Iracambi’s response to COVID19

Over the past few months people everywhere have been focusing on the COVID19 pandemic, and we’d like to update you about what we, at Iracambi, have been doing in this respect over the past few months.

Volunteer Program Temporarily Suspended 

On March 19th we closed our doors and paused the program that has welcomed 2,000 volunteers and researchers from 66 countries over the past 20 years. To guarantee the health and safety of our volunteers, our team and our community, all our volunteers returned to their countries. Meanwhile, the staff are working from home and only two staff members are at the Center (resident staff).

These measures were taken before the official statement from the Brazilian Minister of health about community transmission determining new rules for social distancing (March 20th,) and before the frontiers were closed (March 27). 

Suspending the volunteer program directly impacts our activities. Apart from the educational component of living and working in the rainforest, our volunteers play a crucial role in our reforestry program, including nursery maintenance. Volunteer program fees also contribute to maintaining our projects, but since our main priority is health and safety, we took the hard decision to put the program on hold until better times.  

Young EcoLeaders Program Temporarily Suspended

After closing the Center we also had to put on hold our program of environmental education which has been running for twenty years. The program mainly involves local schools and teachers, and over twenty years has impacted more than 1,500 children and young people. For now, we’re restructuring the program focusing more on the climate crisis, creating new partnerships, and developing alternative methods of program delivery including working online. 

Working remotely 

Iracambi’s work keeps on going through working remotely on:

  • Communicating through social media and other digital channels
  • Reviewing projects goals in the light of the pandemic
  • Maintaining the Center and the nursery (resident staff) 
  • Staff education and training online
  • Online resources mobilization
  • Promoting natural health care through our Living Pharmacy workshops 
  • Online monitoring of the reforestation area with the help of local farmers 
  • Online public policy activities – River Basin Committee and the Serra do Brigadeiro Mining Commission 

Local community support

Our presence and success over the past 20 years has been greatly enriched through the help and support of the local community. Iracambi was founded by the British-Kenyan couple Binka and Robin Le Breton, and today our board, advisory council, and staff consists, almost entirely, of people from the local and neighboring communities, strengthening Iracambi’s commitment to the region.  

Thank you all so much for your support and dedication to the cause! 

Getting to know Iracambi

To learn more about our work please join us on our social media and our website. There you’ll find lots of project information and reports.  

And please come visit us, as soon things get back to normal!