Ana Claudia Santos, providing a training on gardening to CSEUR inmates

Katia, Aline, Karina – Projeto TransformAção CSEUR (TransformAction CSEUR)

TransformAction CSEUR is project developed by Aonde Environmental Institute and its main goal is to contribute to the socio-environmental development of CSEUR’s interns. CSEUR, which stands for Centro Socioeducativo de Uberaba (Socio-educational Center of Uberaba – Brazil) is an institution which aims to rehabilitate young offenders under 18 years. The goal will be reached through the practice of a range of activities related to the environment, healthy eating, well-being and entrepreneurship, aiming at improving not only the environment in which they are inserted, but the community as a whole.

Often, these young offenders come from poorer, marginalized families and have not had enough opportunities to development, mainly due to the lack of incentives and investments in infrastructure and social programs so many times experienced in developing countries. Once they are in rehabilitation institutions, the problem tends to persist and not enough opportunities to personal development are offered. This can even aggravate the behavior of these young inmates, defeating the purpose of their time in the rehabilitation center. Thus, aiding these individuals in the recognition of their rights and duties while citizens of a changing world, whilst improving skills which might enable them to provide for themselves and their families, in a sustainable way, are the main positive impacts this project intends to make on these young people’s lives.

The main activities the inmates will be performing as part of this project are the construction and maintenance of a vegetable garden (mini-scale urban agriculture) to produce fresh and healthy food for their own consume; composting of garden and kitchen residues; the development of a rainwater harvesting system for the main building of the center; the restoration of an existing un-utilized greenhouse; the reforestation of the center surroundings; the creation of a sensory garden. This grant is important because it will be invested in buying the main materials and tools which are necessary to build and develop the main instruments that will enable the inmates to develop the aimed skills and to change their relation with the local environment.