Project #9924

SINAL for Children, Inspiring Love for Nature

by CEMINA (Com., Edu. and Info. and Adaptation)

Last year, SINAL began a partnership with the British Council through its Active Citizens program, a methodology designed to train young community leaders to approach subjects of identity, culture, dialogue and community, to empower them to take action improving their own communities. Since the last few months, we have received groups of passionate young leaders from different neighborhoods of the greater Baixada Fluminense area (the urban sprawl of Rio de Janeiro), which are characterized by precarious infrastructure, low-income and insecurity.

 Through the trainings, the youths designed their own projects which will have begun to be implemented and will continue in the next months with our accompaniment. Some of the projects are:

            Building a rain catching system for the local school to use in its organic garden beds project, (another one of our community projects). The kids will also build an exact scaled replica as the project moves along, as a special project in their Math class.

            Installing a series of recycling “eco-points” in the neighborhood of Santo Antonio, characterized by having one of the lowest waste-treatment infrastructures.

            The intervention of a garden in a local plaza, where a community event was held with capoeira and recycled art workshops for children. The goal was to clean an area that was full of garbage and was instead planted with crotolaria, a plant that attracts the dragonflies that eat mosquitoes that carry dengue fever.

 We will upload more photos of the projects as they unfold, for now, here are some of the photos from the project crotolaria!

 Thank you to all donors who helped us achieve this. It has truly been a journey seeing these kids grow more empowered, confident and responsible!

the garden
the garden

As we wrap up the year, we want to look back on the many accomplishments that we - thanks to Global Giving's generous donors - have been able to achieve.

Starting in the beginning of the year, we continued our work to reform and revitalize the spaces of the school, that for years have been plagued with poor infrastructure. The area in which the garden now is was so poorly taken care of that the children could not even enter there. Therefore, our team wento to replace the floors, paint the walls, and make it safe for students to use. Then, our education coordinator, Luisa, continued the project "Aventura dos Sabores" with the creation of the garden and vertical garden using plastic bottles. Here is a video of the project:

In May, students from Canisius college worked side-by-side the Student Council students in order to build recycled funiture, paint designs on the walls, and improve the gardens. The SINAL team also built a "tool shed" for the students to keep their gardening tools inside. 

Throughout the rest of the year, Luisa and the SINAL team continued to work each week in the garden with the students. They did science experiments using plastic bottles, oxiginated water, and bio-fertilizers. The students also came to SINAL to plant trees and to learn how to do mosaic. They, together with other community members, made a mosaic that said "Everyone together" to put in the central plaza. 

The last few weeks they have focused on maintaining the garden and lots of games related to biology and healthy food.

We are looking forward to next year, where we plan to build a water catchment system together with the engineers without borders local group. 

Making the mosaic
Making the mosaic

This month, SINAL and the students from Hervalina Diniz hosted an event on sustainability in the plaza of Santo Antonio, a plaza that has been abondoned and that we are trying to revitalize and repair with a message of sustainability.  

In this event for the community, we promoted healthy and sustainable eating with free samples of SINAL classic treats, showed the community how to re-use plastic bottles for planting and compost, and traded knowledge on ecological living. In collaboration with the student council of Hervalina, our own artist, Luana Cavalcante, organized a mosaic for the plaza theatre. The students came up with what to say : "Todo Mundo Junto" which means everyone together! The students came to SINAL a week earlier to prepare the letters and then on the day of the event, they finished up the writing and posted it on the wall of the outdoor amphitheatre. Many other children and community members participated in the mosaic and we were able to discover many new artists in the community that love art and were eager to learn more about mosaic. Mosaics are a really interesting form of art because they re-use the discarded pieces of tiles that construction and flooring companies cannot use. Moreover, unlike paint which wears off and must be re-done later, mosaic lasts forever!

The event was one of the first actions we are taking to restore the plaza. We plan to continue to occupy it, jointly with the community and the children of the school, to create a space that promotes culture, community, and sustainability.

We are deeply grateful to all our donors who are helping make this possible!



Partnerships and Programs Coordinator at Sinal do Vale 
Kids helping with the mosaic
Kids helping with the mosaic
Recycled benches
Recycled benches

At the end of May, SINAL hosted a group of students from the american university, Canisisus College, as part of a Learning Journey on sustainability in the Atlantic Rainforest. On Day 4 of their journey, the students came with the SINAL team to work with the children from Hervalina Diniz school to revitalize and reform part of the enclosed courtyard space in the school. Since last year, the SINAL team has been working with the director and the students to improve the space - painting murals, starting a garden, and builidng a recycled tool shed. With Canisius, we had a full morning of painting, cleaning, designing, and building. We use recycled materials to build new furniture where the children can sit and read, using pallets and old tires. The students painted beautiful desingns on the walls and made a tree out of handprints! The kids had a wonderful time as well as the Americans - the children were excited to get to practice their english with the university students and the Americans were thriled to be able to make a concrete difference during their time. 


We look forward to continuing to reform and improve the space so that the children can spend more time outside in a safe, beautiful and inspiring environment. 

Painting tire chairs
Painting tire chairs
Putting up the posters
Putting up the posters

This month we celebrated the launch of the Illustrated Story Book of the Aventura dos Sabores. With our partners from Novos Urbanos, we designed a illustrated story book of the step by step actions that we took to make the adventure happen. Each page shows a different part of the journey: mapping the adventure, planning and co-creating with the teachers, guiding the students through the missions of tasting and re-connection, planting in the garden, making their own creative and natural foods, and celebrating their experience. The illustrated book was turned into a series of posters that we put up on the walls at the school so that the students can remember their experience, the teachers can refer to the story, and outsiders wanting to replicate the adventure have a reference for how we were able to succeed. On the day of the launch, the students of of the original Adventure class came to inaugurate the posters, as well as members of Novos Urbanos and American author and creator of the Local Food Challenge, Vicki Robin. We hope that the Illustrated Story Book will help to provide continuity for the Adventure, so that we - and other organizations - can replicate the food-filled adventure in other schools and communities. (To see the illustrated story book, check it out here! ) 

In other news, the SINAL team continues to improve the SINAL das Criancas living laboratory space. This month, we added a greenhouse where the seedlings for the garden will grow. When students come to SINAL, they will be able to learn how greenhouses protect the young plants before we transplant them in the garden. In our medicinal plant area, we are continuing to add new native plants that the children can learn about. Our local workers from the small town of Santo Antonio in which we are located are experts in the plants that grow around here and help us to choose the plants. We strive to preserve the cultural knowledge of medicinal plants and help connect the experience of the older generation with the younger ones. 

The director talking with students
The director talking with students
The whole class!
The whole class!



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Organization Information

CEMINA (Com., Edu. and Info. and Adaptation)

Location: Rio de Janeiro, RJ - Brazil
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Thais Corral
General Coordinator
Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro Brazil
$1,060 raised of $30,000 goal
19 donations
$28,940 to go
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