This past summer, the Castlegar Rotary Interact Club visited Sao Luis, Brazil where 13 students and their six leaders participated in a Rotary project to construct classrooms for underprivileged children in a favela (slum) on the edges of the city. The favela is one of the largest in Brazil and is estimated to house up to 100,000 people within the city of 1.1 million.
Interact is a Rotary-sponsored club to bring together young people ages 12 to 18 to develop leadership skills while discovering the power of Service Above Self. Every second year club members travel to participate in humanitarian projects.
The Castlegar Rotary Interact Club, Castlegar Rotary Club, Castlegar Rotary Sunrise Club, and three Rotary Clubs in Sao Luis partnered to fund an expansion to the private educational institution called Cepromar, located on the grounds of an old plantation with a history of slavery. Cepromar is a shining beacon of hope in this area as it works extremely hard to provide basic education for youth and vocational training to adults to improve employment prospects and community betterment.
The Interact Club worked in extremely taxing heat and humidity for 10 days, digging foundations, mixing and pouring cement, and laying the traditional red brick walls for the school. The youth also worked alongside residents from the favela painting the school and a small historic church that exists on the grounds of the facility. The work on the historic sites will be used to promote tourism opportunities to raise more money for the projects so they can be sustainable.