About The Project
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
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
This project is available year-round and programs start every SUNDAY. Volunteers can choose to participate for periods ranging from 1 week to 12 weeks. Longer stays can be arranged directly with the local team, but will be subject to availability and individual visa conditions.
Spaces on this project are limited and therefore subject to availability. Early booking is recommended.
For current available start dates please check the calendar on the right.
Arrival & Orientation
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
Volunteers on this project are accommodated at one of Rio de Janeiro’s top youth hostels - the CabanaCopa Hostel - which is perfectly located in the safe and popular area of Copacabana next to a beautiful nature park just three blocks from the famous Copacabana Beach and within convenient access to metro stations, restaurants and the many attractions of this vibrant city. Volunteers will stay in shared dormitory-style rooms of various sizes, with shared bathroom facilities. Hostel amenities include (but are not limited to): bed linens, breakfast, drinkable water, hot water, luggage storage, maps/tourist information, high-speed internet, 24hr security and Check-in, A/C in rooms (or ceiling fans), big individual lockers, multilingual staff, towels, other entertainment options such as TV rooms. Several awesome communal areas are provided for guests to hang out, catch up with the many fellow travellers, or to simply relax!
All standard amenities are available in the hostel, including hot showers and modern bathrooms, air conditioning/ceiling fans, microwave, bed linen and free drinking water. There is even free Wi-Fi, an onsite bar and a pool table! Private double rooms w/ensuite are available on request for an additional fee and external laundry services are available nearby. The hostel is well managed and meticulously clean, is 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 meals 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!
*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.
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).