Forest Olympics brings together young people from 42 communities in the Middle Juruá region for moments of integration through sport

Children and teenagers competed and played in various sports

By Bernardo Oliveira

Unity is a highly valued concept among riverside communities in the Mid-Juruá region. In general, community members from different families come together to make flour, build houses, and manage pirarucu. And it was the possibility of promoting the union between riverside youths from different locations that motivated the holding of the second edition of the Forest Olympics, which brought together around 700 people from 42 communities in the region in the Pupuaí community, between November 12th and 15th.

Photo by Bernardo Oliveira

The event was a moment of integration and guarantee of the rights of children and teenagers of riverside in the Amazon, through sport and leisure. The 400 young people, aged between 10 and 17, were divided into 10 poles, whose names represented products of sociobiodiversity such as manioc flour, açaí, andiroba, bee honey or important species of the region such as pirarucu and tambaqui. Each pole included children from different communities, who competed in sports such as archery, volleyball, soccer, darts and running.

The organizing institutions of the event were Fundação Amazônia Sustentável (FAS), Secretary of Environment of the State of Amazonas (SEMA/DEMUC), Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio), the Municipality of Carauari and the grassroots associations AMARU, AMECSARA and ASPROC. The realization was part of the actions of the DICARA program, Program for the Integral Development of Children and Adolescents Riparian in the Amazon, which promotes improvements in the quality of life of young people in the Amazon through activities such as the Olympics.

Photo by Bernardo Oliveira

Enoque Ventura, Project Supervisor at the Fundação Amazônia Sustentável  (FAS) says that all those responsible evaluated the event as a possibility to guarantee and strengthen the citizenship rights of children and adolescents.

“These were pleasant moments, especially since it happened in a delicate situation, due to the pandemic. Overall, our planning went off without a hitch. Everything worked due to the involvement of the communities, who always believe in our work. “

Enoque Ventura

The event represents a conquest of local-based associations, it is the result of the community organization of the associations, in addition to a model of sustainable work and support for strengthening the region’s biodiversity. There were many speeches by young people from the riverside valuing the fight for the protection of their territory, for environmental conservation and sustainable development.

Enoque expects an even better future for such events in the region. “I believe that at each event we can improve an organization and innovate in new ways, always seeking the well-being of everyone involved, in addition to strengthening the autonomy of children and adolescents and promoting integration between riverside communities. During the award, I was thrilled with the celebration of the Polo champion ”

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