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Betim December 6, 2005

Posted by ditta in Uncategorized.
…it seems getting up early and going to bed fairly late is becoming a habit. So no pictures today either as need to get some sleep before tomorrow´s 9AM meeting at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG).. but at least a few stories to keep up the rhytm 😉

so this morning got up in Betim, and after a quick breakfast our first meeting started at NSMUBENSMUBE.jpg – the Association of civil servants of Betim, where after a ´cha de manha´ – for us 2nd breakfast – with the president of the Association and one of the Deputies of the Municipality, we had a more in depth talk about the functioning of this organisation that has 7000 associates with 25 employees. What is interesting that this organisation is independent and runs on the basis of associates salaries and purchases. This means that 1% of the associates monthly salary goes to the association, as well as 3% of the purchases the associate makes through a type of credit card issued by this association, which is accepted around the municipality. Their activities include all sectors of the municipality, in particular health, education and employment. At the moment they are conducting a in depth one year research project of the life situation of all families in their municipality (of Betim) and commissioned for it the university of Betim. Based on that they will design and implement further long term projects.

The second organisations famous among some was the ´Salao do Encontro´ entrance-salao-de-encontro.jpg – Meeting salon; a school developed by Noemi Macedo Gontijo, nowadays a 81 year-old lady, who we had a oppotunity to have a freshly squeezed mango juice with mango-juice-with-noemi.jpg, who set up the school and its ´self-sustained´ concept 35 years ago. School is set up in an amazingly beautiful environment of a natural (all planted as we got to know later) park, and hosts about 600 children and adolescent from creche to complementary afternoon education programmes for 12-17 years old aula-salao-de-encontro.jpg. Furthermore next to the school there is a self-sustained agriculture for the needs of the school as well as hand-craft that contributes to the income of the school, which is targeted at those who cannot afford education dielne-salao-de-encontro1.jpg. Have lots to reflect on this concept, which is amazing on one hand (wait until you see the pictures), but closed in the other – kind fo laboratory. But on this later as my brain cannot articulate this clearly now..

The last organisation we visited today was the so-called RamaKrishna – set up about 30 years ago, located in one of the poorest neighborhoods of the fairly large municipality of Betim. Here again we saw a project targeted at children, and alumnis, who set up their own coorporation in hadncrafts. Next to this the organisation facilitates another two small businesses in pasta creation and fence building. 

On the way we also visited Regina´s yet un-opened local community centre in the periphery of Betimregina-office.jpg, in a place of 8000 inhabitants, where no leisure activities exist apart from a football field. She with two other enthousiasts are building a cyber centre, multimedia room, which can be used as a cinema, and have a small space for workshops and other educational activities.

The evening was spent back in Belo Horizonte, where we visited Kelly´s former group of story tellers, in which Fernanda participated as well. Was very interesting to see and experience although when they started to talk in their ´mineirist´dialect, I must admint I got a bit lost..

so, that is a short briefing of today..

more tomorrow. kisses to all, dd



1. Oksana - December 6, 2005

Darling! You never stop surprising me!!!
How many days, you say, you’ve been to Brazil so far? And already such an intensive programme. But the fact taht you enjoy this and learn new things – all for the best!
As for the rythm of your life there, i guess you should start building up a new regime. In case you want to experience maximum in this trip. But don’t strech your limits! Have fun as well. And good sleep. I know, how it is important for you!
Here new day is begining. New start. Who knows what it brings us?! Will see.
Thinking of you…

2. ditta - December 7, 2005

thinking of you too! especially today as I know you are dancing! ..starting to miss that part 😉 but well, getting other things.
take care and love also to avivit.. tell her to check out my site 🙂

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