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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
teachers falling in love with the forest day
teachers falling in love with the forest day

Dear donors, supporters and friends across the world,

In spite of horrendous rains and flooding we managed to hit the (very muddy) ground running, in preparation for the 2020 school year - which, as you may know, starts After Carnaval. (And Carnaval, in case you missed it, is this week!) 

In fact the school year starts at the beginning of February, but it doesn't really get going until After Carnaval. But the first days of the school year are super important, because this is the time when we have to ensure that our program gets inserted into the school calendar, and the best way to do this is to get the teachers really excited about it.The kids love us to bits, but sometimes we have to work hard to convince the teachers - and that's what we've been focusing on. 

So when we get invited to Staff Training Days, it's our job to ensure that the teachers have a wonderful time and that Staff Training Day becomes Staff Falling in Love with the Forest Day. And our EcoLeaders team has been working with the State Association of Environmental Educators and running around the local schools to make sure that the teachers catch something of the vision. 

Muddy roads, sporadic power cuts, internet outages, we can face them all on our quest to make sure that the teachers understand that sending the students into the forest is far more than an enjoyable outing - although it's that too! So we do what it takes to get the teachers on board, and this year is looking really good. Lots of teachers tell us they're looking forward to hosting us in the classrooms and sending the children into the forest - when the roads improve!  

All of which will be starting as from the next week or so, and school will continue right through the end of the year.

With your help, dear donors, we'll be able to do great things with the 2,000 students that we aim to include in this year's program. Two thousand young champions to help save the world. How exciting is that? 

Thank you for being on this journey with us, and please tell your friends and family, and ask them to tell their networks, and support us if they can! The more young champions we raise, the better the chance for the future of the forests - which affects us all, wherever we live.

And you're always welcome to come visit, if you're ever in our neck of the woods!

with love from Marina and EcoLeaders team

PS Please check out the video link we're enclosing and meet EcoLeader Kalwan!  

Forest Supporters circle
Forest Supporters circle
Widening the circle
Widening the circle

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The end of the year is upon us and here in the forest we’re not short of rain. The trees are overjoyed with the amount of rain that has fallen over the past weeks, which adds to our happiness when we look back at another spectacular year.

The most recent news of the year is really inspiring - we’ve hosted almost a hundred children this past quarter, and our hearts are full of hope to see the new generation that is emergeing with an ever increasing understanding that our environment urgently needs protecting.

In addition to this we also participated in training sessions for local teachers, aimed at encouraging them to give more prominence to environmental issues in their classrooms. Twenty teachers took part in this training, carried out in partnership with the Regional Interagency Commission on Environmental Education.

Project activities this quarter focused on the human body and our relationship with the natural world, students were invited to take off their shoes, lie on the ground and feel the energy connecting them directly with the forest.

As they closed their eyes they could better hear the sounds of the animals in the forest, feel the wind on their faces, and learn that everything in the earth is energy and it’s that which recycles the nutrients in the soil and nourishes the trees. And it’s the energy from plants that feeds us too!

Along with their teachers, the students also learned about the medicinal plants in the forest and their uses according to traditional knowledge, and they painted their faces with anatto, just as our indigenous relatives do. You can imagine what a party it was with all those faces painted!

In this way all the students who visited Iracambi this quarter learned in practice that everything that we do to protect nature is returned to us through the energy and healing powers of plants. So once we know this we begin to understand that, it’s up to us to take better care of Planet Earth, right?

And. following this train of thought, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who support our project and are partners in raising a new generation of young ecoleaders. We’d love to count on your support next year too, and, of course, on Giving Tuesday (December 3nd.)

And so we send you our very best wishes for the holiday season, wishing you the same abundance that the rains are bringing to the forest!

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BUILDING PARTNERSHIPS WITH THE MAGIC OF NATURE

As we mentioned in our last report, we recently received around 40 teachers and students from a neighbouring school for a fun-filled day of discovery and hiking here in the beautiful Atlantic Rainforest.

To prepare for the long walk we did a warm up activity, mimicking the behavior of animals and plants that live in the forest. 

After setting off, the group soon came across many natural treasures which they were asked to memorize. Both the children and the teachers entered the forest with curious excitement. The hike was fantastic, full of fun facts and curiosities such as a small caterpillar hanging by an invisible thread that floated above our heads like magic!

But nature is full of magic,  just like the small seeds that grow into entire forests that delight young and old alike, enabling endless opportunities to bring people together.

Speaking of people coming together, the highlight of this quarter was marked by partnering with FOREA - Regional Forum for Environmental Education, whose forums are extremely important in the process of transformation of environmental education in the Serra do Brigadeiro region.

Through the participation of this Forum, Iracambi trained 50 teachers in using sensory, hands-on methods to generate impactful learning outcomes. In the training workshops teachers realized that it is possible to connect classroom learning to environmental education in spaces within the neighborhood, community square and even in the school yard itself, making a real TRANSFORMATION in the lives of students.

Through the magic of nature, training and activities with the children in the forest, everybody wins. So to YOU dear donor, we say a massive THANK YOU for playing an indispensable role in our mission of Saving Forests and Transforming Lives!

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The end of the holidays arrived in March and the Ecoleaders project is back at work! So we’ve been taking our international volunteers to the local village school, where they got to share stories about the natural environment where they live - for example Jamaica and Florida. The volunteers and the kids had a blast- through a rich exchange of smiles and knowledge.

These kids also visited Iracambi and hiked our Atlantic Rainforest trails. During the forest hikes, they made many discoveries about the forest. They also had the opportunity to learn a few words in English while interacting with our volunteers- all native English speakers.

During this past trimester, school visits for the end of the year were also set up. The next activities, which will be in the schools will enormously enrich the Ecoleaders program, because we believe that if we start inside the classrooms, we’ll be able to get the kids excited about nature before they go into the forest. After the classroom activities aimed at  stimulating interest in the environment, the kids become more excited about taking part in outdoor activities, where they absorb much more knowledge from the forest.

Great things will be happening this year! Next week we'll be hosting a big school visit from Ervlália ( a neighboring town,) The students will  be hiking in our forest trails and learning about Mother Nature through fun activities, as well having the chance to interact with our international volunteers and a group of Brazilian students who will also be on campus. But the details of this visit we’ll be sharing in our next report which will be full of fresh new stories of the Atlantic Rainforest!

Iracambi and the children you have helped want to send you a big thank you for everyting you do  to support us. 

A warm rainforest hug to you all of you!

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It’s a great start to 2019 as our Eco Leader program that began last year continues to grow in leaps and bounds. Thanks to the funds raised, we have been able to deliver the program both in local schools and those in surrounding towns.

We believe that our method of teaching about the Atlantic Rainforest must be replicated in other regions so that more educators and even parents, can be trained to share our way of caring for nature.

This trimester we took advantage of the school summer holidays and focused part of our efforts on family visits.  We received several visitors, but one that stood out in particular was that of Barbara and her family from Brasilia, the busy urban capital of Brazil which is the complete opposite of our Atlantic Rainforest.

Barbara brought her sons Téo and David, two children who did not like the outdoors, as they were used to playing only in their apartment and at school. The challenge was to get them to connect to nature and enjoy it!

We embraced the challenge, adopting the mission of the Eco Leaders program to inspire a love for nature in young people.  It did not get off to a great start, as the children arrived to a very different environment from their city life and were soon protesting that they wanted to return home.

In the end, after helping to build campfires, frog hunting at night and birdwatching in the morning, everything changed, and two little boys who were once opposed to nature and the outdoors were now captivated by it. By the time they had to leave Téo and David were asking; "Mum, when are we coming back? Because next time we want to climb that tall tree!’’.

And so our mission impossible became a magical victory, because when a child expresses a desire to return, we generate an unconscious desire to protect and preserve the place where precious memories were made.

In addition to Barbara’s family, another highlight of the family visits was little Larissa. Larissa accompanied her family on her first trail through the forest that led to a beautiful stream of crystal clear water.

Larissa was so engaged and curious on her walk that she picked up the casing of a Cicada insect to study it under an electronic magnifying glass back in our laboratory. Both Larissa and her family were amazed by the perfect impression the cicada had left behind when it shed its shell.

During the visits there was no shortage of children expressing their excitement and wonder, Larissa exclaiming;” Wow! Isn’t it beautiful daddy? We cannot let people cut down the forests because there are so many cool things inside!’’.

The holiday season is drawing to a close here in Brazil, finishing with carnival which Iracambi will be sure not to miss! Did you know that in 2018 the world-famous carnival in Rio de Janeiro, produced more than 400 tons of garbage?!

This is a huge problem, but as always Iracambi is doing its part with the help of our good friend Rafael, from the town of Guarani.  Rafael has created beautiful sustainable pieces from fallen leaves to decorate the rooms of Hotel Fazano in Rio de Janeiro during the carnival season, promoting environmental awareness to guests.

Rafael enlisted the help of the Eco Leaders team to deliver a workshop on the theme of preserving the Atlantic Rainforest in his town of Guarani. The workshop was carried out in the town square where in addition to helping create the hotel pieces, children were treated to various Eco Leader activities and connected with the theme of the garbage produced during carnival.

The workshop was a fantastic success, with the council’s Head of Education later informing us that it was the first activity on carnival and the environment, and that the children got so involved they did not want to return to their classrooms!

And so we conclude our first trimester of 2019, producing inspiring and sustainable decor, promoting sustainable alternatives for our everyday activities and transforming attitudes and families, such as those of Larissa, Téo and David.

We are so pleased to be completing our mission and happier still that you are with us, doing your part!

The Eco Leaders team is extremely grateful for all your donations.  

Thank you!

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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
$72,344 raised of $97,000 goal
 
618 donations
$24,656 to go
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