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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
Collecting the micro-organisms
Collecting the micro-organisms

Dear wonderful donors,

It's time to send you an update from our neck of the woods, and this quarter has been all about getting our hands dirty. Which is something that kids love to do - as do many of us who are kids at heart!

As you may have noticed, the weather patterns have been unusual lately. "Unusual" in our part of the world has meant that the rains arrived a full three months late - which is serious if you live in a rainforest. As a result, our students, their friends and families, and everyone they could rope in, have been getting their hands dirty planting out native tree seedlings from our forest nursery while the rains are with us.

Together we've been working with local farm families in the Environmental Protection Areas to reforest in catchment areas around springs and on stream banks, and, in order to ensure that those young trees have the best possible start, we've been making organic fertiliser. Using the Bokashi method of composting, we create a rich mixture based on living micro-organisms (yeasts, bacteria and fungi collected from the forest floor) fermented with rice, water and molasses. It's easy, it's fun, and it's effective. It speeds natural decomposition of organic matter, helps plants absorb nitrogen, and creates a healthy micro-environment for the young trees. Practical, hands-on science in the field, and the students love it. So do the young trees. 

And it's because of your support that we're able to raise a new generation of committed young scientists - we couldn't do it without you. So please accept a big thank you to each one of you!

rainforest love,

Toni, Arielle, Gui, Binka and the Young Eco Leaders   

Forest floor
Forest floor
mix with rice
mix with rice
dried mix
dried mix
time to ferment
time to ferment
Bokashi mix - not cola!
Bokashi mix - not cola!

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The Great Tree Planting Day
The Great Tree Planting Day

Dear wonderful donors,

What a terrific year it has been down here in the rainforest and we want to let you know that things are going gangbusters, and we couldn't do it without you. So first of all, a big thank you to each one of you for being right behind us as we do what we can to get our local school kids excited about science! And secondly, GlobalGiving is giving out prizes the projects that raise the biggest number of regular donors. So if you'd consider becoming a regular donor that would be more than wonderful!  

And now a quick overview of the year. We've had our ups and downs - days when the school bus didn't run and the kids missed out, days when our communications went down and things went wrong. But we're raising a new generation of young environmentalists who are becoming increasingly engaged in environmental activism, in getting their hands dirty, in visiting farms and planting trees, in understanding how forest cover restores water resources and how the carbon cycle operates. And that makes it all worth it! 

Over the past few months our Eco Leaders took part in the fair of science and traditional knowledge, hiked through dense forest to the top of Itajuru mountain, and made visits to the recycling plant, the local hydro station and the water company. They were enthusiastic participants in a school-wide workshop on climate change, and also attended community meetings to discuss the environmental and social effects of bauxite mining.

And now we've stopped for the summer break and will be back on the job in a few weeks time. In the meantime we're raising a pair of baby toucans who fell out of their nest, so life goes on! Stay tuned for new developments, and thank you, thank you for your support! 

rainforest best wishes for a wonderful holiday season,

Gui, Toni, Binka and the Eco Leaders

Digging those holes
Digging those holes
Another tree planted!
Another tree planted!
Hungry toucans
Hungry toucans

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March for the Environment
March for the Environment

Greetings from the Young Eco-Leaders! 

In this report we are going to tell you about three things. First, a big success. Second, a big opportunity. And third, what our Eco-Leaders have been doing since we last reported.  

So here goes. 1. Our big success. Iracambi has just been declared joint winner of the prestigious Peer Award for Excellence in London! This award comes to us by courtesy of our fellow competitors - an impressive lineup of corporates and industry - in recognition of our excellent educational initiatives. Including, of course, our Young Eco-Leaders program.

2. Our big opportunity. Our wonderful partners in the Microsoft YouthSpark campaign (with Global Giving) have raised over $7.500,000 over the past three years for young people across the world, and are celebrating this by offering matching grants TODAY, Wednesday October 7th. Many of you have supported these matching donation days in the past and we'd love it if you could support us again. Here is how it works, and please donate if you can!  

All tax-free donations to the US site https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/young-eco-leaders-of-the-brazilian-rainforest/ will be eligible for matching funding - what a painless way to stretch your charitable donation!

To attract matching funding, donations must be made between 1200 pm and 1159 pm Eastern Daylight Time on Wednesday October 7th and must be made either by Paypal or by using your own credit card. No, friends, your spouse's credit card won't cut it. It's all to do with avoiding fraud! 

If you are donating from the UK site http://bit.ly/1HUJeIA the timing will be a little different - 5.00pm on Wednesday 7th October - 0459 am on Thursday 8th October - by which time we hope you will be tucked up in bed. Donations through the UK site may be made through Paypal, CAF Online, or your own credit or debit card. All donations to the UK site are eligible for Giftaid - just check the box to reclaim the Giftaid, and a additional 25% will be added to your donation!!

3. And now for the progress report. What, exactly, is your money supporting? 

Kids' education - and by extension, outreach and knowledge-sharing among the community. Like you, we believe that every child has a part to play in helping to bring about the future we want, and it's our job as parents and educators to help them develop their potential. Our focus is on leadership and care for the earth, and we're happy to report that our young Eco-Leaders are rising to the challenge!

They are increasingly interested and involved in some of the important issues that face their communities, and face us all - how to ensure that clean water, clean air, and good fresh food are available to everyone. How to care for the forest, the soils and water, and how to live within the capacity of the earth. 

They've lobbied the local water authority and got recycling bins so that the water supplies will no longer be contaminated by garbage. After planting and caring for forest trees, they've helped their families understand how trees protect and preserve our water resources. They've discovered that fencing wire is so expensive here that many farmers just can't afford to fence their animals out of the areas of newly planted trees, so they lobbied local government to donate fencing wire for areas of reforestation.   

They've taken part in public hearings about mining, and are gaining a good understanding of the complex issues involved so that they can share their findings with their families. They've worked with organic farmers, and learned how to raise healthy fresh food without using chemicals, and this past weekend they were part of a community March for the Environment.

We're raising up a new generation of leaders - one young person at a time. Thank you for being there with us - we couldn't do it without you! Please donate today if you can! 

with rainforest love,

Gui, Binka and the Young Ecoleaders  

Eco Leaders on the March
Eco Leaders on the March

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Mining Meeting in Belizario
Mining Meeting in Belizario

Dear friends of Young Eco-Leaders of the Rainforest,

It's winter in the south hemisphere, but certain themes have kept things hot in the Atlantic Rainforest!

We're at the end of July, school break for the school and also for the Young Eco-Leaders program. Important things have changed since we've last met, keeping our program leaders busy to adjust their plans for the next semester.

At the end of last month, right after our last class of the first semester, there was a meeting organized in Belizario to discuss bauxite mining in our community. To our surprise, there were five mining employees to answer questions and gather information about the community's position regarding the theme. The people who were present made clear that mining goes against all the plans we have for our region. We are in an important watershed, atlantic rainforest refuge and our people depend on the fertility of their lands to generate food and income. We've asked them, more than once, to please leave us and forget their plans for our area. Still, they've answered they would proceed with individual negotiations, following the modern moto of a society that privatizes profits and socialize losses (environment and social).

This situation created several themed community work groups, suh as communication, events, education, law, politics and education, which now mobilize actions in all the spheres with a chance to push back the mining iniciatives.

Thus, our program Young Eco-Leaders of the Rainforest is now part of the community education mobilization, and on the next semester we'll learn as much as we can about bauxite mining, providing our youth a solid base to act as knowledge multipliers, leading iniciatives in the school from the inside.

And as we were on vacation, we also had a chance to have fun! We organized a trail to Itajuru Peak, the highest in southeast of Serra do Brigadeiro State Park. We began the trail real early, 6:00 a.m., which might explains why half of our group were absent and the sleepy faces in the pictures. Still, for those who joined us for a hiking day in the state park, they had a priviledged perspective to comtemplate nature's richness, our community's landscape and all the wonderfull and vulnerable things of this place called home.

Thanks for supporting our program. Your contribution was never so important as it is now.

Gui, Binka, and all the Young Eco-Leaders Team

Young Eco-Leaders participating in the meeting
Young Eco-Leaders participating in the meeting
Trail to Itajuru  - Starting Point/sleepy faces
Trail to Itajuru - Starting Point/sleepy faces
Itajuru Peak - 1640m above sea level
Itajuru Peak - 1640m above sea level

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Visit to Muriaes biggest Water Treatment Station
Visit to Muriaes biggest Water Treatment Station

Hello, dear friends of the Young Eco-Leaders!

It’s been almost two months since our program started, and we have lots to share!

The first good news is that, in partnership with Belizario’s local church, we’ve managed to convince the water supply company to give the district the use of one of their big trucks twice a week so they can send their recyclable waste to a recycling association in Muriae. Recycling is of major importance for places like Belizario and Rosario da Limeira which lie above gigantic bauxite mines (the second largest in Brazil) – aluminum is the most profitable material recycled material, so the more that is recycled by the communities, the less mining companies will feel the need to exploit the currently untouched local resources. Iracambi´s community mobilization in a recent past was crucial to preserve natural resources and forest fragments. A strong society organization supported by Iracambi is therefore critical to deterring the mining companies.

And where do the Young Eco-Leaders fit in this initiative? Leading, of course. They are going to be part of the community mobilization, visiting houses and educating people on how to separate their recyclable waste and put organic waste in good use. Isn’t that cool?

Our current semester is well underway, and we have just concluded our first theme: water. After some classroom learning on the topic, the students helped our volunteer Jacqueline Reu with her water quality project, carrying out practical research using bio-indicators in Iracambi’s streams. As part of this topic, we also took them to the biggest water treatment station in Muriae, so they could check out how the water flows in urban context. We also visited two rural producers: one who has no more water in his property after the hard drought and now depends on a good relationship with his neighbor to live and produce; and another one who believes his farm is a good model of how to effectively manage water resources. We wrapped up our water theme by discussing how climate change is impacting the rain cycle and our relationship with water. In just two months we have visited a lot of places and involved our students in a whole range of activities related to environmentalism and leadership. But this year has just begun, and we have much more ground to cover. The next topic will be food, an extremely important theme in a region mainly composed by rural family producers, and we’re all looking forward to have more practical activities as the program continues.

And, once again, it is important to say that all these wonderful things are only possible because of people like you, dear friends and supporters, who put your faith in us.

With our rainforest regards,

Gui, Binka, Robin and all the Young Eco-Leaders!


 

Young Eco-Leaders exploring the Rainforest!
Young Eco-Leaders exploring the Rainforest!
Limeiras Team
Limeiras Team
First meeting with Belizarios Team
First meeting with Belizarios Team

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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
$73,232 raised of $97,000 goal
 
656 donations
$23,768 to go
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