5th June. World Environment Day

On the occasion of June the 5th, World Environment Day, from Entreculturas we want to denounce the impact that this environmental degradation is causing in the Amazon population.

The Ecosystem destruction through the indiscriminate deforestation or the rivers contamination, damages directly the indigenous and rural population traditional way of living in the Amazon. This extortion makes that whole families are forced to migrate to urban agglomeration looking for another alternatives to survive.

Now it is true that the difficulties to get a space in the urban area are not few, and the lack of purchasing power and professional training make it worse. These factors cause that migrated population finish settle down in the poorest areas in town, building their own house with wood and pieces of uralita and canvas and suffering serious unhealthy conditions.

In Manaus, for example, these settlements are named as "igarapés" (what means "flooded areas"). It is a overcrowding of wooden houses built over the river, without sewer systems, where all kind of rubbish and wastages accumulate in the water. They also have no neither electricity nor public health services, security and education. All this come together the serious violence and alcoholism growing up problems because these are marginal and politically unattended areas. The unemployment rate is very high and the children's access to education is reduced; many of this people has no chance but attend the governmental assistance programs such as "bolsa escuela" and "bolsa familia" with the consequence effect in their self-esteem.


Entreculturas supports education in marginal areas in the Amazon

For these reasons, from Entreculturas we are supporting the recent creation of the "Movimiento de Educación Popular Fe y Alegría" (Popular Education, Faith and Joy Movement) in the Brazilian Amazon. A project that aims to guarantee the access to education of the most disadvantaged children where it is possible.

Law quality affects mainly this population, as the upper/middle class children can allow themselves the access to private schools. The most disadvantage young people find enormous difficulties to pass the entrance examination for the Universities or the Superior Technical Education. As a result of this they have less opportunity of appropriate professional training and labour integration in fair conditions, what promotes at the same time the existence of social phenomenon as violence, drugs, juvenile bands, low employment, exclusion and marginalization.

In this scenario, the Escuela Alternativa de Fe y Alegría in Manaus (Brazil) gives us signs of hope. After only three months since the beginning, the extra supports classrooms offered to young people between 14 and 17 years in the most disadvantaged areas are bearing fruits. This young people still attending the official school, take the most of their free time to attend English, Portuguese classes and those subjects that in general are a key to get the University degree and get into the labour world.

By now, 60 pupils are taking the most of this project, however Fe y Alegría intends to doubled the number of pupils in coming years.

The action supported by Entreculturas tries to given a chance to these disadvantaged children to become good professionals working at the same time to improve the situation of their communities.

 "One long term basic goal we have in the "Escuela Alternativa de Fe y Alegría" is to get citizens different, more involved in the improvement of their regions, citizens that regardless of their job and the place they are living, in such a way are conscious about the idea that society non only needs workers but persons ..... Persons interested in improving the life of the others..." says Margaret, Escuela Alternativa de Fe y Alegria - Manaus Coordinator.