In December, Jon Harris and myself travelled to the University of Life in Fortaleza. Our mission had three aims: Firstly, as Univida trustees, to check that the money you have so kindly donated in the UK has been spent correctly. I am pleased to report that all of the projects for which you have sent through Univida have been com- pleted (to a high standard), or are in train. These include the bridge and pond area, the music classroom , the rebuilding of the walls, and the refurbished computer classroom. We could also see how the funds sent as general funding are used to run and maintain the project, employ the teachers, and main- tain the project.
The second aim, was to reconnect with Marcondes and Ruth, and with the new sta and teachers. I had not visited Brazil since 2007, and Jon had not visited since 2009. We found a city that was very much larger, and more crowded than before. The favela, which we were able to walk through to visit people in 2007, is now much more dangerous (now being controlled by the gangs) than it used to be, and is effectively out of bounds to us.