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.