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Young EcoLeaders of the Brazilian Rainforest

by Iracambi
Young EcoLeaders of the Brazilian Rainforest
Young EcoLeaders of the Brazilian Rainforest
Young EcoLeaders of the Brazilian Rainforest
Young EcoLeaders of the Brazilian Rainforest
Young EcoLeaders of the Brazilian Rainforest
Young EcoLeaders of the Brazilian Rainforest
Young EcoLeaders of the Brazilian Rainforest
Young EcoLeaders of the Brazilian Rainforest
Young EcoLeaders of the Brazilian Rainforest
Young EcoLeaders of the Brazilian Rainforest
Young EcoLeaders of the Brazilian Rainforest
Young EcoLeaders of the Brazilian Rainforest
Young EcoLeaders of the Brazilian Rainforest
Young EcoLeaders of the Brazilian Rainforest
Young EcoLeaders of the Brazilian Rainforest
Young EcoLeaders of the Brazilian Rainforest
Young EcoLeaders of the Brazilian Rainforest
Young EcoLeaders of the Brazilian Rainforest
Young EcoLeaders of the Brazilian Rainforest
Young EcoLeaders of the Brazilian Rainforest
Young EcoLeaders of the Brazilian Rainforest
Young EcoLeaders of the Brazilian Rainforest
Young EcoLeaders of the Brazilian Rainforest
Young EcoLeaders of the Brazilian Rainforest
Trash that isn't really trash
Trash that isn't really trash

Hello dear donors!

And we hope you are doing well, wherever you are in the world. We want to send you an update on our program, which comes with a big vote of thanks for your support! 

As we mentioned in our last letter, we've been working on our fourth online course for environmental leaders, and last week we held the final session, during which each group presents the project they have been working on. We are really happy to see how the groups are increasingly coming up with creative and practical solutions to environmental problems. Not only coming up with ideas, but putting them to work. So in this letter we'd like to showcase the first two projects, and we'll tell you about the others in our next letter, OK? 

Interestingly the first two groups to present were all-female, and they were also tackling the same subject – proper disposal of garbage. Group 1 adopted the idea of working with city authorities to set up Recycling Areas in their respective cities, and including the subject in the school curriculum. Since group members live in different cities, they plan to hold one another accountable and report back to one another on their progress.

They'll all adopt the same methodology and will start by generating publicity through social media, first about the problem, and then about the cleanup days they plan to hold once a month. Now in Brazil it seems that almost every day is a special day in commemoration of a particular profession or a historical day, or something connected with the environment. So one of the days they have chosen is October 23rd which is Zero Trash Day (in case you didn´t know.) They'll be celebrating the day by performing a group cleanup, followed by a discussion emphasizing the five Rs  – Rethink, Refuse, (for example the use of plastic bags) Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Through regular cleanup days they're hoping to generate a new way of thinking about trash, underlining the positive effects of living in a clean and healthy environment, mobilizing community support to beautify the city, and valuing the work of the trash pickers who perform such a valuable public service.

Group 2 named their project Trash that isn't really Trash, and their approach is to publicize the issue through holding movie sessions in schools and public squares. They'll show environmentally themed films, followed by group discussions where they'll question whether trash is really trash or whether it can be reused, recycled, or upcycled. Each movie session will be followed by a group cleanup and an announcement of the next movie showing, to stimulate interest in continuing the program. As well as working with the schools, they plan to hold movie nights in the city squares, encouraging moviegoers to adopt their local square, and inviting the children to adopt a tree and visit it regularly. 

We're delighted at the way our courses are working out, and want to send you a big thank you for your donations that help us keep the program running. In our next letter we'll report back on the other groups, and we've also got some cool ideas for future programs, that we'd love to share with you! 

So, in the meantime, please look after yourselves, and we´ll talk soon, 

with love and appreciation from Yasmin and the Iracambi Educators  

Throw it away? There's no away!
Throw it away? There's no away!
We hold the earth in trust....
We hold the earth in trust....
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Working together to protect the environment
Working together to protect the environment

Dear donor friends,

First of all, we hope you are doing well and taking care of yourselves?

And second, we want to send you a big vote of thanks for your support of our program. We are coming towards the end of our fourth online course for environmental leaders, and each one is proving to be more exciting than the last!

Our objective is to work with people across the country who are committed to making a difference in their communities, focusing on what we can do about the climate crisis. Educating, inspiring, encouraging and creating community to bring about sustainable change – individually, collectively and nationally.  One step at a time.  

This week we've been discussing ways of creating a dialogue with our neighbors and fellow citizens, and in particular how we can communicate with people whose views are radically different from our own – no easy task in a world where it seems that societies everywhere are increasingly polarized! Setting an example, listening deeply, using social media to create positive news instead of fake news, raising awareness without preaching, focusing on including people and finding points in common. Once we can communicate, then we can act.   

In our discussion groups we start by collectively defining a particular issue that we feel that we can tackle, figuring out why it is important here and now, and coming together to work out what we can do about it. We examine the end result we hope to achieve and the scope of the project, we work out an approximate timeline, we consider the actors and partners we hope to attract, and, last but not least, we list the resources we are going to need in order to bring our project to life.

Our groups have been working together for several weeks, and ideas are now turning into action plans. So rather than telling you a little bit about each of our five groups, we’d like to profile just one.

This group is focusing on water management, which is an increasingly hot topic everywhere in the world, with water-rich Brazil being no exception. In fact, some parts of the country are facing a severe drought which affects not only domestic consumption but also industry, agriculture and energy, (almost all of Brazil’s electricity is generated through hydropower.)

And the water group is thinking long term. Their plan is to create a network of people who understand the issue and are prepared to take action. They´ll start by offering a series of simple, fun activities in which everyone can participate, giving short informative talks to schools, church groups, and neighborhood associations, encouraging people to work together and come up with their own solutions.  

Leveraging their networks – friends and family, work colleagues, members of their church group or fellow sports fans, little by little they´ll create a community. And then they´ll approach potential partners: local business, schools, local government, emphasizing volunteering and pooling resources. The key to success, they reckon, is helping people become aware of the challenges while encouraging them to come up with their own ideas and solutions.

Makes sense, right?  But it does go against the grain of the sort of hierarchical education that is still sadly so common in Brazil. Stay tuned and in our next letter we´ll let you know how the project takes shape. We can’t wait to see! 

In the meantime, thank you again for your amazing support to our project. We couldn't do what we do without you! 

With love and appreciation from the Iracambi Educators 

PS If you want to take a peek at the recording of our last class, we're including it in the link below. Headsup- it´s in Portuguese!  

Overcoming differences
Overcoming differences
Protecting water
Protecting water
Building bridges of understanding
Building bridges of understanding

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Code Red for Planet Earth
Code Red for Planet Earth

Dear donors and partners, 

First of all, we hope you are doing well, and would like to send you a big thank you for supporting our education program. We really appreciate your donations, and here's an update from the field to show you how we are putting them to work!

Yesterday we started our fourth online course and we certainly hit the ground running. Thirty participants from across Brazil, from different disciplines, different professional backgrounds: students, professionals, public servants and lifelong learners. We couldn´t be happier.

Much of the discussion centered round the IPCC report that had just come out describing the planetary situation as Code Red. Since the discussion groups were just forming, it was a time for brainstorming solutions, and ideas were bouncing off the walls of the virtual breakout rooms! We’ll keep you posted as the course progresses, OK?

And we’re still smiling about the feedback we told you about in our last letter where 100% of the last cohort gave the course top rating – five stars!

Thank you once again for joining us on this journey. We've said it before, and we'll say it again: we couldn't do it without you!  

Look after yourselves, and we´ll talk soon. 

with love and appreciation from Yasmin and the Iracambi Educators 

PS  We're enclosing a cost beakdown for the online course expenses -  salaries, audiovisual production, e book production, designer and platform hire. 

PPS  Remember we talked about short videos in our last letter? We now have a volunteer video team on board, so keep an eye open for LOTS of short videos of Iracambi life and times! 


Here's how we cost out our courses
Here's how we cost out our courses
Just in case you were wondering - this is Yasmin!
Just in case you were wondering - this is Yasmin!

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What did Rafael say?
What did Rafael say?

Dear donors and friends,

First of all, we hope you are doing well, and would like to send you a shoutout for supporting our education program. We really appreciate your donations, and here is a letter from the field to show you how we are putting them to work!

Here's the deal. We're always trying to do more and better, right? So we need to get feedback from our students, and today, as we're getting ready to launch our fourth course, we'd love to share some of the feedback with you. We'll start with what the students said. And then we'll share a few stats. 

Let's start with Rafael. “Generally speaking, this is an excellent course. Its importance at this time cannot be denied. I loved the way Yasmin guided us through the lessons, allowing us complete liberty during discussions, always treating us with respect and interest.”

Here’s what Marcia had to say. “The course was really cool and lived up to my expectations. Big thanks to Yasmin for the great lessons she gave us, for her depth of knowledge and her light touch that really added to my understanding of the subject. Thanks to the team at Iracambi for planting another seed of goodness and knowledge and bringing hope for better times for all living beings on the planet. To sum it up, let's think locally and radiate out across the globe. Thanks, guys!  

And finally here is Talita. “I’m so happy that I invested time in this course over these past weeks, my baby and I. I loved your initiative, and I loved the videos. And the class on soils was incredible. I really enjoyed the others, but that one was special. It charged up my batteries and gave me energy to keep moving ahead in this beautiful field of study – agroecology

And now for a few stats. 67% of the students are female, and 36% are aged 20-25. When asked to evaluate their own performance, 48% said very good and 38% said excellent. When asked to evaluate the performance of their fellow students, 24% said very good and 48% said excellent. 

As for evaluating the course material, 95% rated it extremely important. And the methodology? 24% reckoned it was very good and 71% described it as excellent. 

Of course there are always things to improve - some within our control and others not. The internet goes down, students have to work extra shifts, kids play up.... 

But the overall feedback was overwhelmingly positive. And now for the one comment that brings a huge smile to our faces.   

When asked to evaluate the importance of the course..... 100% of the students rated it as extremely important! 

We thought that would make you as happy as it makes us. Thank you for joining us on this journey. We've said it before, and we'll say it again: we couldn't do it without you!  

Look after yourselves, and we´ll talk soon. 

with love and appreciation from Yasmin and the Iracambi Educators 

PS We have lots of ideas for future content and improvement - we´ll tell you more in our next letter. But the main one - divide up the videos into shorter segments. More and shorter is better. 

Here's what Marcia thought
Here's what Marcia thought
Talita
Talita
Evaluating the importance of the course
Evaluating the importance of the course
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Trash picker in Curitiba
Trash picker in Curitiba

Dear donors and friends,

First of all, we hope you are doing well, and would like to send you a shoutout for supporting our education program. We really appreciate your donations, and here is a letter from the field to show you how we are putting them to work.

Let's start with a quick report on the success of one of the initiatives developed by a group of Iracambi Environmental Leaders. Their initiative is connected with trash pickers.  Allow us to explain.

A little background. There are an estimated 400,000 - 800,000 trash pickers in Brazil – which is currently number four on the list of countries that generate the most trash. The trash pickers are responsible for 90% of the recycling efforts in the country, and their work helps protect the urban environment, reduces emissions from open landfills, saves money and generates employment.

Trash pickers are often discriminated against, and live and work in unhealthy conditions. Yet in different parts of the country, state and municipal governments are working to improve working conditions, ensure access to protective equipment, provide storage facilities, and help them negotiate fair rates for their products.

In this context, one of the groups of Iracambi Environmental Leaders is working with local government to improve conditions for the trash pickers of the municipality of Piraquara, a satellite town in the district of Curitiba. Curitiba is known for having one of the most enlightened city governments in the country, including a widely respected program whereby the city donates one kilo of fresh fruits and vegetables for every four kilos of recyclables they receive from community members.

The Iracambi Environmental Leaders report that their project is taking great strides in improving conditions and raising incomes for these essential workers. They are also working on a program of social media posts and environmental education to encourage the citizens of Piraquara to deliver the recyclables in good condition.

So now we´ve shared the good news from Piraquara, here's a quick headsup on our next plans. We’ll be starting our next course in around ten days from now, and we'll be using some of the testimonials from our graduates to encourage even more people to sign up. Then in August we'll hold a course for teachers, parents and other interested people on working with school age kids to create a first cohort of Junior Environmental Leaders. The following month we're planning a three or four-day workshop for the graduates of all our courses, with the objective of bringing together as many of them as possible, and creating a network of activists across the country.

So you can see that there's a lot going on,  and if any of you, dear donors, are interested in helping us develop these courses, we'd be delighted to hear from you! Just shoot us a message on cursos@iracambi.com and we´ll get back to you as soon as we can.

In the meantime, thank you once again for your amazing support!

With love and appreciation from Yasmin and the Iracambi Educators

Trash to treasure
Trash to treasure
Prices for trash
Prices for trash
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Organization Information

Iracambi

Location: Rosario da Limeira, MG - Brazil
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Marina Silva
Rosario da Limeira, MG Brazil
$96,836 raised of $110,000 goal
 
847 donations
$13,164 to go
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