We are very happy to inform you we have managed to gather 48 volunteers from the Brazilian Legal Amazon in the 8º Vaga Lume Congress, held between August 27th and 30th in the city of Sao Paulo. Its main goal was to train them as multipliers of the methodology of reading mediation developed by the organization.
Among the volunteers, there were representatives of the Local Teams (responsible for the work in the urban area of the municipalities), representatives of the communities (responsible for the work in the countryside), as well as people with many years of Vaga Lume and others who have volunteered for less time, but are already developing significant reading projects in their regions.
In a four-day immersive experience, volunteers listened to lectures and participated in discussions about early childhood reading; child empowerment; evaluation and monitoring; planning; among others. In addition, more experienced volunteers could share their knowledge with the youngest in the “Mentor Walk” activity; and each group of representatives had access to the results of the evaluation of their community libraries and, therefore, was able to develop an action plan for each community/municipality for next year.
The Congresses are a fundamental part of Vaga Lume’s methodology once gather, with a certain periodicity, volunteers from different parts of the Amazon region that carry out similar reading projects in their realities. Thus, it is an enriching moment when they can exchange experiences, challenges and share alternative solutions. The volunteers, by becoming multipliers, consolidate strong networks that contribute to the development of their activities in their communities and encouraged them to put into practice the learning and alternatives brought from the event.
The 8º Vaga Lume Congress was a huge success! Check out the testimonials we heard from our volunteers, Evilásio and Janiléia:
- “When I took over the library in Cruzeiro do Sul, the children could not access the library by themselves, they needed their parents. Now the children have autonomy to use the library without their parents and the loans of books have increased a lot. We have to believe in the children!”. Evilásio, Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre.
- “Listening to other testimonials makes me feel like it has a part of me in every community”. Janiléia, Mirinzal, Maranhão.
We have only managed to accomplish such moving results with your support! This is why we are here to thank you and to encourage you to keep following our work and sharing your thoughts and suggestions with us.
Vaga Lume Team
We have another inspiring story to tell you:
Sara is 27 years old and lives in the Community Cairara, in Tefé, Amazonas state. She is a farmer and a spectacular reading mediator. She lived in town but when she turned thirteen her family decided to move to the countryside. She imagined a future of studies and also to go to college one day, but her school didn’t have high school so she was forced to abandon her dream when she finished the eighth grade. A few years later she got married and had kids – and transferred her dream to her children, wondering how she would give them better education and living conditions.
That was when Vaga Lume came into her life: when the Community Library Estrela da Manhã (Portuguese for morning star) came to her community, she was trained as reading mediator, wrote traditional stories in handmade books, and got really involved with all the activities developed in the library. Now she is one of our inspiring volunteers, and keep working hard every day to involve her children and provide them better opportunities in education.
“I am a volunteer because I believe that children must read. Children that don’t have the opportunity to read have no opportunity to give wings to imagination. Each story and illustrations takes us to a completely different world. When I read, I dream with the story and I see myself in it – precisely in that time, that moment, that country, that place. I love reading!”
(Cairará is a community located in the Lake Caiambé, four hours distant from the city of Tefé (Amazonas state). It has approximately 47 families, which equals to 208 residents. Since 2008, the Community Library Estrela da Manhã has received more than 350 new books sent by Vaga Lume).
It is worth saying that with your support, Vaga Lume was able to train Sara and more than one thousand other volunteers as reading mediators that are in the Amazon reading every single day because they believe in reading as a way to empower their children to stand up for their rights.
Thank you for all!
Vaga Lume Team.
As you might have heard about, Brazil has a very special holiday in its annual calendar: the Carnival.
It is a week-long party, considered as the Mardi Gras of the southern hemisphere, which includes live music, street performances, dancing, floats, costumes, food, beverages and… BOOKS! Why not?
As we told you before, the community libraries of Vaga Lume in the Amazon are considered as a very important part of the community, a facility that everyone has access to and that gains life with its volunteers.
In this Carnival (and it has happened before in other communities), the Local Team of the Breves (Pará state) organized the so called “CarnaLeitura” which mixes Carnival and reading in a very fun event.
The volunteers took the mobile shelves with them to the middle of the square, invited all the kids, youngsters and adults that crossed their way, and created a “parade” of reading mediation and lots of costumes!
Vilma, the volunteer who organized the event, published a testimonial on her Facebook: “while representative of Vaga Lume in Breves, I would like to thank all the local partners and volunteers, which contributed to the accomplishment of this amazing event that was designed with all my heart. According to scholars, when reading is pleasant, it is possible to develop imagination, to increase vocabulary and to get involved in this magical world called literature! That’s the point of the event ‘CarnaLeitura’ and of all our work as volunteers at Vaga Lume”.
It is worth saying that with your support, Vaga Lume was able to train Vilma and more than one thousand other volunteers as reading mediators that are in the Amazon promoting reading in every opportunity they find.
Thank you for all!
Vaga Lume Team.
In this report we will share with you the experience of our last meeting of volunteers in 2016!
Firework, music, food and hugs: that’s how we were welcomed by Santa Cruz do Tracajatuba I adn Campina de São Benedito communities during the Regional Meeting of Volunteers, held in Macapá (Amapá state) in November, 9th to 11th. In each community, the participants of the Meeting would get off the bus with many books in their hands and a big smile on their faces!
The three days of training and exchange of experiences offered to 40 Vaga Lume’s volunteers from the states of Amapá, Maranhão and Pará is a strategy to capacitate volunteers while mobilizing and inspiring the strengthening of bonds among volunteers that promote reading in different parts of the Amazon.
We heard some important testimonials of volunteers, such as Silvia Emanuelli Santos Almeida, from the João Batista rural settlement in Castanhal (Pará state): "In the Brazilian country side, poverty is a rule. The only way we can offer children the right to childhood in this scenario is by reading, by telling stories. So, while there are books and reading mediators in the communities, there will be perspective of a better life.”
By the end of the training, we visited the two communities mentioned where we got in contact with local culture in the dancing presentations and with the history of the communities with models and handmade books.
It was a very inspiring training. For us, bringing people who live in remote areas closer to each other to exchange is a powerful way to spread reading habits all over the Amazon. Don’t you think?
We have only managed to accomplish such moving results with your support! That is why we are here to thank you and to encourage you to keep following our work and sharing your thoughts and suggestions with us.
Vaga Lume Team
In this report you will read one of the many stories of impact that Vaga Lume has helped to create.
Andre has been a volunteer of the community library of Caju Una for nine years. Caju Una is a rural community in Soure (Pará, Brazil), bathed by river and sea, perfect for fishing and for resting in hammocks during warm days.
When Vaga Lume went to Andre’s community, in 2006, he had only 10 years old, and that was the very beginning of his adventures inside literature books. Today, with 20 years old, Andre studies “Linguistics” in the Federal University of Para and always looks forward to visit Caju Una during holidays, when he monitors the library and develop activities with other volunteers to promote reading to local children and teenagers.
In 2016, as a result of his amazing work as a volunteer in Caju Una, Andre was invited to be a speaker at the Biennial Book Fair of Sao Paulo, talking about the importance of community libraries.
The discussions suddenly moved to the use of technology in libraries, and Andre developed a very interesting argument we would like to share with you: “Technology has a very broad meaning; we can’t just see it as smartphones or computers. When there is a community without any access to internet connection, people seek information through other means, and books are perfectly capable of supplying this need: they bring information, encourage readers and raise awareness about other cultures and peoples around the world. Thanks to the community library that Vaga Lume brought and to the volunteers that maintain it, I didn’t need internet or digital facilities to study. Books were my favorite technology”.
This point of view certainly brings some food for thought, doesn’t it? What do you think? Share your opinion with us!
And if you want to know more about and to engage in Vaga Lume’s events, please visit our website: http://www.vagalume.org.br/home
Vaga Lume Team.
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