Carnival fundraising ideas

Here are some top ideas for your carnival this Lent Fast Day 2009, including music, dancing, dressing up and Brazilian party food and drink more fun ideas!

Make a film of your carnival!
- grab a film camera or a mobile phone and get filming all the top eco-fundraising going on. Ask people what they think about climate change, fundraising, CAFOD's work on sustainability, and the importance of being more eco-aware. You can enter the CAFOD Youth Film Competition with your short (3 min) film - for the chance of great prizes too!

For a parade or a performance
Make masks and wigs from recycled stuff – Create Amazon animal and flower masks or colourful headdresses out of used cereal packets and other used card. Collect and wash plastic drinking cups and make them into amazing headdresses – just sew, glue or tape the bases onto any kind of hat to cover the whole surface.
See our film clips of the carnival preparations in Recife and look at the poster provided with this pack for inspiring images of how these ‘cup headdresses’ might look.
You can find more ideas for mask making which can be adapted for your eco-carnival.

Make jungle snakes, animals and jungle flower cut-outs. Search on craft websites - try Free Kids Crafts. Here you'll also find mask-making ideas that can be adapted for a carnival theme. Search under ‘masks’.

Facepaint – Always a favourite. Why not focus on Amazon animal faces.
Bikes and scooter parade – If you bring bikes to school, you're already being environmentally aware. Get people to customise their handlebars for the parade with colourful strips of newspaper or plastic from plastic bags, for example. Maybe they could even be sponsored for each trip they make during the run up to Lent Fast Day and raise some cash in the process.

Brazil carnival music - see our top choice of carnival music!
Bring your own instruments if you play, or make recycled music! – Make your own instruments from recycled materials. Try rattles and shakers made from decorated plastic bottles and containers filled with dried pulses. Use pots and pans and wooden spoons – or anything else you can bring in from home.

As well as making your own music, play lively carnival-style Brazilian music during your party or parade. For comprehensive guides to Brazilian music genres including samba, bossa nova as well as frevo and maracatu, which have strong links with Recife, plus samples, go to All Brazilian Music.

Samba and dance! – Learn and teach some Brazilian dance moves – Strictly Come Dancing fans will love performing simple samba steps. You could look into other Brazilian dances such as Forro and Maculele, too. Maybe your local dance school could hold a workshop especially for the carnival or try the UK Samba Association for more info Once they know the moves, why not raise money for CAFOD by organising a sponsored samba. Hold an all day dance-off!

Capoeira is a Brazilian art form steeped in the history of African slavery. It’s a combination of dance, acrobatics, music and non-contact martial arts, which is growing in popularity in the UK. There are various ‘schools’ running workshops and courses around the country – try the British Capoeira Association , London School of Capoeira or the Association of Capoeira for local contacts.

Dancers with twirling poi sticks are a common feature of carnivals (poi is a form of juggling usually involving a ball attached to a length of rope, which is held in the hand and swung in circular patterns). You can make your own poi from long, brightly coloured socks with tennis balls or scrunched up material stuffed in the end in the shape of a ball. Go to Home of Poi site for info on DIY poi sticks and free tuition videos – best to stick to 2 or 3 performers (well spaced out!), or maybe attach ribbons instead of rope.

Plant trees! – Are there areas in the school that need a bit of greenery? Pedro, the focus of our case study in Recife, is involved in a tree-planting scheme in his city. Show solidarity with Pedro, carry plants during the parade and have a planting ceremony afterwards.

Speak Portuguese – Portuguese is the official language of Brazil. Learn some simple Portuguese words to use during the carnival, and go to Speak Portuguese for more. For example:
‘Hello’ is ‘Oi!’
‘Welcome to our carnival!’ is ‘Boas vindas ao nosso carnival!’
‘It’s good to recycle’ is ‘E bem reciclar’ (being checked)
‘Thank you’ is ‘Obrigado’
‘Goodbye’ is ‘Ate logo’

Decorating in the school
Make an Amazon collage – Using recycled materials, make an amazing collage featuring Amazonian wildlife and plants, and indigenous people and their homes. Good reference sources for Amazon image ideas (as well as background info) include: Rainforest Concern, Tropical Forests, Rainforest Education, Zoom Schools on rainforests.

Headdresses display – Create colourful Brazilian-style carnival headdresses out of recycled materials

Poster display – Get everyone to design posters to advertise the eco-carnival around the school. Choose a winner to go on the noticeboard or on the school website.

Recycled decorations – Make mobiles out of unwanted CDs or pictures from old birthday cards. Use strips of newspapers and magazines to make hanging decorations (see the film clip of carnival preparations in Recife for inspiration)

Carnival bazaar

No carnival would be complete without a range of side stalls for tasty things to eat and new things to try. Make and sell delicious Brazilian-style food to give your event extra authenticity. Go to Brazil food!

Brazilian-style juice bar
Just about every fruit is grown in Brazil and there are juice bars all over the big cities. Borrow a couple of blenders or smoothie-makers and sell fruity drinks from your own Brazilian-style juice bar. Even better, make it a ‘Fair Trade’ juice bar by sticking to fruits with the Fairtrade mark. The Fairtrade Foundation has details of all the Fairtrade fruits sold by the supermarkets.

Salsa workshops and more

Pass on dance skills you've learned – for a small fee, of course. Run Brazilian dance workshops or recycled decorations or musical-instrument making workshops during your carnival day.

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