Alana's Children & Nature Program joins the worldwide natural families movement, aiming to engage parents and families from across Brazil in frequent and active time together in nature. Its goal is to learn what best applies to Brazil from family clubs in other countries while focusing on creating unique features that encompass Brazil's specific cultural and social characteristics.
While there are distinct cultural differences between Brazil and other countries, such as the USA, China and Australia, there are also a lot of similarities in how children in all countries suffer from a lack of connection with nature. Alana's Family Nature Clubs share the basic principles of Family Nature Clubs elsewhere: to help give families a sense of place, allow for free play in nature, and familiarize them with the many opportunities for outdoor recreation in their neighborhoods.
The main strategy so far has been to organize workshops for club leaders in partnership with local organizations. In São Paulo, we have partnered with the Boa Praça Movement, a group of families and individuals who have adopted green spaces in São Paulo neighborhoods and care for parks that the city is not able to maintain. In Rio de Janeiro, we have partnered with WWF-Brazil and its Boranda Movement, who are implementing the first long hiking trail in Brazil, crossing Atlantic Rainforest territory.
Alana's Family Nature Clubs Workshops will provide tools and resources to support the natural families movement in the country. The 100 Brazilian education professionals, parents, grandparents and uncles that will take part in the four upcoming one-day training sessions in 2017 will learn how to structure and facilitate Family Nature Clubs in their territories of action, and will continue to be in touch through social media to encourage more opportunities for unstructured play in nature.