[ENFF Fundraising Campaign] FMST Launches Fundraising Campaign for MST's National School - CONTRIBUTE TODAY!
Between March of 2000 and January of 2005, 65 kilometers outside the city of São Paulo, Brazil's Landless Workers' Movement (MST) built their National School Florestan Fernandes, or in Portuguese, the Escola Nacional Florestan Fernandes (ENFF). During its five-year construction period, 112 MST settlements and 230 encampments from 20 of Brazil's 27 states sent over 1,500 MST volunteers to help build the ENFF, an academic, social and cultural institution of paramount importance in the ongoing development of MST youth and cadre.
Comprised of four dormitory buildings (capable of housing a total of 400 students at any given time), three classrooms, two amphitheaters, a library (with infrastructure to hold over 38,000 texts), offices for professors, a number of laboratories and a large cafeteria (with recreation space designed for easy access by persons with disabilities), the MST considers the ENFF a major victory of the Landless Struggle. That said, the MST has much more they intend to construct.
The Struggle for Sustainability at ENFF -
With the Escola Nacional now serving its intended purpose - promoting the thinking, planning, and organizing of MST activists and their elected leaders while developing their political, technical, and ideological training - the costs of food, transportation, electricity and water, etc. have become limiting factors. Needless to say, costs have never dissuaded the MST from implementing programmed activities, as these courses are of the utmost importance.
To prevent basic operating costs from becoming a threat to future efforts, the MST has called on the ENFF to become fully self-sustaining - both economically and ecologically - by the year 2010. To date, several steps towards sustainability have already been taken, such as solar-heating which provides warm water for the student dormitories, and agroecological gardens using composted food wastes to produce fresh fruits and vegetables for students and staff.
The initial resources for the construction of the ENFF were collected through the sale of the book Terra (“Land") – with text by Jose Saramago, songs by Chico Buarque, and photographs by Sebastiao Salgado – as well as contributions from European non-governmental organizations, and donations from Brazilian and international friends. Looking ahead, more support is needed:
The Escola Nacional Fundraising Campaign -
At the request of the MST, Friends of the MST (FMST) has launched the 'Escola Nacional Fundraising Campaign'. To become fully self-sufficient, the MST knows it must build an infrastructure of the future, a green infrastructure that will reduce operating costs and serve as a model for sustainable development. To do just that, the MST is counting on its friends around the world. By contributing to the Campaign, you will be helping the MST invest in environment-friendly and resource-conserving infrastructure ranging from green academic buildings, high-end solar panels for their classrooms, to the hoes, picks and shovels needed in their school gardens. We are confident that with your generous contributions, we can raise a significant amount of funds to support the MST with this important effort.
Keep in mind that donations can be made individually, on a recurring basis, and/or on behalf of someone else! This allows you the flexibility to contribute in the way that suits you best, no matter how large or small your donation may be. It's simple & easy. Contribute Today!
[NOTE: When making your contribution, be sure to include the words 'Escola Nacional' with your donation, so that FMST can ensure it is directed to this campaign] ---