Envirotech Education recognises the importance of the Amazon rainforest to the world. Thus, we have been offering exclusive free of charge classes to students. "We are one, we are reaching out to our international students. The highest percentage of our students are Brazilians and they will return home, hopefully, to make a difference overall and to act on what they have learned about the Amazon forest before it becomes the Amazon dessert", affirms Shelly Bengiat, director and founder of Envirotech Education.
Karina and the students. Photo credits: Envirotech Education
The classes have been taught in Gold Coast and soon in Byron Bay campus by student Karina Miotto, who is an environmental journalist, activist and deep ecologist with more than a decade of working to protect the rainforest. She lived 5 years in the Amazon, where she worked for big national and international NGOs such as Greenpeace.
Recently, the Amazon burned under criminal fires as never before. Says National Institute for Space Research (INPE), one of the most reliable systems to monitoring deforestation, that the loss of the rainforest between August, 2018 and July, 2019 was the worst of the last 11 years.
Amazon forest being burned. Photo credit: WWF
During the classes, Karina shares her personal and professional experience in a very creative way. She begins by inviting everybody to meditate by listening to the sounds of the rainforest birds, according to Karina, "to connect with the forest we are going to learn more about....". Then, she shares her story of work and activism for the Amazon along with important information such as main causes of deforestation and what we all can do about it.
Karina in the Amazon, 2009. Photo credit: personal archive
One of the highlights of her talk is when she speaks about being the change we want to see in the world, as said once the leader Mahatma Gandhi. "Although this information is hard to receive and many times we may think we are not strong enough to make a difference, we actually are and we actually can. Our pain and delusion about what is happening to our world must be recognised and acknowledge by us, but we should use these feelings as fuel to action. Does not matter what we do – if it is planting a tree, creating a movement, supporting an NGO or even giving more hugs to create a more peaceful world - we can always make a difference". Her talk finishes with a song by the voices of the Yawanawa people called Wacomaya. According to Karina, “we start it with the voice of the forest and finish it with the voice people” as a way to honour all species that inhabit the great rainforest.
Students reacted in a very positive way. At least 3 people approached her sharing that they cried during her talk, especially when they realised that they can do a lot more to protect our world. Vania, from Chile, shared: "I am overwhelmed by all that I have to do, it’s very easy to forget why I am here. I am studying an Environmental Management course because I want to be a consultant. I remembered that we can do something wherever we are".
Other students shared how the Amazon class have impacted them. Ulisses is from Brazil. "After the talk about the Amazon, I really feel like doing more for the planet and reuniting with people that think alike. I feel very inspired now", he said. Oscar, from Bolivia (a country where the Amazon also exists) was also very inspired. "Today I had the class with Karina about the Amazon. It was very interesting and emotional too. She showed us the reality of the forest, of people, of the impacts we may feel in the future (if the Amazon is gone). These things can be shared all around the world".
The talks will kept being given, as the Amazon is so important to the world and may influence the climate in Australia. Learn more here.