On 15th and 16th of June, students, community agents, health professionals and teachers from several municipalities in Brazil joined the launch of Alforja Educativa in Portuguese, this in the city of Porto Alegre, Brazil.
During the release the first “Training Course on the use of the Alforja Educativa as a participatory learning tool in Planetary Health” was held. Participants joined online and in person for two day at the facilities of the Federal University of Rio Grande Do Sul (UFRGS).
To complement the training process, the participants accessed the ReAct Latin America virtual classroom, where they could use material such as: bibliography, videos, reading material and instructions to prepare for a final practical moment in the training.
“Alforja is a word that is not very common in Portuguese, but we chose to keep that name because of its meaning. Alforja is like a travel backpack where you carry the essential things to face your path”
says Arturo Quizphe, Director ReAct Latin America
The name Alforja was originally chosen because it represents a set of tools and materials that can be used in daily education to address issues related to human health, environmental health and planetary health.
The work to review, adapt and translate of the material was carried out by an interdisciplinary team made up of the Planetary Health Study Group Brazil, the People’s Health Movement Brazil and the University of São Paulo, with support and coordination of ReAct Latin America.
After several months of analysis, discussion and reflection, these priority topics were selected for students, community and cultural agents, health professionals and teachers:
- child to child methodology
- Sumak Kawsay or “Good Living”
- healthy eating
- access to water
- microbial world
- proper use of antibiotics and bacterial resistance
all addressed with a planetary health approach.
Arturo Quizhpe highlighted what an important moment this was for the region:
“a new opportunity opens up to continue training, educating and generating meaningful learning that puts children as a priority, but that also articulates the sustainability of the planet with the invisible world of bacteria, which are the heart of ecological systems.”
All the course participants received the printed version of the Educational Alforja in Portuguese, so they can use it in various learning spaces and multipliers.
In Latin America, the educational program Alforja Educativa has engaged more than 3500 children and 450 teachers from over 150 elementary schools across the region. The Alforja uses an approach that links children’s learning with taking action to promote the health, well-being and development of not only themselves, but also their families and the communities within which they live.
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