Nature and Body brings students to farming settlement

IIP project embraces production of vegetables and brings the garden to school

DCIM100GOPROGOPR1240. Students at “20 de março” farming settlement in Três Lagoas – Mato Grosso do Sul

Students at the Joaquim Marques and Parque São Carlos public schools in Três Lagoas (MS) visited the “20 de março” farming settlement on August 8 and 9, where they took an up-close look at produce farming for the 2016 edition of “Nature and Body.”

Since 2013, the project has promoted work to raise awareness of sustainability, with a focus on environmental preservation and on promoting a healthier life among public primary school students, by growing medicinal herbs at school. Yet this year, the project is taking another step by including produce farming, bringing the garden and soil care to the academic environment.

“The idea is to place all of these transversal themes of sustainability, health and preservation within the educational proposal at schools, developing continual work that gives students information beyond the basic school curriculum,” explains Gabriel Lima, a Social Responsibility Analyst at International Paper, which promotes the “Nature and Body” actions through International Paper Institute (IIP).

The project dives into the world of family farming and produce production with the aim of bringing discussions from the school to everyday practice. To do this, it was fundamental that the students be closer to the farmers in order to reproduce farming techniques at their schools. “The visit to the settlement was fantastic and not only taught them about the importance of caring for the soil, but also about issues such as perseverance and persistence, because the farmers told them about the challenges in achieving the area and getting the farm to where it is today,” says Lívia Ferreira, a math teacher at the Parque São Carlos School.

Medicinal herbs will continue to be a part of “Nature and Body,” but with other foods also being used, there are more possibilities for topics of discussion in the classroom. “By implementing the gardens and taking responsibility for irrigation and planting, the students not only harvest the vegetables, but also gain knowledge through contact with the earth,” says Gabriel.

Math in the garden – The math teacher, Lívia, who went with the students to the 20 de Março settlement, brought math to the gardens, with a practical demonstration of concepts developed in class. The students measured the size of the garden, calculated the area, the perimeter and how many seedlings the gardens would hold, in addition to the measuring system, working with meters and centimeters,” says Lívia, who has been involved with the Project at the school since last year and sees the progress being made by the students’ participation. “Soon they will start to reap the results.”

In addition to gardening activities, which have already directly benefitted around 400 students and have even impacted 1,000 students in Três Lagoas, the 2016 edition of “Nature and Body” is geared towards involving students in harvesting and making salads collectively, serving to spread the concept of healthy eating to the entire academic community.

In a country where 51% of the population is currently obese, according to the Ministry of Health, developing healthy eating in practice, at schools, is more than a matter of education; it means caring for the health of the generation of tomorrow and transforming people’s lives – the role of IIP.

 

Book City ends its cycle at IP and expects to serve 51,000 kids

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At IP since 2009, the project is starting its last phase in Rio Verde (GO) and is expected to benefit over 6,000 students, ages 6 to 10

After visiting the cities of Mogi Guaçu (SP), Luiz Antônio (SP), Três Lagoas (MS), Ribeirão Preto (SP), Suzano (SP), Paulínia (SP), Franco da Rocha (SP), Itapeva (SP) and Manaus (AM), it is time for Rio Verde (GO) to welcome the Travelling Book City, a project coordinated by International Paper Institute that has visited IP units over the last seven years, showing Primary School children the magical world of reading. Rio Verde (GO) will be the last destination for the IIP project, which expects to serve around 6,000 kids in the city alone.

The Travelling Book City will arrive in Rio Verde on August 22 (Monday) and will be in the city until September 2 (Friday). On Sunday (August 28), there will be a special session just for children of IP workers.

Over its last seven years visiting International Paper units, the project has benefitted 45,994 kids in nine cities, in three different states. Upon reaching Rio Verde, not only will it visit a new state, but the Travelling Book City will also have a huge goal: “to end with over 51,000 kids benefitted,” says Sabrina Tenello, Social Responsibility and Sustainability Analyst at International Paper.

A journey through books – Kids that visit Book City in Rio Verde will find a place to let their imaginations run free. After they pass through the gate made of giant books, they will meet Mr. Mayor and his secretary, Ms. Maricota, who will introduce the city and talk about the world of books.

The kids will also take part in activities related to recycling and hear stories from Grandma Cotinha, in an environment surrounded by fun and knowledge, in addition to learning more about the importance of a healthy diet and personal care in a playful and interactive way.

“It is rewarding for us to be able to collaborate in a way to encourage early childhood reading, since literacy education should happen early on, in the most pleasurable way and outside of academic obligations,” says Gláucia Faria, Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability Manager at International Paper.

 

Sweater Drive brings professionals together to donate blankets

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Formare students organized the drive for the Solidarity Fund of Guatapará

 Every year, International Paper Institute (IIP) holds a Sweater Drive with direct participation of Formare students. In 2016, the Luiz Antônio group was chosen to help in organizing and also took care of collecting donations. A different institution is chosen to receive donated items for each edition of the campaign.

PTo meet the needs of the Social Fund of Guatapará, an organization that serves 150 families in the city and offers cutting and sewing, crafts and manicure courses, in addition to providing psychological and social services, IP professionals joined forces to gather raise cash to purchase blankets to donate.  “We normally receive clothing donations, but this year we were told that there was a need blanket donations,” says Sabrina Tenello, a Social Responsibility and Sustainability analyst at the IP Institute.

Considering that blankets and comforters are donated less than items of clothing, this year the campaign took a different approach and several groups of professionals at the unit organized to raise money to purchase and donate these items; however, those that had blankets in good condition to donate also helped out in the campaign. In addition to the blankets donated, IIP gathered 90 clothing items, including sweaters, trousers and kids’ clothing.

According to the Municipal Secretary of Social Aid in Guatapará, Nelson Cardoso, the donations arrived right on time. “In a Sweater Drive, blankets are one of the most important items and here at the Social Fund, we have a psychologist and a social worker that do visits and map the needs of the community of Guatapará,” he explains.

The donations were collected on July 21 at the Luiz Antônio unit and the families expressed their thanks. “Actions that bring volunteers and public agencies together to help those in situations of extreme social vulnerability are of the utmost importance,” says the Secretary. Now the donations will undergo a triage so they can be distributed to families served.

 

Eduardo Fonseca takes part in “Formare Chat”

IP’s Corporate Affairs Manager shares his career experiences with Formare students

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Taking part for the first time in the Formare Chat, a series of meetings that International Paper Institute (IIP) promotes between IP Formare students and executives, Eduardo Fonseca, International Paper’s Corporate Affairs Manger, shared his varied career history with young people. “Students are taking a very important step on their path and choosing the direction of this path that is appropriate for each of them,” he says. With a degree in Law, Fonseca began working as a trainee at the Chamber of Commerce, where he learned about foreign trade, and he worked in the institutional content area and in government relations, which became his area of expertise and brought him to IP four and a half years ago.

When talking about his career, the Corporate Affairs Manager showed how a choice can be redirected at any time in our professional life, and there is no problem with this. To the contrary, you can choose new directions regardless of academic background and find professional fulfillment in an area that is completely different than what you had initially planned. In relation to the meeting with the students, the executive says he was impressed with their curiosity in learning not just professional tips, but especially about the personal decisions that guided his career choices. “Their curiosity is fascinating, and the attention they pay to each answer shows that they really think about what we are saying, drawing parallels between how life situations can be repeated,” he says.

It is natural that young people experiencing a moment of professional decision are afraid of making mistakes, and this comes up among the many questions the students asked Fonseca./ “They asked me a lot about the choices I made in my profession and wanted to know what I would reconsider today, looking back.” For Fonseca, knowing how to seize opportunities that came up in his career was essential to achieving his current job, joining the sustainability and CSR, Corporate Communications and Government Relations areas. And he also noticed that this view of life can open many doors at the meeting he had with the students on June 28. “They really understood the importance of the program and the doors that they can open if they take advantage of what they experience here every day.”

Lessons – Every exchange of ideas has some kind of lesson. For Fonseca, just being able to share his trajectory with students who are filled with a willingness to learn taught him a lesson. “I feel honored to be able to share a little of my background and see that, all of a sudden, without even realizing it, I may have made a difference in one of their lives,” he says.

And as with all of the editions of the Formare Chat, professionals look to give the students a message to reflect upon during this very important time. Showing that you need to fight in order for things to happen. “Nothing comes easy in life, but there is great pleasure in achievement, precisely because we fight so hard for them. If they learn from each other and from the guests that visit the class, I’m sure they will be better equipped to choose the right direction,” he says in closing.