Adam is probably about to discover a new Messi in Buenos Aires! While he is coaching young football talents he has not only a lot of fun, but also inspires their team spirit. The young kids obviously enjoy the football lessons with a volunteer from UK, where football has orginally been invented.
I recently returned home from 2 weeks volunteering in Villa Rodrigo Bueno, a small neighbourhood in Buenos Aires. The main aim of the programme was to use organised workshops in football, boxing and English to encourage the local kids to get involved with productive activities and become active members of their community. All in all it was a fantastic experience, and I was really well looked after by the people there.
Flor and Bautista, a husband and wife team who ran the community centre, made sure I was safe, comfortable and well fed whenever I visited them and Andrea, who was the link between Iko Poran and the neighbourhood, was in constant contact with me throughout. Taking part in the workshops with the kids was a lot of fun, and I was also invited to take part in other activities with the adults too- a midweek football tournament being a particular highlight.
I’d definitely recommend learning some Spanish before you go as nobody in the neighbourhood speaks English, so communication could be a bit tricky at times. Nevertheless, everyone I met was really hospitable and I was made to feel very welcome. Facilities in the neighbourhood are very basic and the activities are subject to weather and other factors, so be open-minded and prepared for your schedule to change at short notice.
The programme title suggests that you will be coaching sports, but in reality you are mostly just joining in with the workshops, and in some cases being coached yourself! In many ways this was probably for the best as the standard of football in the neighbourhood is ridiculously high, so I’m not sure if I could have taught them anything anyway! There are still lots of ways to make yourself useful though: helping the kids with their homework in the English workshop, unloading food deliveries, and helping to distribute food to the local residents to give a few examples. As Andrea kept telling me, the more you put yourself out there, the more everyone gets out of it. – Adam Leese, United Kingdom, 26 years
Travel for sports volunteering in Argentina: in our football coaching project, you may help us discover the new Messi!!
This project offers sport activities (soccer, hockey, handball) to 400 children (boys and girls) from La Cava, a very poor neighbourhood in San Isidro, Buenos Aires.
The idea is to keep them away from the danger of drug through sports.
Everyday the coordinators highlight the importance of the respect for rules, teamwork and perseverance to become a better person physically, intellectually and socially.
Volunteer are invited to help on all the spots activities, organize their own workshop if they want and also teach English. You might get tired but it will be well worth it!
Learn to surf in South Africa and volunteer to help underprivileged children at Muizenberg, close to Cape Town.
The volunteer program takes place in Muizenberg, Cape Town. The place is renowned for its gentle rolling waves just calling out to be ridden, you will be learning to surf in one of the best places in the world. The surf is free from rips and currents, giving you the safest & best opportunity to hone your skills – it’s not as easy as it looks!
You will first learn the art of surfing, along with the addictive and electrifying feeling that comes with riding a wave all the way into the shore; then you will be working will kids from the disadvantaged areas surrounding Muizenburg, teaching them how to surf.
These are bright, enthusiastic children who have been unfortunate to grow up in underprivileged communities. Their upbringing will often have been marred by violence and tragedy, as well as limited access to money. This is why your volunteer work is so important, as it gives them the chance to get away from all of that; to spend a few carefree, laughter-filled hours in the water, where they can have fun and make friends. It provides them with a freedom that really is priceless and makes a huge impact on their lives.
This is only made possible through the help of volunteers like you. You will get to spend sun-soaked days on the beautiful beaches of South Africa, while giving new experiences and skills to these wonderful kids, letting them escape the difficulties of their lives and helping to broaden their horizons.
In your free time you will also be able to explore all the amazing places in Cape Town with the city right at your feet.
Find the complete information about volunteering in South Africa.
Warm up session on the Tanzania Sports volunteer program.
The sports program helps youth in the rural villages to foster their talents and focus on safe and healthy after school activities. Additionally, it helps youth to gain leadership skills and discipline by becoming a part of a team, and building stronger bonds with their community.
As a sports volunteer, you’ll work alongside the coaches of the football team to help facilitate daily practices. Additionally, the team will play matches on the weekends, where you will assist the coach. Volunteers do not need to be professionals in sports, but rather have a passion and excitement for this program. Though you will work on the weekends, you can arrange with our staff to take off certain weekends for travel if you want to see other parts of the country. Volunteers in the sports program are most successful if they combine it with another program, such as childcare or teaching, to fill their days with more activities and build stronger bonds with the community.
Alfonso from Kingston University in London has been volunteering on football coaching in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, and enjoyed his experience with the boys. When he finally donated football equipment, there where big smiles on their faces!
I was very happy with my time on the Sports Development Programme. My expectations of Rio were surpassed and I had an amazing time seeing the city, meeting people and doing my volunteer work. The coordinator, Felipe, was very helpful and it was a pleasure to stay with him and his family. The local people who helped with the programmes were really kind, patient and fun to work with.
Learn Portuguese before coming to Rio
I would advise future participants to try and learn as much Portuguese as possible before coming to Rio to give you a head start on being able to communicate with the locals. Don’t assume that they may speak some English, because many of the locals don’t and it will go a long way to show you have made the effort to learn their language. However, you will have lessons from a great teacher who is really patient and friendly. She will help you a lot with whatever level of Portuguese you are currently at and help you improve quickly. I learned a lot from her and really grateful for her time.
Volunteer Work in Rio during Carnival
The best time to go to Rio to do volunteer work is during carnival. You will have to pay a little bit more, but it is defiantly worth it! The Blocos, parade and weather is amazing! You will have a great time partying and seeing the parade, while helping out with whatever project you choose to do.
The Smiles on People’s Faces when I Bought Football Equipment
My favourite memories are the smiles on people’s faces when I bought football equipment and stationary with money raised by friends and work colleagues. I was able to raise £530 in two weeks and would highly recommend raising some money through a donation website, so you can go the extra mile with supporting the locals.
After retuning to London, I now take regular Portuguese classes and use online website to learn as much as possible for when I return – you will want to return… believe me!!! – Alfonso, Kingston University, London
Find out more about volunteering in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.