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Need a Little Time-Out? What to Expect During a Volunteer Service in Brazil

May 18, 2018
Outlook on favela in Rio de Janeiro

Enriching experiences through a social year

Brazil is an incredible country. The pure joy of life, breathtaking panoramas, and a fascinating culture provide unforgettable moments during a trip to Brazil.
A round trip as a tourist will certainly already provide comprehensive impressions. But if you want to experience and understand a country intensively, a longer stay on-site is advisable. During a voluntary social year in Brazil, you will not only get to know the country superficially, but you will immerse yourself in everyday Brazilian life.
Volunteer service in Brazil can be done in a wide variety of areas: Child and youth welfare institutions, outpatient social services, or work in environmental and nature conservation centers. Everyone can become active where their interests lie. Combine supportive work with personal development and learning a new language. Among other things, your acquired Portuguese language skills will help you to quickly settle in Brazil. But also the Brazilian hospitality will help you to feel that you are no longer a stranger. Sooner or later everyone falls for the Brazilian mentality and will find a second home here.

Sounds good, but what are the next steps?

Thanks to a change in the law in 2002, voluntary services can now be made even more flexible. The fields of activity have been expanded to include sports and culture. The duration of the service is usually six to twelve months, but can also be extended.
Anyone interested in completing a voluntary social year can either plan their stay independently or contact an appropriate organization. If you do not yet have sufficient contacts in your target region, it is best to use the experience of a sending organization. This organization is responsible for placing applicants in the desired projects. The organizations also support the volunteers in dealing with bureaucratic processes and, ideally, also prepare the assignment. The future project participants already receive the necessary basics for their upcoming stay through preparatory seminars or language courses.
The major sending organizations are for example "Weltwärts" or "Kulturweit". The websites of these organizations list numerous target countries with associated projects. Direct contact with the respective contact persons is possible by telephone or e-mail. The application for voluntary service is done online.

Social projects or farm work: Voluntary service in a foreign country

The organization "Freunde der Erziehungskunst Rudolf Steiners e.V." has been assisting volunteers in planning their stay abroad since 1993. This year's programs planned for Brazil focus primarily on projects within educational institutions. The volunteer services in Brazil also focus on working with children and young people.
This year it is still possible to apply for various projects. For example, volunteers can work in a self-help organization on the outskirts of São Paulo. The priority during the volunteer service will be to work with children and young people. In particular, the social environment should be included in the activities. During the Voluntary Social Year, adult work will therefore also be carried out. The volunteers will support the families in productive activities, through which their economic situation will be improved.
For those who are more interested in working in nature, exciting projects are also offered.
During a voluntary service on a biodynamic farm in São Paulo, the participants can work in different areas. They help out in the bakery, cheese dairy, jam production, store, and markets. The volunteer service also includes various construction work. For example, they are dedicated to the construction and maintenance of buildings. Trees are also planted, fences are made and the specially created gardens are maintained.
The projects offered are diverse and the experiences during a voluntary social year in Brazil are unique and distinctive. Combining a stay abroad with work in a social project is an ideal way to experience the everyday life of a country authentically.
On your Brazil trip, you can already gain first impressions and maybe even decide for a longer stay in this versatile country.

Source: www.freiwilligenarbeit.de

Source: Aventura do Brasil