meetings so that both teenagers in São Paulo and those in the Amazon could participate.

On March 22nd, more than 100 teenagers met to share their knowledge. There was a lot of recitation of poetry, dancing and singing. They showed their talents, introduced themselves and encouraged colleagues who were shy. The Talent Show was a success. According to Manuela:

'In my opinion, the Talent Show is a fun and interactive way to make this meeting, as we get to know a little of each person's personality and hobbies. So, there was always an interesting and curious presentation, getting us more and more involved.'.

And as a high point of the Meeting, the Brazilian influencer, Adriel from “Livros do Dri” instagram, also joined us. He shared his passion for books, literature and the opportunities that reading gave him.

In the following month, we reinvented ourselves once more and held the 1st Vaga Lume Virtual Meeting for Partners and Local Teams with the theme "Library of peoples of the fields, rivers and forests". Special guests, references in literature in Brazil, also participated: the authors Conceição Evaristo, Eliane Potiguara and Itamar Vieira Junior and Professor José Castilho, an activist for Public Policies for reading as a human right. We felt everything up close, hugs, smiles, celebrations, exchanges, everything that makes our network so important.

Even though it was an online event the energy of the network is so strong that it brings the certainty that we are very close, that we have always been and that we always will be. We even forgot, for a moment, the territorial distances. We left once again very hopeful, happy, energized and renewed from the event.

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Children from Menino Deus receiving the Playbook
Children from Menino Deus receiving the Playbook

One of Vaga Lume's innovations for 2021 was the donation of pedagogical materialfor children who have limited access to educational activities due to the pandemic scenario. The playbooks made by Vaga Lume’s team and illustrated by a local Amazonian artist are filled with activities about local culture and local environment.

Along with the material, the children also received two handmade books produced by the communities with local legends and histories - 'Cobra Grande' (Big Snake) and 'O canto do Jacurutu' (Great horned owl’s singing) - and a kit with school supplies to carry out their activities. Thus, in addition to encouraging children's reading and writing, we also make it possible to strengthen Amazonian culture.

In total, 900 children received the kit from the communities: Menino Deus (Portel, Pará), Damásio (Guimarães, Maranhão), Surumu (Pacaraima, Roraima), Maracatiara (Ouro Preto do Oeste, Rondônia), João Settlement Batista (Castanhal, Pará), Pesqueiro (Soure, Pará), and Perpétuo Socorro (Tefé, Amazonas).

The volunteers who delivered the playbooks report the children's emotion when receiving them, grateful for the material and for the opportunity to continue learning. For many of them, this is one of the few educational activities that they had access to during the pandemic.

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After such a rough and challenging year, we would like to share with you, our global supporters, the actions that Vaga Lume Association took to support rural communities in the Amazon. All this work was done by our donors, partners, employees, and of course, our almost 1,000 volunteers from, and spread through, the Legal Brazilian Amazon.

 At the beginning of the year  Vaga Lume was ready for a year full of challenges based on an expansion plan to open at least 4 new libraries in Amazon rural communities at the same time that we would continue to manage the existingl 86 community libraries, providing courses, trainings, immersions, meetings and sending 10,000 news books to the region.

But then… the pandemic arrived, the world rapidly changed, people could not get together, get close, be together without a mask, no touch before sanitizers. And, of course, our work, just like everything else, was hit by this big world issue. Yet, Vaga Lume responded.

We established safety rules and work conditions for employees and volunteers, at the same time that we had to close the libraries so it would not contribute to the virus dissemination. We acted as fast as we could and collected thousands of humanitary aid donations to send to the rural communities in the Amazon and we adapted: creating and optimizing ways to communicate better with our beneficiaries and volunteers in the region. 

We have learned even more about the potential of the virtual connection and because of that we now have a pilot project to take internet connection to two communities in Tefé, a city located in Amazonas state. Besides all of that we also adapted our volunteer trainings to an online format and, since the libraries were closed, this year the books were individually sent  to  children, in their homes, so they could read and travel the magical world of literature without getting exposed.

Now, in consideration to your support we would like to bring you Our achievements in 2020:

 

Humanitarian aid delivered to  Amazonian communities:

  •         4,755 face shields
  •         80.091 cloth face masks
  •         1,200 alcohol hand sanitizers
  •         15 sanitary barrier kits (more than 500 items such as signs and folders to support villagers to block their communities from outsiders)
  •         340 food care boxes
  •         62,500 new clothing

 

Books and Library items:

  •         956 uniforms for volunteers
  •         86 mats
  •         19,000 office items
  •         9,379 books (86 in braille) delivered to our library users
  •         76 kindle e-readers

 

Trainings and Meetings

  •     9 hours of shared reading training program with 26 veteran volunteers 
  •     13 Quarantine Challenges (our volunteers were challenged to create, express, and share their experiences regarding reading and community activities through the quarantine period)
  •       31 meetings with veteran volunteers
  • 8 monitoring evaluations including the annual evaluation of the work at the community libraries.
  •     29 meetings with educators
  •     37 workshops of the Youth Exchange  Program and 170 letters exchanged.

 

And here we are now. After all of this we can only thank you for your support and wish you a very happy and healthy 2021!

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The Brazilian Legal Amazon corresponds to 61% of the national territory and covers nine out of twenty-seven of the Brazilian states. The region concentrates one of the greatest diversities of fauna and flora in the world. In addition, there is a diversity of communities that inhabit it: more than 180 indigenous people, more than 500 quilombola communities – the descendants of slaves who escaped from Brazil's plantations in order to build a new community to achieve its freedom -,  riverside communities, and the populations who are living in large cities that might recognize themselves or not in these denominations and groups.

Thus, in addition to all the environmental diversity, we also find many different cultures present in the Amazon, each one with its own form of organization and social interaction. Some researches show an important dimension of the life of the populations that live in the forest: the management of the biodiversity in these communities happens through its cultural practices, cultivated since centuries ago through the use of techniques of low environmental impacts.

These studies also show that the removal of populations from their lands, the interference in the way they live and the occupation of the land for activities such as the cultivation of soybeans or cattle, can generate impacts that has no coming back from to one of thewealthiest natural reserves in the world. Nowadays, it is possible to affirm that the main threats present in the region are due to deforestation, caused predominantly by illegal logging and agriculture.

All these forms of the use of the land generate conflicts and interfere in the way traditional populations live and use the soil, whether they are riverside, indigenous or quilombolas. These impacts cause losses for society in general, such as environmental de-characterization, loss of quality of life and increase of violence.

Since 2019, both traditional populations and the biodiversity of the forest have been threatened due to the increase of fires, often illegal, and the persecution of traditional people. In 2020, in addition to the risk that these populations are facing due to the arrival of COVID-19 in the region, they had to face deforestation and the risk of protecting their territory. Data shows that Brazil is one of the deadliest countries for environmental activists *. Researches indicate that the increase in deforestation and the persecution of traditional peoples may be related to the federal government ‘s strong position of encouraging the use of weapons and exploring the soil for production in the Amazon region.

Traditional populations have been in constant fight for their rights, their occupied lands and the maintenance of their culture. Due to the current scenario, it is extremely important that we support traditional communities by recognizing their importance to environmental conservation and valuing their cultures.

 

* Global Witness

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Organization Information

Vaga Lume Association

Location: Sao Paulo - Brazil
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Lia Jamra
Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo Brazil
$44,961 raised of $100,000 goal
 
959 donations
$55,039 to go
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