Vaga Lume’s Founder and President Wins the Young Leaders Award

The founder and president of Vaga Lume, Sylvia Guimarães, won on May 3rd the Young Leaders Award conferred by Estadão (one of the most important Brazilian newspapers) and by XYZ Live (a Brazilian communication agency) in a ceremony at Palácio dos Bandeirantes, the headquarters of São Paulo state government. The aim of the award was to identify people who, while pursuing a successful career, are also helping Brazil to build a better future. The award recognized leaders in different areas – agroindustry, culture, education, sports, finance, industry, services, technology, retail and third sector – and the jury had to select winners among three nominees of each category.

 Sylvia is the winner of the Third Sector category and received the award due to the work she has been doing in Vaga Lume throughout the past ten years. Vaga Lume (which means ‘firefly’ in Portuguese) is a not-for-profit organization that promotes access to books and reading, capacity-building and valorization of cultural diversity, based on volunteer work in 164 rural communities of 23 municipalities in the Brazilian Legal Amazon region and in São Paulo, where its office is located.

Vaga Lume was created with the belief that to invest in people is the best strategy to transform a reality. The donation of communitarian libraries and the training of volunteers as reading mediators was the first step towards the improvement of education in the Amazon region. Nowadays, Vaga Lume has augmented its impact by developing actions related not only to education but also to culture, communitarian development, intercultural dialogue and environment.

In total, Vaga Lume has created 164 communitarian libraries constantly monitored to which it has donated more the 80,000 literature books, impacting around 23,000 adults, teenagers and children from 23 municipalities of the Brazilian Legal Amazon region. It has also trained more than 3,000 volunteers, who produced 331 handmade books to register local traditional stories and myths. At last but not least, it has published two books

“Cartas, Pontes, Novos Horizontes” (Letters, Bridges, New Horizons) and “Nós e Nosso Meio Ambiente”

(Us and Our Environment) related to intercultural dialogue among adolescents from different regions of Brazil. This was and continues to be possible due to the support of Magazine Luiza and Dresser-Rand Guascor, main sponsors of Vaga Lume. In view of the very positive impact of Vaga Lume’s work, the organization is recognized nationally and internationally. One of the most important awards received by Vaga Lume is the 2011 Intercultural Innovation Award, conferred by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) together with the BMW Group.

For more information about Vaga Lume and Sylvia Guimarães, you can visit Vaga Lume’s website.

For more press information , please contact:

Ana Helena Oliveira (+55 11) 3032-6032

To know more about the Award Sylvia won, please visit Estadão website, unfortunately available only in Portuguese.