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Volunteer in Sports Development in Brazil

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

My 5 week experience in Brazil

Where to start? My experience in Brazil was amazing! The people, the food, the environment, it was all great. Getting into the country I was a little nervous because hearing about Brazil at the time I went, which was when the zika virus was starting to boil up and become big; but being there I actually rarely got bit by mosquitoes and the need to bring 2 bottles of spray was not necessary. People blew up that we were going to get sick and ill but, in reality, nothing happened to any of us, which made the trip a lot better and very excited to see what else was out there. To see and meet all these new faces, not only from people of the country but people in the house.

Arriving to the house meeting Miguel, Vanessa, Monique, Zac, and all the house coordinators was amazing. They welcome you and greet you with open arms just like family would. Heading to the into the sports program and meeting all the cute children and seeing how happy they were that new faces were coming into their space and trying to help them and teach them a few new things was great.

Overall, throughout my experience what I learned was that with the kids and their teacher Carlao is that they are just grateful for everything that they have and very pleased by what you can do for them, whether it be a small gesture or a big change, they'll thank you for it no matter what. In the program you see the love and respect that the kids have for Carlao, as he provides them with education and recreation, also known as futebol. Most importantly, he gives the student a sense of direction. Direction to stay on the right paths and to do the right things.

So, to say my experience was good, would be an understatement. Words cannot explain how pleased I am to have done a trip like this. To go out and be able to make at least one impact on the people of Rio de Janeiro is a blessing. So if you have your doubts, yes do the research but know that people over exaggerate on the problems and concerns of what goes on down there. Speaking from experience, I would recommend that you all go out and see this beautiful country and what it has to offer. I hope to see Brazil again sometime soon and all the amazing people that I met on my previous encounter there.

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review October 31, 2016 at 4:44 PM

    Hi Mayamona, Wow! What an awesome review! We are so glad that you felt supported by the local team and have gained an international family from your time in Brazil. It’s nice to hear that you were able to witness the positive impact that Carlao is having on his students – that’s ideal! Thanks for being an IVHQer!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Community Impact

    7

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    10

Absolutely the best!

I stayed in Rio in jan/feb 2016. And I absolutely loved every single thing about it. The application process was really simple and I am glad IVHQ's program coordinator takes the time to answer all your questions personally in an e-mail (way to go!!). I lived with different volunteers from all over the world in a house, we shared a room with 4 girls and it was the best thing ever. I mad a lot of new friends and I am currently planning on coming back!

As for volunteering.. I absolutely loved the soccer placement. The kids were amazing and the soccer coach is a guy who really cares about his community. I brought a few donations and school supplies to the kids and their reaction was definitely worth it! Besides the soccer program I also got the opportunity to teach English after soccer. GUYS THIS IS THE BEST! Leaving the kids after a few weeks with a broader vocabulary was a thing I was really proud of.

Brazilian people were so friendly and helpful. I had withdrawals as soon as I got to the airport LOL! Our house manager Miguel is the best guy. I am definitely returning again this year! My only downside was the rather expensive price but with the two main program coordinators of JIVE (Zac and Vivi) taking care of you, being there if you need anything I felt really safe so it is definitely worth the money if this is your first time in Brazil and want to make sure you'll be safe.

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review October 06, 2016 at 7:42 PM

    Hi Yasmin, It is absolutely our pleasure! We are so glad to hear that you had the best time on the program in Rio. It is great that you noticed how caring, kind and dedicated to the community our local team are – we couldn’t agree more! We can’t wait to have you back on the program again soon.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    7

  • Health and Safety

    7

  • Social Life

    9

You don't need your eyes to play football

Me and my girlfriend spent the first week in Rio as normal tourists. We started off with an amazing New Year's evening in Copacabana beach, a party that included another 2 million people! We then did the typical things, like visiting the Sugar Loaf, Ipanema or the Botanical gardens. The magical part of our trip was yet to begin, though.
When we moved to the hostel in Santa Tereza and met the rest of the volunteering crowd, we could feel that we would discover much more. The organisers, Zac and Vivi, were extremely kind and helpful, and made us feel at home since the beginning. In the first day, they told us about the project each person would be working on, gave us a lot of tips on what to do, and what to avoid. This also included a walking tour to familiarize people with the surrounding environment.
My girlfriend was assigned to a project in a surf school in Rocinha, the largest favela in Brazil, where she could do some child care activities, English teaching, or just go to the beach and surf with the kids! It was exactly the kind of experience we were hoping for.
I had registered for the sports program and was surprised to know that I would be working with a team of blind athletes, some of which had been Olympic medalists! I would soon learn that I would be a hopeless goal-keeper against them, as they would easily shoot on target, even without being able to see the goal! The players managed to navigate the field, avoid collisions and control the ball, all based on sounds emitted by the ball or other people's voices. It's very touching and humbling to see how you can overcome a physical limitation and master such a complex sport, initially designed for people that can rely extensively on vision. When you interact with these guys, you definitely get a life lesson on resilience, determination and optimism!
Another thing that I enjoyed was the fact that occasionally we had a free day. You can use those to do a bit of tourism, or better, get to know other people's projects. For example, we visited other volunteers in the Carnival project and once I went to Santa Marta community and played football with the kids there, which as beyond awesome!
The fact that both me and my girlfriend spoke fluent Portuguese definitely helped throughout our stay, but I have the impression that the volunteers that didn't still had an amazing time. You just have to take some time to learn the basics and then improvise as you go along.
Enjoy Rio! :)

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review April 30, 2015 at 10:50 PM

    Hi Hugo, Thanks for sharing a little about your experience on our Brazil program. It sounds like you both had a really great time. Thanks for volunteering with IVHQ, we hope to see you both on another of our programs again soon.