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Project Report GVI Phoenix Brazil 6 Month Report - Jan-June 2011

Project Report GVI Phoenix Brazil 6 Month Report - Jan-June 2011

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This is the documentation of the work of GVI Phoenix in Brazil during January - June 2011.
This is the documentation of the work of GVI Phoenix in Brazil during January - June 2011.

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GVI Phoenix / Brazil

Literacy, Numeracy and Childcare Project

Six month Report January – June 2011

GVI Phoenix Brazil Report Submitted in whole to Global Vision International

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Produced by Emma Astles – Phoenix Brazil Project Manager Dom Williams – Latin America Regional Director And Eraldo Barbosa Andréa Santos Sonia Maria dos Santos Ana Claudia dos Santos Roberto Carlos ‘Choppi’ Andréa Lima Adam Krause Vita Shapland-Howes Alina Wahl Phillip Butter Sarah Moll Amine Nedjai Joshua Pugh Kevin Glynn Michalis Onisiforou Joseph de Graft Ahenkorah Misha Abbas Sunil Patel School Director Teacher School Cook School Cook Maintenance Maintenance Project Coordinator Project Coordinator Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Keira Henderson Rachel Titcomb Flora Linklater Elise Frederick Jane Stratton Colin Carroll Thomas Brooks Camila Sears Serena Sears Chris Ross Marianne Pennings Catriona Benzie Theodore Schlegel Ria Saigal Olivia Aguilera Rose-Lynn McCarthy Sarah Lilly Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer

GVI Phoenix Brazil Address: Avenida Princesa Isabel, 341, Edificio Milano, Apartamento 303, Barra, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, 40130-030 Email: phoenixbrazil@gviworld.com Web page: http://www.gvi.co.uk and http://www.gviusa.com Blog: gviphoenix.blogspot.com

Executive Summary
During the six month period January to June 2011 student attendance at the school project in Mata Escura rose from 63.1% to 70.2%. Children continue to miss school due to a highprevalence of illness and as a result of temporary migration as their parents search for employment. We are witnessing significant improvement during periods of poor weather, evidencing a greater commitment to attendance amongst parents.

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Enrolment at the school has risen from 51 students at the start of the 6 month period to 85 students currently registered. A 4th class was opened in March 2011 and the students are now divided as follows: Class 1 – crèche (maternal), Class 2 – 3-4 years, Class 3 – 4-5 years, Class 4 – 6-11 years. Of the 85 students registered 12 attend for reinforcement classes in addition to studying at the local colegio. We have continued to witness a considerable degree of student migration during the period January to June 2011. The population of the favelas is very fluid (see 1.1) and this often results in children being absent from school for long periods of time, with school staff unaware of when or if they will return. Due to continued financial hardship in the favela, unemployment and social problems creating additional drains on economic resources (see 1.1 and 1.2) the children continue to show signs of malnutrition. The improved school meals, daily fruit and weekend food parcels introduced since our arrival in June 2010 continue to have a positive effect however and we are seeing signs of weight gain, lower incidence of illness and improved concentration. In April 2011 we completed installation of a new roof for classroom 2, the school reception and office. The old roof had leaked water during the rainy season, at times flooding classroom 2 and damaging materials in the school office. In May 2011 heavy rain caused a wall in the school playground to collapse. This happened outside school hours and there were no casualties. Following this collapse we completed extensive works to extend the playground and reconstruct the wall on more secure ground. This has resulted in a safer and larger playground for this children, including a shaded area for quiet play. In June 2011 we opened a new classroom at the school, bringing the total of operational classrooms at the school to 5. In addition to the new classroom an indoor playroom has also been completed, providing the children with a recreational space during the rainy season. This room also has the capacity to be converted into a further classroom should enrolment continue to increase.

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In June 2011 10 staff members and volunteers completed the First Annual Phoenix Brazil Charity Challenge. The Challenge consisted of a 3 day trek and abseil through the state´s Chapada Diamantina national park, arriving at the top of Brazil´s highest waterfall, the breathtaking Cachoeira de Fumaça. In excess of GBP 6000 was raised and this money will be used to secure the salaries of the local staff during the coming 12 months and is of vital importance to our continued operation.

In summary, there have been many successes at the new Mata Escura Phoenix project during the period June-December 2010:

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Over 3,100 teaching hours have been completed by the staff and volunteers to children from 18 months to 11 years old.

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Over 2,100 baths have been given to the children, the majority of whom do not have running water at home.

3 Over 4,200 pieces of fruit have been distributed 4 Over 4,200 breakfasts distributed 5 Over 4,200 hot, balanced lunches served to the children 6 Over 2,940 afternoon snacks provided 7 Over 840 weekend food parcels have been sent home with the students to help ensure they
are fed whilst not at the school. 8 9 5 local Bahians receive regular income 1 new classroom has been constructed

10 1 new indoor playroom has been constructed. 11 A new roof has been installed on the upstairs classroom and school reception. 12 A collapsed wall in the playground has been repaired and the area extended.

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Table of Contents Executive Summary...........................................................................................................ii Table of Contents...............................................................................................................v List of Figures.....................................................................................................................v 1.1 Introduction..................................................................................................................7 1.2 Financial situation of our target families...................................................................10 1.2.1 Bolsa Familia .........................................................................................................10 1.2.1 The Cesta Basica...................................................................................................11 1.2.2 Put into numbers.....................................................................................................11 1.2.3 Additional costs.......................................................................................................11 1.2.4 Conclusion..............................................................................................................12 2.0 Mata Escura community teaching.............................................................................12 2.1 Objectives..................................................................................................................14 2.1.1 Literacy and numeracy...........................................................................................14 2.1.2 Food and fruit..........................................................................................................15 2.1.3 Celebrations............................................................................................................16 2.2 Classroom-based Teaching.......................................................................................17 2.2.1 Training and Methods.............................................................................................17 2.2.2 Achievements in Mata Escura................................................................................18 2.2.3 English in Mata Escura...........................................................................................21 3.0 Financial Support.......................................................................................................21 3.1 Charity Challenge 2011 ............................................................................................22 3.2 GVI Charitable Trust..................................................................................................22 4.0 References.................................................................................................................22 List of Figures
Fig. 1 – Classrooms in Mata Escura Fig. 2 – Volunteer teaching numeracy Fig. 3 – Lunchtime Fig. 4 – Children at the Christmas party Fig. 5 – Volunteers in a teaching workshop Fig. 6 – Group of older students Fig. 7 – Students studying hard Fig. 8 – New classroom under construction Fig 9.- Staff and volunteers preparing to do a 50m rappel during the Challenge Fig. 10 – Happy kids

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1.1 Introduction
The Global Vision International (GVI) Phoenix Project was initiated in Guatemala in 2002 in San Andrés Itzapa, a Kaqchikel-speaking indigenous community. Soon after, in 2004, another project was opened in Santa María de Jesús, aswell, Kaqchikel-speaking. In the same year, Phoenix started operations in Honduras, firstly on fresh water tubing projects then later on, working in Estanzuela and then San Rafael at the beginning of 2006. Work commenced in Barbasco in 2010. Many of the older population speak Chortí. The Phoenix Secondary school was founded in 2008 in San Rafael. In 2005, operations started in Ecuador, in the Kichwaspeaking communities of Urcusiqui, Muenala and Huayrapungo, with a new community, Larcacunga, starting in 2007. In 2006 work began in Perú, primarily in Socabaya though then moving to two Quechua-speaking (the “people’s speech”) communities in Sachaca outside the base town of Arequipa; Maldonado and Triunfo. Work commenced in a third community, Chiguata, in 2010. Our work around Estelí, Nicaragua started in La Thompson in January 2009 and Chiriza in 2010. Most recently in June 2010, the Phoenix Brazil project was opened in the favela of Mata Escura, on the periphery of the city of Salvador in the North-East of the country. It is GVI Phoenix’s belief that one of the most effective ways of improving standards of living is through education, though this is not always forthcoming to peripheral communities, especially in the communities in which we work. Phoenix projects are based on 25-year cycles, where the youngest child when we start a project will have their own family and will be looking to put their children through education. With the education we have given them and the better job opportunities that come with this, it is hoped they will be able to afford the education for their own children, thus Phoenix becomes sustainable. Salvador is the poorest city in Brazil and capital of Bahia, the poorest state. Statistics show that 53.5% of Salvador’s population of 2.9 million people live below the poverty line, this is compared to a national average of 31.06% (index mundi). Salvador has the largest proportion of the population of African descent outside of Africa – the figure stands at 81% (BBC). Whilst Brazil is a generally well integrated country, there still remains a degree of institutionalised prejudice and a lack of opportunities for the African descendent population of Salvador. The vast favelas which are located around Salvador’s periphery are almost exclusively inhabited

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by the African descendent population, many of whom are recent migrants to the city. The rural population leave the drought ravaged interior of the state for the capital looking for work, however employment prospects are slim. Unemployment for the African descendent population stands at 27%, whilst white unemployment in the city is at 18.5%. In addition to this the average salary for the African descendent population is 50% less than the average salary for white ‘Soteiropolitanos’ (inhabitants of the city of Salvador) (Salvador Info). Crime is at endemic levels throughout the city, which is the capital of the state’s marijuana and cocaine trafficking industry. Gang violence in the favelas is also on the increase. The current murder rate in Salvador stands at 36.2 per 100,000 inhabitants (O Globo), compared to a national average of 25.2. To put this into context, a recent study ranked the country of El Savador as the ‘murder capital’ of the world, with 48.8 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants, Colombia ranks 2nd with 43.8 homicides per 100,000 and Venezuela 3rd with 29.5 (RITLA). If Salvador were a country, it would rank 3rd on this list. Despite widespread publicity of these critical levels of violence, crime still attracts many adolescents who are drawn by the notion of an easy route to improving their financial status and feel there are few other options open to them. The number of adolescents involved in drug trafficking in the city has increased by 800% since 2006, with 223 under-16s prosecuted for drug trafficking offences in Salvador during 2010 (Correio). In a discussion about what the children wanted to do when they grew up, one 5 year old student at the school told Phoenix project staff that he wanted ‘to be a thief, because a thief gets everything he wants and doesn’t have to work for it’, this same child had witnessed his own father, who was involved in the local drug trade, shot dead in front of him by the police just a month earlier. Another major issue faced by the inhabitants of Salvador’s favelas is poor public health and sanitation. Almost 1/3 of the city does not have sewage lines or septic tanks (Salvador Info). Infant mortality stands at 24.42 per 1000 live births, the national average for Brazil is 18.91. Most recent studies show 10.72% of Salvador’s babies are born seriously underweight and 10.21% of children aged 6 and under are classified as malnourished. Tuberculosis levels are rising, currently standing at 120.99 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, vastly higher than the national level of 41.74 (Ministry of Health). The favela of Mata Escura is seriously affected by the problems of crime, poor public health, a lack of sanitation and chronic unemployment. Housing in the community is very poor with the

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large majority of families living in one room dwellings. The town is home to the state prison of Bahia and many of the inhabitants originally located there to be close to relatives who are or were inmates. As a result the favela suffers from additional stigma which negatively affects its inhabitants and prevents the area from obtaining the same upward mobility that some favelas have experienced. Illiteracy levels in the area are high. Levels of illiteracy for Bahia as a whole stand at 19.8%, whilst there are no official figures for favelas such as Mata Escura, levels here are undoubtedly higher than the state average (Index Mundi). Other serious social problems affecting the area include drug and alcohol abuse, prostitution, teenage pregnancy and violence – both domestic and gang related. Almost all of the families that we are working with are affected by one or more of the above. It is GVI Phoenix’s belief that one of the most effective ways of improving standards of living is through education, though this is not always available in the poorest of communities, such as Mata Escura. Mata Escura has a population of just over 100,000 people. There are 2 state schools in the town, which accept children from age 7 upwards, however students are required to purchase their own uniforms and school materials, something which is often out of the financial reach of the families we are working with (see 1.2). Inability to pay for uniforms and materials causes many children to drop out or never enter the education system. We must also consider the fact that by 7 years old many children have developed an earning potential for their families or are simply looking after themselves for the majority of the day and do not enter school. The only alternative option for pre-7 years schooling in the favela is a private crèche – enrolment at which is not a possibility for GVI Phoenix’s target families. As children become older motives for dropping out of education increase as their earning potential rises. A very large number of school age children in Salvador work as street vendors, selling newspapers, refreshments etc, renting deck chairs on the beaches, shining shoes in the commercial district or in other low paid roles in the service and tourist industries. In addition to this the migratory patterns of the population, who come and go from the city and the favelas looking for employment, affect children’s school attendance and ultimately result in dropouts. Teenage pregnancy is also another serious obstacle to the completion of schooling. Currently national rates for enrolment in

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secondary school stand at 79% and are undoubtedly less favourable in the poor state of Bahia. This shows a large drop off from the 98% of 7 year olds who enter primary education (UNESCO). Since arriving in Mata Escura we have noted that the children often appear extremely tired in school. We have noted signs of sleep deprivation, including poor concentration, susceptibility to illness and sleepiness and irritability in the mornings. We find the children are prone to falling asleep at their desks. Many mothers work late in the evenings, in domestic employment and also in prostitution. Families are also affected by alcoholism and parents often stay out in the local bars until very late in the evening. As a result we are aware that many students habitually stay up, often out in the streets until the early hours of the morning. Recently our school director Eraldo found a group of our 5 year old students playing out in the favela at 4am in the morning. Due to family problems and cramped living conditions, when the children do sleep at home this sleep is often disturbed. Illness is common amongst the students, with skin parasites such as ringworm reaching endemic levels during various periods throughout the year. We have also witnessed a very high prevalence of fungal skin infections, which have caused scarring and hair loss.. Many ailments go without medical attention, in particular insect bites, which in dirty living conditions and a tropical climate quickly become infected. Coughs and colds are also common, especially during the rainy season.

1.2 Financial situation of our target families
The following reveals the short-comings of family income and reasons behind lack of education, mal-nourishment and lack of access to healthcare (GVI Phoenix).

1.2.1 Bolsa Familia
The majority of the parents that GVI Phoenix is working with in Mata Escura are unemployed and living on the ‘Bolsa Familia’, Brazil’s recently introduced social security cheque. This may from time to time be supplemented by irregular work, such as clothes washing or leaflet distributing, but for the large majority of parents the Bolsa Familia is the only regular form of income. The Bolsa Familia is capped at a maximum of of R$160 per month, for a family with 4 children under 16, after 4 children the amount does not increase. R$160 is equivalent to US $85 per month. With prices in Brazil more closely equated to European countries than the rest of South America, this figure does not go very far at all. Some families may benefit from occasional, unofficial work, which tops up what they receive from the Bolsa Familia, however

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based on the number of children they have many families also do not qualify for the full R$160 maximum allowance, therefore it is fair to take R$160 as a average monthly income for our target families.

1.2.1 The Cesta Basica
The Cesta Basica, is a tool used for tracking the cost of the basic foodstuffs needed to feed a family for one month, it includes staple products such as cooking oil, beans, rice, milk, meat and vegetables etc. Due to massive variations across the vast nation of Brazil it is necessary to focus on the city of Salvador when examining these figures. The official current cost of the Cesta Basica in Salvador is R$210.64 per month (Departamento Intersindical de Estatística e Estudos Socioeconômicos, DIEESE) based on a family of five. The cost of the cesta basica is also negatively affected by annual inflation, which in Salvador is currently at 5,08% (DIEESE). If we consider that for the majority of our target families the only source of income is the Bolsa Familia, capped at R$160 per month, we can immediately see problems arising. The table below puts these figures into a more digestible context:

1.2.2 Put into numbers
Family Monthly Income in USD$: $85 Cesta Basica in USD$: $118 Remaining in USD$: -$33

1.2.3 Additional costs
From the -$33 bottom line, one must also deduct the following: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Drinking and drugs, on average, alcohol and drug abuse can use from a third to a half of the family income: Illness, medicines Transport – need to travel into Salvador Clothing Elderly relatives, unable to work Family events, like births, weddings, deaths Loan repayments Mobile phone credit/Electricity Bills – to look for work families require access to a

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telephone One must take into account that this extra money has to come from the family income, which would have gone into the Cesta Basica Put into figures, calculated on a monthly basis, based over one year: Family Income: Drinking and drugs: Medicines: Unforeseen events: Transport: Clothing: Elderly relatives: Family events: Loan repayments: Balance: $85 -$28 -$4.16 -$4.16 -$16.66 -$8.3 -$6.25 - $10.00 $3.31 (based on a third of income) (based on $50 a year) (based on $50 a year) (based on $200 a year*) (based on $100 a year) (based on $75 a year) (based on $120 a year) (based on $50 a year)

from Cesta Basica

Mobile phone/electricity: - $4,16

Note, that in the above table, nothing has been taken into account for food. After deduction of all of the above costs $3.31 is left to feed the family each month, dramatically less than the $118 required to purchase the Cesta Basica.

1.2.4 Conclusion
Using these figures, one can deduce the reason why children are mal-nourished, uneducated, unclothed, receive little medical care etc. The family income just is not enough for all the eventualities of life.

2.0 Mata Escura community teaching
We currently work in one community, Mata Escura, the first language is Portuguese and families are predominantly unemployed and claiming the Bolsa Familia. The majority of families are single parent. Those parents that work are employed in domestic service, prostitution, unofficial and irregular work– such as washing clothes, unloading materials, washing cars or street vending. Adult iliteracy is moderately high, and more prevalent amongst women.

Mata Escura 12

In June 2010 we began work at the Educandario Creche Comunitaria Sonho Vovo Clara (‘Educational Community Creche Grandmother Clara’s Dream’) in Mata Escura on the periphery of the city of Salvador. The school was founded in 2004 by local man Eraldo Barbosa who wanted to provide a safe environment for mothers to leave their children, enabling them to look for work and improve their families’ situation. The school is housed on land belonging to Eraldo. When GVI Phoenix arrived in June 2010 a severe lack of funding had caused student numbers to dwindle to just 12. The buildings were in a state of disrepair, the school was 100% reliant on food donations so meals were erratic and there was no teacher or educational direction. Children spent the majority of each day playing with a handful of broken toys, sleeping or sitting in silence. Since then, with the hard work of volunteers and the school staff the atmosphere and productivity of the school has been overhauled. Student numbers have grown to 85. 3 more classrooms, a playroom, a new kitchen, a playground and a new playing field have been constructed. Repairs have been carried out throughout the school and a new roof installed. The children have been divided into 4 classes based on age and ability and receive 3 hours of teaching per day from volunteers, 3 hot meals and a piece of fresh fruit.

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Fig. 1 – children doing arts and crafts in Mata Escura

2.1 Objectives
GVI Phoenix’s objectives for working in Mata Escura are to provide free, first-time and sustainable education for children who would otherwise not have access to education due to economic or social constraints. Many families also do not understand the need for education, so getting the children into school is one of the challenges. Working with children on a full time basis from 18 months to 7 years we have a unique opportunity to provide access to literacy and numeracy teaching that they may not be in a position to obtain when they reach national school age. We also offer reinforcement classes for children studying in the national school system, which is notoriously blighted by overcrowding, strikes, closures, lack of resources and poor teaching standards. Our work can be divided into the following parts:

2.1.1 Literacy and numeracy
To provide first-time teaching in basic literacy and numeracy and continued teaching in the latter and also both natural and social science, arts and crafts. English is taught for the older children who attend for reinforcement classes and we are looking to open this out to adolescents and adults in the local community.

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Fig. 2 – Volunteer teaching numeracy

2.1.2 Food and fruit
To provide daily fruit, breakfast and 2 hot meals for the children, so their vitamin intake is higher, they have something in their stomachs to enable them to concentrate and their susceptibility to illness is reduced. We are also providing weekend and holiday food packages to help ensure the children are fed whilst not at school.

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Fig. 3 – lunchtime

2.1.3 Celebrations
We feel it is important to celebrate the various occasions in Brazil, not least the children’s birthdays, which we do each month. Other celebrations include Day of the Child, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Independence Day, Black History Day and Christmas.

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Fig. 4 Children at the Christmas party

2.2 Classroom-based Teaching
The volunteers teach their own classes, in Portuguese, with help from more experienced volunteers and/or GVI Phoenix staff. They must lesson plan, using the curriculum and textbooks provided, along with other materials we have. Any costs incurred to undertake their classes are reimbursed.The majority of volunteers choose to take Portuguese classes at the beginning of their program.

2.2.1 Training and Methods
Using the Brazilian curriculum for day to day teaching, volunteers can plan lessons as per what is being taught in national school, with the vocabulary needed shown in the books. All lessons are conducted in Portuguese. One-on-one teaching workshops and group lesson planning meetings are carried out in the community to provide extra support. A presentation is given on teaching during the first week the volunteer is in the project, which is given in conjunction with the Teaching Manual that is sent to the volunteer before arrival in the country. If numbers of volunteers allow, a new volunteer will team teach with an existing volunteer for the first week,

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with the aim to takeover that class in the second week. When numbers are high we utilize team teaching methods regularly as many of our students are very young and require extra assistance to adjust to classroom based learning. GVI Phoenix staff are on hand to help out, give ideas lesson plan and support.

Fig. 5 – volunteers in a teaching workshop

2.2.2 Achievements in Mata Escura
We have seen many achievements over the 6 month period January to June 2011: Increased enrolment at the school – from 51 to 85 students and more arriving every week! Attendance has increased from 63% to 70.2%.

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Fig 6. Group of older students

Fantastic progress made in the classroom – with children who had little or no classroom experience making huge strides in learning how to read, write, count and express their artistic talents!

Fig 7. Students studying hard!

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1 new classroom and a new indoor playroom completed, as well as a new roof fitted on classroom 2.

Fig 8. New classrooms under construction

Over GBP 6000 raised on our First Annual Fundraising Challenge

Fig 9. Staff and volunteers preparing to do a 50m rappel during the Challenge

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Improved food programme combating the malnutrition which affects many of students.

Fig 10. Happy kids

2.2.3 English in Mata Escura
English is taught to the older children and those who attend for reinforcement classes. Lessons are taught by a native English speaker following a curriculum based on ESL curriculums. They are given interactive lessons with the opportunity to speak and interact in English during their lessons with each other and their teacher, listen and read English to develop their understanding and pronounciation of the language and have fun doing so! For many students this provides a unique opportunity to learn English from a native speaker – English teaching in the national schools and in private courses offered locally is of a notoriously poor standard. We aim to expand this English teaching programme to offer classes to local adults and teenagers.

3.0 Financial Support
The substantial fixed costs and variable costs to run GVI Phoenix in Brazil is covered mainly (up to 75%) by volunteer fees and the rest by the GVI Charitable Trust. This is of course dependent on volunteer numbers.

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3.1 Charity Challenge 2011
In June 2011 10 staff members and volunteers completed the First Annual Phoenix Brazil Charity Challenge. The Challenge consisted of a 3 day trek and abseil through the state´s Chapada Diamantina national park, arriving at the top of Brazil´s highest waterfall, the breathtaking Cachoeira de Fumaça. In excess of GBP 6000 was raised and this money will be used to secure the salaries of the local staff during the coming 12 months and is of vital importance to our continued operation. Plans are already afoot for a second Challenge in January 2012.

3.2 GVI Charitable Trust
We rely on the GVI Charitable Trust to make up the difference between the money we receive from GVI volunteers for fixed costs, and what we need overall. These are our only 2 sources of income. Volunteers raise money before and after they join us, running marathons, weddings etc and also through Standing Orders. The GVI Charitable Trust is registered in the UK, Charity Registration number: 1111494. 100% of all money raised through the Trust comes to us in the field, as GVI covers all administration costs.

4.0 References
UNDP – United Nations Development Program, Human Development Report 2007/8 UNESCO Database: http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/brazil_statistics.html Statistics - http://www.childinfo.org GVI Phoenix – Eraldo Barbosa, Mata Escura, Brazil, 2010 Departamento Intersindical de Estatísticas e Estudos Socioeconômicos (DIEESE), http://www.dieese.org.br/rel/rac/tradez10.xml#SALVADOR RITLA – Rede de Informação Technologíca Latino-Americana, http://www.ritla.net.br/ Salvador Info, www.salvador.info Ministry of Health, www.saude.ba.com.br Globo.com,http://oglobo.globo.com/pais/mat/2008/01/29/o_ranking_das_capitais_ brasileiras_com_maior_taxa_de_homicidios_por_100_mil_habitantes-339346604.asp Index Mundi, http://www.indexmundi.com/ Correio newspaper

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