| Jun 18, 2014
Welcome to the Vaga Lume family!
We are very honoured to share the great surprise we experienced on our last Monitoring Expedition with you.
As you may know, Vaga Lume’s work is to enforce the collection of 160 community libraries in 23 municipalities of the Amazon region, as well as to form reading mediators to promote reading activities, but the community itself is responsible for managing the library. They own the collection, so they take care of it. But we also feel responsible for the libraries so, from times to times, we visit the municipalities to ensure that our mission and values are being respected and fulfilled.
From May 11th to 22nd, three members of the Vaga Lume team from São Paulo, Marina, Celice and Renata went to Santarém, in the Pará state, to monitor the volunteer work that has been carried out since our last visit, in 2011. Among the ten communities of Santarém, there is Murumuru, a “quilombola” community, which means its founders were fugitive slaves. As there had been a while since we were able to visit Murumuru’s community, they were not sure about the functioning of the library. They got emotional to find a very strong group of 17 young volunteers who had been users of the library since they were little kids, when Vaga Lume arrived there in 2008. Even more impressing, they met a whole family of volunteers engaged in the library! Nelcicleide and her three children got involved with the Vaga Lume library together!
"I volunteered for a long time and now encourage my children to participate in the library because I think it is very important for young people", said Nelcicleide. Her son Raianderson, who is 13, also mentioned: "I think I am the oldest volunteer at Vaga Lume at the moment! I began when I was in 3rd grade. It's been 5 or 6 years! My teacher Natalice invited me. I do reading activities in the community, lend books, participate in their other program, the Net Program, and I also write handmade books ... I think I'm a result of teacher Nathalice’s work and I like her very much! I'm 13, I'm in 8th grade and I am a volunteer at the library. "
The engagement of the people in the Murumuru community is a thermometer of how effective Vaga Lume’s work is. “Vagalume” in Portuguese means “firefly”, an insect that lights up the dark with its tiny tail, but it takes a lot of them for their light to become apparent. We provide books and we set an example of how to connect children with literature and reading, but our work only becomes expressive when the people from the communities act upon it, embrace it. Because of these volunteers from the Amazon, we feel like a big family of “vagalumes” glowing with the magic of books.
Thank you for being part of it!
Other stories and news are available at www.vagalume.org.br/english.
If you have any doubts or comments, do drop us a line!
Vaga Lume Team
Nelcicleides daughter conducting reading activity