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Working with Children in Brazil
International Volunteer HQ collage photos of participants International Volunteer HQ collage photos of participants

Working with Children in Brazil

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

IVHQ childcare program review

Having just returned from my IVHQ experience in Brazil, I can honestly say that it was one of the most exciting times of my life! The program provided me with the opportunity to work and interact with amazing Brazilian children in a way that was both fun and educational. I felt that I also learnt a lot from the children about life which I will keep with me forever. Unfortunately, I did not learn Portuguese before coming to Brazil. This didn't hinder my experience as much as I thought it would when interacting with the locals as I was still able to form friendships with people, but learning the language will assist your experience immensely!

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review April 20, 2017 at 5:02 PM

    Hi Sharon, Thanks for your great review of the IVHQ Brazil volunteer program! We are so stoked to hear that you found the volunteer work was both fun and educational. Thanks for not letting your lack of Portuguese hinder your experience, however we totally agree that leaning the language will help you interact with the locals. Thanks for being an awesome IVHQ volunteer!
    Lachlan – IVHQ Brazil Program Manager

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    5

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    10

A Blessed Experience in Brazil

It was a mix of trepidation and excitement venturing over to Brazil for 4 weeks. As 19-year-old girl travelling by herself to a foreign country there were obviously some nerves. This apprehension was however quickly dismissed once arriving in the volunteer hostel. The welcoming staff and other friendly volunteers made this transition to this new life extremely easy. It took a couple of days to adjust to the extremely hot weather and lack of utilities that we are so lucky to have at home in Australia, such as air-conditioning, clean drinking water and adequate plumbing. Starting up the placement of working with children was an incredible experience. I was with 2 other volunteers from the house so it was reassuring going with other familiar faces. It was so insightful in order to see how these children lived in their communities. I brought along a ball game and the joy it brought these children was so satisfying it simply reinforced all the reasons why I wanted to do the volunteer work. Language was a barrier as the children tried to communicate and although you tried your hardest to understand they occasionally got slightly frustrated. Although I was taking the 2 weeks of IVHQ Portuguese lessons I would recommend having a rather strong knowledge of the language before arriving in Rio. The impact our volunteer work had on the children was significant to an extent. As the community centre where the children were already had supplied and materials, we were more there to play with the children, rather than to teach them different skills or languages. The time spent with the children was only topped off by the unreal experiences shared with the fellow volunteers. I can honestly say I have made friends for life. This sounds so cheesy but without a doubt this experience has changed my outlook on life and I will return home with a more grateful and open attitude, which only a volunteer experience like this could teach me.

A few tips when volunteering in Rio!
~ Bring loads of sunscreen! The South American sun is so strong it’s really easy to get burnt. (Probably useful to pack some aloe-vera in case you get burnt)
~ If possible, bring a laptop or other device where you can download pics and communicate with people back home
~ When out, try to take as minimal as possible. I rarely took out a bag and put my money in pockets or my bra – only take out your phone if you really need it!
~ Pack some comfortable walking shoes. There is a lot of walking around Santa Teresa and it is a whole lot easier in comfortable shoes!
~ Bring any favourite snacks from back home – for me I wish I had brought some peanut butter! Brazilian peanut butter just isn’t the same.
~ Bring the necessary medication e.g. gastro stop, aspirin (As there is a chance you will need these!)

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review February 19, 2015 at 3:49 PM

    Awesome volunteer travel tips! Thanks for sharing :) It sounds like you had a really memorable volunteer and travel experience in Brazil which is great to hear. Thanks for volunteering with IVHQ and we hope to have you on another of our programs again in the future.