MUM alumnus Robert Abreu
Working on a cob building in a sustainability class at MUM
With his students in Namibia
The Namibian village where Robert did his Peace Corps assignment
Robert Abreu — Teaching English and Sustainability in Namibia
Robert Abreu grew up in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Birmingham, Alabama, in a culturally and linguistically diverse family. From an early age he has been passionate about learning languages, which helped him bridge cultures in his family and gain insight into others. French, German, Portuguese, Spanish, Afrikaans, Arabic, and Swahili are some of the languages he learned.
Robert was looking for a university that placed an emphasis on developing the total potential of its students, so he came to MUM in 2010. He chose Sustainable Living because he wanted a major that would allow him to use languages in the most impactful way.
In addition to learning natural building techniques as part of his major, Robert continued to work on his language teaching skills by working as a teaching aide in MUM’s Intensive English Program.
While at MUM, he attended a two-month certification course in Superadobe architecture in Colombia. Then he went on to build the first Superadobe structure in the state of Alabama, which was featured in the Birmingham News.
Robert also learned the TM-Sidhi® program at MUM which, he says, helps him place his attention on what is positive and useful in life. “At MUM I learned practical as well as ambitious solutions to some of the most pressing problems our world faces,” said Robert. “At the same time, the insights gained from meditation and discussions of deep sustainability helped me to work from the roots of issues that have come up in my work and life.”
Robert graduated in 2013 and soon entered the US Peace Corps, where he taught English as a second language in a remote village in Namibia. He also taught basic information science and planted a food forest on the grounds of the school. In addition, he introduced the principles of permaculture to the community. “I liked working with kids and having the opportunity to speak to their lives and exchange perspectives and cultural dialogue with them,” he said. During his two-year service he worked with teachers at the local school to achieve marked improvement in standardized scores.
Robert recently completed his Peace Corps commitment and is headed to Hawaii, where he plans to work in real estate, manage an eco-hostel and farm, and apply for a master’s degree in tropical conservation biology at the University of Hawaii.