Sports Development

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

About The Project

Opening January 2022!

This sporting program, while sounding simple in goal, supports lofty ambitions. By teaching at-risk youth the skills and understanding to develop a love for sport and physical activity, it is actually achieving so much more. By promoting physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle, participating students learn about the concepts of good sportsmanship and self-esteem - critical tools and skills for preventing their involvement in the crime and violence prevalent in their communities. It keeps them busy participating in fun, positive activity and helps to keep their bodies healthy through physical activity.

Volunteers participating in the program will facilitate the learning of skills in sports such as soccer, volleyball and basketball which are offered through our partner schools. As part of physical education classes, volunteers will have the ability to coach, engage in and even develop sporting programs. Most of our partner school’s welcome new ideas for their youth athletic programs, with volunteers encouraged to bring new thinking, activities and even equipment. While volunteers will leave the program having taught, facilitated and engaged students in sports and activity, they will also have participated in the far greater achievement of helping to improve students’ self-belief - and ultimately their lives.

Goals of this Project:

  • Improve the future prospects of youth in one of Rio’s shanty towns
  • Alleviate health and social issues within the Vidigal favela by engaging youth in sport today, and developing a life-long love of sport and physical activity
  • Provide free sports training to youth in sports such as soccer, volleyball, basketball (among others) and to improve their skill level and understanding and achieve their sporting goals
  • Establish an understanding between different cultures

How You Can Help

This project has a real impact of the lives of students within the Vidigal favela. International volunteers play an essential role in supplying sports ‘teachers’ to under-resourced schools, enabling them to ensure physical education and its benefits continue to be offered to students. Sports-based youth programs improve the leadership, teamwork and self-governance skills of at-risk teens. By participating in this program volunteers are supporting and empowering youth, keeping them off the streets and participating in anti-social behaviour and inspiring them to become active.

By teaching youth the skills and love of a game, it gives students a free or low cost social option to play sports alongside their friends, to meet new people with similar interests and to engage in positive social activity outside of school hours.

Students will also benefit from a greater cultural understanding from working alongside international volunteers. Volunteers learn valuable life skills, experience as a coach, teacher and facilitator, and gain a greater understanding of a different culture and the world in which we live.

Volunteers can expect to:

  • Contribute to material costs
  • Support sporting programs in local schools
  • Lead and organize activities
  • Network with local school and program staff
  • Monitor students’ progress and write debriefs



Love Volunteers welcomes all those 18 years and over who wish to help create a brighter future for children through the power of sports. This project is best suited to those who are either pursuing a career in the field of physical education, those who wish to explore an interest in this field, or those who simply wish to share the joy of sports with the next generation. As such, the project is open to all and does not require participants to have specific education, qualifications or experience, as you will be shown everything you need to know by one of local project leaders. Volunteers on this project will need a basic understanding of Portuguese (or Spanish) in order to communicate effectively with the children and the local project team. Applicants must have a genuine willingness to help, be fit and active, show drive and initiative, and bring a positive 'can-do' attitude. If this sounds like you, we want you on the team!

Additionally, volunteers applying to join this program will be required to supply to following documentation:

  • Emergency contact
  • Police check

Find out how to obtain a police check here

Project Location

Brazil, Rio de Janeiro

This program is located in the favela (shanty town) community of Vidigal - in the southern part of this sprawling city. Rio is Brazil’s second most populous city after Sao Paulo and is symbolized by the iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer which stands atop Sugarloaf Mountain and watches over all of Rio. World renowned for its eponymous carnival, Copacabana and Ipanema beaches and of course the 2016 Olympics, Rio has something to offer every traveler. This is an amazing location for volunteers to not only give back to the local communities but to have a truly memorable experience! 

Start Dates & Duration

Minimum 1 week

This project is available year-round and programs start every SUNDAY. Volunteers can choose to participate for periods ranging from 1 week to 8 weeks. Longer stays can be arranged directly with the local team, but will be subject to availability and individual visa conditions.

Please note: this program requires a minimum of 3 volunteers to go ahead.  Any bookings where this is not the case will be offered an alternative date or refunded their fees.

For current available start dates please check the calendar on the right.

Arrival & Orientation

Breakfast , Airport Pickup Included

Upon your arrival in Rio de Janeiro, you will be collected at the airport and delivered to your accommodation. On Monday morning you will receive an orientation to help you settle in, find out about your volunteering placement, the local surroundings and meet your fellow volunteers (if you haven't already!). A representative from the local team will fill you in on local and regional customs, traveling, rules and recommendations, and of course, what to expect from your volunteering experience. They will also help you with purchasing a local sim phone card if required. Local maps and a transport guide are provided free of charge by the hostel. This is a great opportunity to get to know your hosts, meet your fellow volunteers, and ask any last questions you may have!

  • Program Arrival Day: SUNDAY
  • Program Departure Day: SATURDAY
  • Arrival/Departure Airport: Rio de Janeiro–Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport (aka Galeão International Airport), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Code: GIG)

Accommodation & Meals

Public Hostel / Meals Included

Volunteers on this project are accommodated in popular Rio de Janeiro youth hostels, located either in Copacabana, Zona Sul or Rio, depending on the location of the placement.  All hostels are well placed in the safe and popular areas, near the beach and within convenient access to metro stations, restaurants and the many attractions of this vibrant city.

Volunteers stay in 4- 6 person dorm rooms. Hostel amenities include (but are not limited to): bed linens, breakfast, drinkable water, hot showers, luggage storage, maps/tourist information, high-speed internet, 24hr security and check-in, air conditioning or ceiling fans in rooms, individual lockers, multilingual staff, towels and entertainment options such as TV rooms and open area spaces to hang out, catch up with fellow travellers, or to simply relax!

All hostels are well managed and meticulously clean; a perfect home away from home and a wonderful base for your stay in Rio!

Volunteers are provided with a traditional Brazilian breakfast every day at the hostel (included in the program fee). They then have the opportunity to use other meal times to experience the amazing culture and cuisine that Rio has to offer. Simply get a few of your fellow hostel mates together and head out to one of the many local restaurants, bars or cafes and enjoy all the local and international delicacies on offer! Easy! 

Extra nights at the hostel can be arranged at a cost of $25 per person per night.

Prefer to arrange your own accommodation and airport transfer?  No problem!  Program fees are reduced to:
1 week  $199
2 weeks $275
additional weeks $100


From USD 439
Program fee:
Different currency?
USD 439

That’s just USD 63 per day* for:

  • Airport pick-up on arrival
  • Orientation & full safety briefing
  • Accommodation (as specified above)
  • Food & Meals (as specified above)
  • 24/7 local support network
  • Project placement & onsite supervision

*In addition to the program fees listed above a Registration Fee is payable to secure your place. The registration fee is USD 299 for those volunteering with Love Volunteers for the first time or USD 149 for any subsequent volunteer placements. The registration fee includes: lifetime LV Alumni Membership, fundraising support & advice, dedicated pre-departure support, certificate of completion (on request), and exclusive access to the LV Trip Planner.

Some things are not included in the program fees listed above, such as flights, visas, vaccinations, travel insurance, additional foods and snacks, spending money, local transport, in-country trips and excursions, return airport transfer (unless mentioned above).

Please note that prices are subject to change without notice. Please ensure you have read the Love Volunteers Terms and Conditions & Refund Policy.

Additional Info

Prefer a private room?

Private rooms can be arranged at the hostel for an additional charge of approximately US$45 per night (dependent on availability.  Price confirmed at time of booking).

Need extra nights at the hostel?

The listed program fee above covers your accommodation from Sunday to Saturday each week of your program, but for those who wish to stay on in Rio after the completion of their volunteering program (to explore or to simply wait for a more convenient departing flight time), extra nights at the hostel can be arranged for US$25 per night. Simply let us know and we will book this for you (additional accommodation fees to be paid directly to the local team on arrival into Rio). 

Arranging your own accommodation?

If you would prefer to arrange your own accommodation the program fee will be adjusted accordingly.  

1 week: US$195
2 weeks: US$245
+ US$75 for each additional week.