expand your horizons: brazil

Share your love for the natural world with students who are learning to care for the earth while earning a living

In the United States, we often hear a lot of fiery rhetoric about climate change and the environmental threats that are growing all over our planet, but we rarely come face to face with these issues. Most of us in the U.S. are protected from the immediate impacts of global climate change, and so it too often remains “someone else’s problem.” 

Children growing up in the Amazon region of Brazil are born and raised in a climate change reality. There, extractive industries such as mining and logging are causing rapid deforestation and putting the amazon’s unique biodiversity in danger. Additionally, while the Amazon is home to millions of plant and animal species, it can be a challenging place for agriculture, and many small farmers struggle to use soil and water sustainably. 

Because smallholder farming is one of the only legal and non-dangerous avenues to income in the Amazon, and because it is difficult to achieve a great crop yield, many families in Amazonian villages live in intense poverty. Sometimes kids have to leave school to work on the farm, missing out on a vital moment for personal development. 

Many charities and programs seek to find solutions for climate issues, but they don’t always think about the effects on the people who live in these precious ecosystems. How do we harmonize concern for the environment and concern for persons? The Queen of the Apostles School exists for this purpose.   

As a private boarding school near Manaus, the Queen of the Apostles School is an oasis full of opportunity for its students. The curriculum is designed to help students have success in their local context, teaching technical courses on sustainable farming and animal husbandry. Students have theoretical lessons in the morning, followed by practical lessons in the afternoon, and learn agricultural techniques that are best adapted to the climate conditions of the Amazon and respectful of the ecological system of the region. The school has many gardens, and the food grown there is sold at markets in Manaus, creating a sustainable local food supply and a source of income for the school. After three years at the school, most students graduate and return to their home villages and towns, bringing with them the techniques they learned which they pass on to their families and community members.  

The students at the Queen of the Apostles School are thriving, but the school needs help to keep going strong, especially given this year’s financial strains. Some Brazilian organizations who typically provide funding for the school were unable to do so in 2020 because of the economic impacts of COVID-19, and Queen of the Apostles School is now struggling to make ends meet.

With your help, the Queen of the Apostles School can continue helping kids rise out of poverty and protect their local environment. With a donation of just $20, you will pay for one student’s meals for an entire month. A gift of $200 dollars would pay for one student’s tuition for a whole school year! We know that it will take all of us to solve these problems – let’s start by raising $5,000 for this incredible school. 

Goal: $5,000. 

watch the video

their stories