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
Rafael today
Rafael today

Good morning, dear donors!

We hope you are doing well, and wnt to send you rainforest love, and so many thanks for your support to our educational programs! 

And, since this week we are in between our online courses, we want to tell you of how your support helped to change the life of one of our Ecoleaders and set him on his way to a career in science.

Meet Rafael, born and raised within a couple of miles of the Research Center. He comes from a family of smallholder farmers, and his first contact with rainforest science was when he joined our Junior Science program and started paying weekly visits to our forest trails.

Rafael was a first-generation student, and he fell so completely in love with the forest that he never missed a lesson.

His first big break came nine years ago when he starred in a short film Iracambi: Junior Scientists. You can find it here. In the film, he is demonstrating water monitoring and explaining why it's important. And what shines through is the fact that Rafael absolutely loves what he is doing!  Here he is, towards the end of the video, talking about the chance to get involved in real science.  “And it´s us kids doing it! It's really cool!”

Rafael graduated from school and went on to study in the local tech institute. From there he went to the  Federal University. And now he’s enrolled in the Master´s Program.  

So thank you, dear donors, for supporting kids like Rafael. His first introduction to rainforest science changed his life completely.

We thought you’d like to know!

Take care of yourselves and we'll talk again soon, 

with love from Yasmin and the Iracambi team  

Rafael nine years ago
Rafael nine years ago
Rafael at work
Rafael at work
"It's really cool"
"It's really cool"

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Project Based Learning (PBL)
Project Based Learning (PBL)

Good morning, dear donors, and we hope you are well!

And we can't wait to tell you about our latest course for Environmental Leaders Online. We just finished our second course yesterday evening, and we are thrilled with the results! 

We are all learning a lot, and it's wonderful to be in touch with people of all ages and backgrounds from across Brazil. Our network is growing by leaps and bounds. and students in this cohort came from the public and private sectors as well as from civil society. 

During this second iteration of the course, we wanted the students to have more ownership of what they learn, and we decided to base our teaching style on that of Portuguese-born educator José Pacheco who now lives in Brazil, and is one of the pioneers of project-based learning in Brazil. This style of teaching (which is unusual in Brazil) provides space for reflection, and encourages students to research collaboratively, develop habits of critical thinking, identify problems and come up with solutions which they can apply to their surroundings. All of which is the opposite of the traditional top-down approach used in most public schools in this country. 

In our course we adapted our methodology to allow more space for discussion, and the results have been amazing. We provided pre-recorded materials (e book, recorded lessons, videos and supplementary material) and met up for “live” weekly sessions online, during which the students went into breakout groups where they analyzed, discussed and developed collaborative solutions to specific problems of concern to the group.

Interestingly, the most commonly recurring concern was the question of waste disposal, in relation to pollution and eventual contamination of water resources. And the different solutions ranged from informal programs of environmental education for children and youth, to income generation schemes through recycling, to community composting schemes, community gardens, working with garbage pickers and awareness-raising campaigns using social media.

After the success of this course, we´re now turning our attention to next steps. One possibility is to work with a school a few hours from here that works with project based learning, to see if we can create an online course for some of their students. And there´s already significant interest in running more online leadership courses for the general public. We´ve even had requests to do the course in English!

So thank you, thank you, dear donors, for your support. This past year has certainly been challenging. But it´s also been a time of tremendous opportunity.  We'll keep you posted, and please look after yourselves! 

with rainforest love from  

Yasmin and the Iracambi team 

Lightbulbs light up
Lightbulbs light up
Collaboration!
Collaboration!
One solution: trash for veggies
One solution: trash for veggies

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Environmental Leaders Online
Environmental Leaders Online

Dear donors, 

We hope you are doing well and seeing light at the end of the covid tunnel? It's been a long haul, hasn't it? 

But one good thing that came out of it for us at Iracambi, is our online environmental leaders course. Which wouldn't have happened had we not been locked down with the schools closed for a whole year. 

Our second course is going very well, and this group is really getting down to business. We encourage them to reflect on the issues in their communities that they would really love to fix, figure out the underlying causes, and mobilize to solve the problem. And this group seems to be laser focused on sustainable lifestyle choices, as well as developing ways of dealing effectively with the problems of garbage collection and proper sanitation.   

So, whether they live in the tropical zone or in the deep south (which is temperate, in Brazil!), in a city or in the rural area, they all agree that Brazil is an amazing country, blessed with extraordinary natural resources, and we need to organize and take action, individually and collectively, to live more sustainably and protect our soils and water from further pollution.    

It's so encouraging to hear from so many articulate people of all  ages and all backgrounds who are  determined to make a difference in their communities. The students are telling us that lockdown has forced them to reflect on their lives and lifestyles, and they are excited to meet other environmental leaders and be able to strategize and work together. Oddly, isolation has, in many ways, brought us together.

While we're running our online course, we haven't forgotten our Young Ecoleaders and we're still hoping that we may be able to start hosting them again in the second semester. We're planning weekly lessons for 40 middle school children, with all manner of outdoors hands-on activities, and we know that the children are as eager to come back as we are eager to see them. So we'll be able to hit the ground running when the covid situation permits. 

Until that time, we're so grateful to you, dear donors, for your support, and we're grateful for the tech  solutions that enable us to work together even when we live thousands of miles apart! 

Stay well, and we look forward to bringing you more news of our environmental leaders online, 

with love from Yasmin and the Iracambi team 

    

Come back, Ecoleaders! We miss you
Come back, Ecoleaders! We miss you
Waiting for you, Ecoleaders!
Waiting for you, Ecoleaders!
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Environmental leaders (not all have cameras!)
Environmental leaders (not all have cameras!)

Dear lovely donors,

Greetings from the rainforest, and we really hope you are doing well at the end of a long hard winter (if you’re located in the northern hemisphere!)

Here at Iracambi we’re still operating online (thank goodness for Zoom – where would we be without it?!) And yesterday we kicked off our second course for Environmental Leaders with 36 students from Amapá on the border with Venezuela in the far north to Rio Grande do Sul, way down on the borders of Argentina and all points inbetween.

After our very successful first course we decided to pre-record the lessons and upload them onto the platform to allow more time for moving into breakout rooms, having more in depth discussions, and coming together to figure out practical solutions to some of the challenges that are raised in the small group discussions. And, judging from the feedback on Whatsapp today, the students love our new structure! 

Here's how it works. There are 15 lessons in five modules and students have one week to complete each module which contains a pre-recorded class, additional materials and videos, an ebook which covers all the modules, and a "live" online class where they come together to debate the topic of the week. We’ve also ensured that students cannot proceed to the next module until they have completed their assignments in the current one!

Topics covered include an introduction to the course, an introduction to Iracambi and the work of an environmental non-profit, climate change, covid 19 and its effects on environmental protection, soils and environmental degradation, forests and water, biodiversity, the impacts of mining, how to structure and execute an environmental project, how to lobby your local government, and how environmental leaders can contribute to society.

Sad as we are not to be able to work with the local schoolchildren – the teachers assure us that in this rural area with its precarious internet access it simply isn’t feasible for local children to work remotely – we are thrilled at the enthusiastic response to our online courses, and excited to see the energy and interest of the students from across the country. If we are to save the extraordinary biodiversity of the rainforests, we’re going to need all the environmental leaders we can find!

Thank you so much, dear donors, for your unwavering support for our education program. We couldn’t do it without you!

Please take care of yourselves, and we’ll tell you more in our next letter,

Rainforest love from

Yasmin and the Iracambi team

Yolanda loved the first lesson!
Yolanda loved the first lesson!

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Rainforest education in "normal" times
Rainforest education in "normal" times

Dear wonderful donors,

Greetings from the rainy rainforest where everything is a riot of blossom in the most brilliant colors imaginable – purple, yellow and more shades of green than you can possibly think of!

And a big thank you for all your generous donations – they are the secret sauce that encourages us to jump out of bed and get to work – in the forests, in the classroom, in the schools, on Zoom,  wherever we may be, as we make sure that our education programs are as good as they can be! 

And while we’re on the subject, we want to give a special shoutout to our regular donors who stand with us month after month, year after year, rain or shine. Iracambi visitors, students, directors, global change-makers, and friends old and new – thank you, you are the best!

And now for some exciting news. Our EcoLeaders program has been selected as a finalist for a global award in recognition of good practices in terms of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. How amazing is that? 

Now, in the interests of full disclosure, when we launched our environmental education programs, back in 2000, the SDGs hadn't even been defined. We just knew in our bones that school children and young people in this remote rural area had the same potential as their peers in the most privileged parts of the world. All they needed was access to the sort of educational opportunities that would excite, inspire and equip them to discover their inner scientist! 

Over the years our program has improved and expanded, and after 21 years we have introduced an entire generation of students to their first taste of rainforest science. And they have never forgotten it. 

Some have gone on to study at local universities - something of which their parents could never have dreamed. Some have themselves become teachers. But wherever they find themselves and whatever paths they have chosen to follow, we are honored to have played a part in expanding their horizons and helping them understand and appreciate the wonderful planet in which we live.   

It's been our privilege to play our part in this, and today, as the task is more urgent than ever before, we want to send you a big thank you for being our partners in this life-changing venture. We couldn't have done it without you!

Please look after yourselves and stay safe.  

Warm wishes from the rainny forest from 

Yasmin and the Iracambi team 

Education Brazil
Education Brazil
Sustainable Development Goals
Sustainable Development Goals
Rainforest education in "normal" times
Rainforest education in "normal" times

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Organization Information

Iracambi

Location: Rosario da Limeira, MG - Brazil
Website:
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Project Leader:
Marina Silva
Rosario da Limeira, MG Brazil
$95,050 raised of $110,000 goal
 
779 donations
$14,950 to go
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