FAS implemented 9 Innovation and Education Centers for Sustainable Development (NIEDS) in riverside communities in the Amazon, ensuring access to formal education for 7626 students and, through workshops, free courses, and workshops, trained 24,285 people and 2,113 teachers
As large and diverse as it is, Amazonia deserves to be seen as it presents itself: plural. The many “Amazons” that coexist in the region impose challenges, as they teach unique lessons. Present and integrated in the territories, FAS encourages models of educational practices that dialogue with the local realities, understand the community demands and value the knowledge of the forest people. All in a dynamic in which teachers and students exchange experiences and learn together.
The Innovation and Education Centers for Sustainable Development (NIEDS) are the concretization of this way of thinking and promoting education. Built by FAS in remote areas of the Amazon, the centers have classrooms, cafeteria, library, computer lab and agro-ecological production units. The infrastructure also has internet connectivity, essential for distance learning.
In ten years of the initiative, 9 centers have been built and are active in 7 Conservation Units (UCs) in the Amazon. The NIEDS offer access to quality education for children, young people and adults with basic, technical, vocational and higher education. In addition, the spaces host courses and workshops on themes such as educommunication, health, and tourism. Universities, companies, and national and international governments are part of an engaged network that invests in the centers’ activities. In total, 7,626 students have already been served by the NIEDS.
Cleverson Paes is one of these students. In 2019, he joined one of the classes at the Victor Civita Center, located in the Sustainable Development Reserve (SDR) of Juma, state of Amazonas.
“I want to be a teacher within this very school,” says the teenager from the Nova Jerusalém Community, located 300 kilometers from Manaus. “My classmates gave me support for me to achieve my dreams and so I will also be with them, I will always give support so that they can realize their dream.”
A high school graduate from the same center, young Anaylson Ribeiro reflects on the importance that the experience had in his life. “Today I can guarantee that this school was the school where I grew as a human being, as a person and as a citizen through knowledge,” he says.
Watch the video of the Congress of the Youth of the Forest, promoted by FAS:
To help train teachers from rural areas in the Amazon, the centers also offer training courses for teachers. The challenges of education in the countryside are addressed, as well as techniques and methodologies to make teaching more egalitarian and open to diversity. More than 2,000 teachers have already been trained by FAS’ education projects.
“It is very gratifying to be able to live with a reality that is totally different from the city, and also to be able to contribute to this forest, to this knowledge, to these values not being forgotten, not being extinguished from our daily coexistence,” declares Edna dos Anjos, a teacher at NIEDS in the Tumbira Community, in the Rio Negro RDS. “My dream is to see that all my students manage to graduate and reach higher education, but without leaving their roots, their beliefs, from within. To be able to graduate and return to their community, to collaborate with it to enrich it, to enhance the values of our land”.
Check out the Amazon Education Radar, a publication that mapped promising initiatives for the education of traditional populations in the Amazon, among them the NIEDS: