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Overview

In association with a local organization, Volunteering Solutions aims to turn a former trash-burning site into a flourishing urban community garden. Sounds pretty interesting right? Well, yeah - all you have to do as a volunteer are planting, watering, harvesting & eating! Learn more about tropical urban gardening and help the local favela community in understanding the necessity of this. You'll also have to work in local schools and help them set up small gardens where the students can work.

This project seriously focuses on the goal of providing the residents of two of Rio de Janeiro’s largest favela (shanty town) communities - Manguinhos and Complexo do Alemão, with nutritious food. It aims to teach them the skills to garden and supply fresh, healthy food for their families and community.

Sadly, the residents of Rio's favelas are being targeted by the door-to-door selling of cheap processed food options, an easy option for residents when there are is no vehicle to get to the supermarket and public transport is expensive. Most people in the poorest communities are also under-educated, making them more vulnerable to advertising from the major food and beverage companies. Most of the people end up consuming expensive processed foods that have very low nutritional value and the health issues keep soaring. Being a volunteer for the Urban Gardening Project, you can make an effective contribution towards the well being of the locals living here.

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Program Requirements

Volunteers must be 18 years or older at the time of joining the project and should be physically fit and prepared to work outdoors. The project is suitable for those who have a keen interest in gardening or environmental work. However, the project is available for all and does not require anyone to have a specific experience or qualifications. All volunteers must provide a clean criminal background check report prior to joining the program.

Volunteer Roles & Responsibilities

As a volunteer, your main roles and responsibilities would be:

  • Provide access to nutritious food to the residents of Complexo do Alemão – one of Rio’s largest favelas.
  • Improve the health and long-term future of some of Rio’s most impoverished people, helping in local schools and the community.
  • Raise awareness of healthy eating and teach planting techniques so that the residents can sustain the gardens and continue to create more fresh fruits and veggies.
  • Learn and teach about tropical urban gardening, medicinal plants, nutrition, and conservation.

Volunteer Work Schedule

Volunteers can expect to work 8 hours a day, 4 times a week. A typical day looks like the following. However, please keep in mind each day varies depending on the project and the volunteer

7:30/8 AM - 9 AM: Have breakfast at hostel and travel to the project.
9 AM - 12 PM: Begin project, working in the local community.
12 PM - 1 PM: Have lunch at a local restaurant.
1 PM - 4 PM: Continue working on the project.
4 PM - 5 PM: Clean up, prepare for departure, and return to the hostel.

Living

Volunteering Solutions makes great efforts to provide the best of living standards to its volunteers. In Rio De Janeiro our international volunteers are picked up from the airport and put in a hostel accommodation, equipped with all modern amenities. We also make sure that we help our volunteers with their local requirements, sightseeing or weekend tours.

Airport Transfer
Volunteers are picked up from the Galeao International Airport by a representative and transferred to the volunteers' hostel accommodation by a shuttle transfer. Those volunteers who are arriving overland or are already in Brazil will have to arrive at the accommodation on own and will not be provided with a pickup.

Orientation
A half day orientation will be provided by a member of the local coordinating team on the next day after arrival. The orientation would cover topics such as introduction to the program, general information about the program, safety Tips / Guidelines, customs, health guidelines, communities, projects and do’s and dont’s. You will also be given a tour of the local surrounding area which will help you in getting to know the area around.

Accommodation

During your volunteering journey in Brazil, you'll be living at the Cabana Copa Hostel, which is located three blocks from the famous Copacabana beach and allows for convenient access to the metro station, which is the best way to reach the favela. Volunteers will stay in 4-6 person dorm rooms with all amenities. The amenities include bed linens, breakfast, drinkable water, hot water, luggage storage, maps/tourist information, high-speed internet, 24hr security and Check-in, A/C in rooms, big individual lockers, multilingual staff, towels, and other entertainment options such as TV rooms and open-area spaces. ??

Meals
Volunteers staying at the hostel accommodation are provided with breakfast every day at the hostel. For lunch and dinner volunteers usually get together and head out to eat at one of the numerous cafe’s and restaurants and enjoy the local delicacies.

During your Free Time 

Rio de Janeiro has so much to offer for travelers and there is a lot to do on the weekends and during the free time. During free time on the weekdays volunteers usually hang out and relax at the Copacabana beach area or explore the city. Since the volunteers work four days a week, you will have an extended weekend and plenty of time to go out of Rio and explore the other areas in Brazil such as Petropolis and Paraty to name a few.

Program Cost

Please Note: -An application fee of £149 is charged over and above the program fee as an application payment.

Program Costs includes $25 per week Material costs for the project

What are you Paying for?

  • Pre-departure support services
  • Logistics support upon arrival (local travel support)
  • Accommodation
  • Airport Transfer (Pickup Only)
  • Portuguese translation support
  • First-day Program Orientation Session, City Tour, and cultural integration sessions
  • Introduction to community partners and stakeholders
  • Project planning and placement services
  • Administrative support during the entire time in Rio (24/7)
  • Emergency support during normal business hours
  • Material costs for projects in partner NGOs and schools (local donations)

What's NOT included?

  • Airfare
  • Return Airport Drop
  • Visa costs
  • Travel insurance
  • Vaccinations

Program Dates

Months 2021 2022
January - 0209162330
February - 06132027
March - 06132027
April - 03101724
May - 0108152229
June - 05121926
July - 0310172431
August - 07142128
September - 04111825
October 0310172431 0209162330
November 07142128 06132027
December 0512 0411

Available Filling Fast Not Available Past Date

 

 

FAQ's

FAQ's Application and Program Details
As we have limited spots available in our programs and we serve on first come first basis, it is strongly recommended to apply for the program and reserve your spot in the program well in advance. You can book your spot in the program by filling an online form and pay the application fee. 
Once you complete your application, your individual 'My Account' will be active in which you will receive your placement confirmation after which you can pay the program fees. You can pay the program fees later as well in installments, but 45 days before the program starts.
After you complete your application, your personalized ‘My Account’ will be active. You will need to upload your CV/Resume along with your photo in the same. Our backend team and the placement site takes around 10-12 days to review your application. After we review your CV and documents, your booking is confirmed and booking confirmation is updated in your ‘My Account’. Some projects need a mandatory criminal background check and the same is mentioned in the project info of your program. Approval of your application depends on your qualification and eligibility criteria for each project.
  • Volunteers must be 18 years or older at the beginning of the program.
  • Volunteers need to have an open mind and flexible attitude for working in a new and different environment.
  • The volunteer should bring energy and enthusiasm to make a difference.
  • The participant must be in good health.
Yes, you are welcome to take part in the Programs in Brazil as part of a group. We welcome families, friends, high school students, college/university and corporate groups to volunteer in Brazil programs together.
Yes, most definitely you can as we believe every participant brings something new to the project. If you do not have previous experience, we offer you the opportunity to have a great start with us. We make international volunteering easy – not only are our Volunteer Abroad opportunities rooted in offering you extensive support, but they are also very affordable.
Yes, we will provide you with the Certificate after successful completion of your program. The certificate is provided on request.
The programs are located in Rio de Janeiro, one of the most popular cities in Brazil. You’ll mostly be working in and around the Favelas in Rio’s South Zone (Zona Sul) and North Zone (Zona Norte): Rocinha, Pavão-Pavãozinho, Vidigal, Complexo do Alemão, and Manguinhos.
Speaking Portuguese is not a mandatory requirement to join the programs, however, knowledge of it would be an added advantage in the program. Volunteers are advised to learn basic Portuguese.
Volunteers work for around 6-8 hrs per day for 4 days a week. Three days are off for the volunteers so that they can explore Rio on own or take a long weekend trip as well to nearby locations from Rio. During the weekends, volunteers have free time to relax or take the opportunity to explore Rio de Janeiro and other areas of Brazil. Popular tourist activities include, relaxing on the beaches of Copacabana, climbing Corcovado Mountain, visiting the statue of Christ the Redeemer, exploring Iguaçu Falls and trekking through the Amazon.
Accommodation and Living
Your program coordinator or a member of the local coordinating team will take you to your placement on the first day and introduce you to everyone after giving you a basic orientation about the program, its surroundings and other facilities around the location. From the 2nd day onwards, you’ll have to commute by yourself to the program location. 
When you arrive in Rio, we will take care of all your daily expenses, which includes lodging, breakfast, Orientation and airport pickup. You'll need extra money for the meals not included, daily transportation and other personal expenses.
Health and Safety
All participants are recommended to consult their physician or travel doctor before traveling to Brazil.To view the general list of vaccinations recommended for your travel to Brazil, click here.
Yes, for all participants, it is mandatory to have a valid travel medical insurance for their trip. Volunteers have the option to purchase Travel and Medical Insurance at a nominal extra cost from Volunteering Solutions.  To provide the best option to our participants, we offer comprehensive insurance coverage in collaboration with a leading insurance provider.

If you already have a valid Travel and Medical insurance, you can email us a copy of the same. It is also advised to bring along the Insurance documents during your trip.
Connect with Past Volunteers

We encourage volunteers to get in touch with former Volunteering Solutions participants and also other program participants joining our projects. You are recommended to join the Volunteering Solutions Facebook Page or Facebook Group to communicate with other participants.

To read alumni interviews from past participants, visit the Meet a Volunteer page on our website

Flights and Visa
You'll have to book your flights to Galeão International Airport, is the main airport serving Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The airport is well connected to all major international airports in North America, South America and Europe. Here's a list of airlines that fly in and out of Rio on a regular basis: Air France, Alitalia, American Airlines, British Airways, Delta Airlines, Edelweiss Air, Emirates, Iberia, KLM etc.

Brazil requires many tourists to obtain a visa. Also, your passport should be valid for at least 6 months. Please check with your local embassy if a Visa is required. You can also ask for assistance from our Program Advisor once you’ve applied for the volunteering project in Brazil.

Other Programs in Brazil

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