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Closed 31/12/2021
Children Of Colombia

Save the Amazon Education Centre - Christmas Appeal 2021

Help Fundacion Natutama fund urgent repairs to its Environmental Education Centre in the Colombian Amazon. Traditionally built by local craftsmen, new palm thatch roofing is needed so its vital teaching and conservation programmes can continue.
raised of £1,000 target
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Closed on 31/12/2021
RCN 1095987

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Christmas Appeal 2021

A huge thank you to everyone who supported the Save the Amazon Education Centre appeal in December 2021. The campaign raised just over £1500 way more than the £1000 target set. The funds have already been sent to Colombia so work can start on repairing the roof of the roundhouse, one of the two main buildings that make up Natütamas Education and Visitor Centre in Puerto Nariño in the Colombian Amazon.

This year we are asking for your help to repair the Natutama Education and Visitors' Centre at Puerto Narino in the Colombian Amazon.

Natutama is a Colombian charity dedicated to the sustainable management of resources and biodiversity in the Amazon. Its education, research and conservation programmes are run from the Centre on the banks of the river in the Amazon rainforest. Young people from the region, mainly of the Ticuna ethnic group, work closely with the local community - farmers, fishermen and especially schools and families - to teach them how to protect endangered Amazonian wildlife and habitats while continuing to live and work in the same environment.

The Centre has two main buildings, both in constant use for educational activities.

In the palm-thatched Roundhouse, children enjoy learning about rare and endangered plants, birds and animals such as manatees, pink river dolphins and sloths through fun activities like drama, art, games and traditional puppetry and storytelling. Next door, the Interpretation Centre houses permanent life-sized displays of Life under the Water and The Beach at Night. Here local schoolchildren, adults and visitors from Colombia and all over the world get a fascinating glimpse into the secret world of the flooded forest and the vital role the river's seasonal ebbs and floods play in the lifecycles of the creatures who inhabit its depths and shores.

Income from visitors also helps to fund research carried out by local fishermen who monitor numbers and habits of endangered species such as turtles, manatees, river dolphin and the giant pirarucu fish which are native to the Amazon.

Built by local craftsmen using traditional construction methods and mainly natural, locally sourced materials, the Education and Visitor Centre is environmentally friendly but also needs regular repairs as the palm thatch and timber deteriorate quickly in the hot, wet climate.

Because of the pandemic, the Centre has received almost no visitor income since March 2020. There has been nothing available for maintenance. The roundhouse, constantly in use for activities, is leaking in many places and needs substantial re-roofing with palm leaves. The floor is also peeling in places and needs painting.

Foundation Natutama urgently needs supplies of woven palm leaves, nails, heavy twine, paint and brushes. An itemised estimate for materials to repair the Roundhouse comes to £400 before labour costs. A similar spend is needed to repair the roof of the Interpretation Centre to save it from further deterioration before the next rainy season.

Several of our committee members have been to the Centre in earlier, easier times and can vouch for its immense value as a focus for information and learning. Please help Natutama continue this vital work sharing its scientific and cultural knowledge with future generations to safeguard the unique biodiversity of the Colombian Amazon.

This is a tiny scale project but an exemplary and vital one. Grassroots education and environmental awareness is where it all starts.

About the charity

Children Of Colombia

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RCN 1095987
Children of Colombia is a UK-based charity run by volunteers to raise funds for the care and education of vulnerable and disadvantaged children in Colombia, South America. Aid is given to three carefully chosen organisations: Hogares Luz y Vida, Fenix and Natutama.

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