Friday, November 29, 2013

Volunteering in Rocinha


A foto of some of the people who work with Favela Adventures, from left to right: Jody King (Dj, Tour guide and hostel manager), Dembore da Silva (Dj and instructor at our NGO Spin Rocinha, Tour guide), Andre (local football coach), Freddy Gomes (Dj, volunteer at Spin Rocinha, Tour guide, football player, NGO director of Sonvela), Zezinho (Director Favela Adventures, Founder of Spin Rocinha, Dj and Tour guide), and Erik Martins (English teacher and Tour guide).


I often get emails about people wanting to volunteer or help out in some way. I have access to many projects here that need or would welcome help from anybody. I have had the opportunity to meet some amazing people that have come here and help out. I usually post about their work here.


We welcome people to come bring their talents to share. If you are a juggler, can teach magic, teach dance, anything will do. I have access to a large space that can accommodate you and your "art" or project.


To volunteer through us, all I ask is if you are going to be working with a specific project to bring materials. For example if you are going to teach English bring notebooks, or English books. If you can't afford that, make worksheets for the students. People in favelas don't have money to spend on this but they desperately want to learn.


I had a wonderful woman Lucy from the US come and visit and she brought art materials for the small school. She brought crayons, paintbrushes, colored pencils and paints. She said she went to a "99 cent" store in the US and spent about 50 US dollars on the materials. After her doing this, I thought this is a great way to directly put back into the project. Many non profits receive money but often very little of the money gets to the project. Or if money does get the project, it doesn't get spent on what is needed.


As you see from my previous post, Beccy McCray only spent one week here yet contributed so much to Rocinha! She brought her own supplies to aid in the completion of her 3 art projects!


I have always been against travelers volunteering and having to pay some organization astronomical fees. I see value in volunteers. You spend your hard earned money to travel to some far off place to give freely your time and energy. You should not have to on top of that pay money to some organization that pockets most of the money. Please do your research if looking to volunteer especially in some developing nation.


What I recommend for people coming to Rocinha, who want to volunteer and who do not want to pay a service charge to an organization is to contact me directly. I will do the best I can to find you a project that suits your needs. All I ask, is to bring donations of materials for the project you want to work with. I also receive many donations that we distribute throughout the favela to different projects. In past blog posts you can read about our distributions here in the favela.


Some projects we have lined up are a photography class and a solar energy project that is in the beginning stages. We hope to expand to more diverse projects that can improve the lives of people living here.


We also have access to housing or staying in the favela as well. If you want to stay short term or long term, we have places for you to stay that will fit your needs. Anything from a homestay with a family to a two bedroom house.


For more information contact me at: