Brazilians Share Testimonies from Transformative Environmental Project

Naomi MacMurdie
April 15, 2024

Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Brazil observed the completion of the first state of the environmental project called, “Exploring the Geographical Space I Inhabit,” in a March 8, 2024 meeting with teachers from Valdivino Serafim High School, professors from the Federal University of IESA/EECA-UFG, and the four university students who took the lead in executing the project over the last year.

The collaborative project between students, teachers, and mentors from the community aimed to help young people appreciate the unique geographic qualities of the land they live on, how it benefits their community, and how to become good stewards of the environment they share.

Participants shared their stories:

Group of Brazilians smiling and holding certificates with maps, in a classroom with a projector screen in the background.

Exploring the Geographical Space I Inhabit Participants

“Exploring various points in the municipality, we were able to collect soil samples, identify pedological profiles, and analyze the geological characteristics that shape the landscape. These data, which are integrated into the textbook, will provide readers with a detailed and well-founded insight into the interaction between the land and the community, significantly enriching the understanding of Guapó’s geographical space.”
– Ingrid Soraia da Cunha Oliveira

“The dimension of outreach, in turn, gave an even broader meaning to our experience by connecting academic knowledge to the real world. Applying theories and concepts in projects aimed at benefiting the community allowed us to tangibly experience the transformative power of education and research.”
– Bruna Edriane Ramos de Oliveira

“I have always considered outreach activities to be very enriching as they contribute to the ability to mediate content and provide moments of interaction with students. Furthermore, I believe that outreach is one of the pillars of education and science, as the integration between academia and society is essential, and the knowledge produced becomes more meaningful as it is translated and taken to non-academic communities.

The knowledge of one’s geographical space occupies a central position in the formation of citizenship… As a geographer, teamwork (especially with a multidisciplinary team) and fieldwork have also contributed significantly to my formation as a practical exercise of the geographic perspective, which we often discuss during theoretical discussions in the classroom. This project reminds me of a philosophy that I carry in my life, which is the construction of the macro by the micro. Just as to create an embroidery, a crochet, it is necessary to think of the final result through each stitch, each knot, which will form a beautiful piece; and with Geography, it is no different, each theme, skill, activity, class, research, and other tools form the geographic thinking. I like to think of this project in this way, somewhat poetic, but certainly real.”
– Karolliny Tobia Oliveira

“In the pedagogical activity on 09/21, for example, I was responsible for presenting a model of a hypsometric map, and it was priceless to see the children’s reaction when they saw their school situated in the relief.”
– Rebeca dos Santos Gabriel

“The bibliographical and data surveys, along with field trips, were essential to get to know the reality of the municipality up close, both in the socio-economic and physical aspects, and thus be able to develop a scientific research, exhibition, and workshop with various educational materials.

Being able to develop pedagogical actions and be in front of a class of students, with the mission of opening a dialogue and providing knowledge about their reality, even if for a few hours, was unprecedented and made me feel for a moment that I was indeed contributing to education and the promotion of the common good.”
– Uildes Ferraz Da Maia Junior

“The idea of building popular and academic knowledge with the school community about the inhabited geographical space of the municipality has involved me a lot. Understanding and being able to contribute to the community and build educational material with illustrations, maps, and graphics has been a unique experience in my academic journey.”
– Lucas Carilli Brito Ferreira

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