Two weeks ago I was voted volunteer of the week by the rest of the volunteers which was really lovely to be recognized for the work I've done so far.
One of the things I'm really enjoying helping out with is the girls night on a Friday night. Girls ages 8 to 13 from all of Rocinha are able to come along and we talk a bit about female empowerment and then do some arts and crafts which the girls really love.
At the moment we have about 4 steady attendees and some girls who have come once or twice, we're really hoping this group can grow as there is a lot of sexism in the favela and in Brazil in general but we want the girls to know that they can achieve the same things as the boys (if not more!!).
As part of work I got to go on a field trip with the four and five year old children that we teach. We went to a local park on a tiny, crazy minibus (!) and had a mini Olympic games which was hilarious and only ended in two scrapped knees.Over the other weekend I went to Santa Teresa which was a lovely tranquil place with lots of cool street art and had a park which had another great view over Rio. This last weekend I got to travel to Ilha Grande with a friend and it was honestly one of the most incredible places I've ever been to. It was an actual paradise with beautiful weather and scenery, we went on a boat trip, did snorkelling, and generally relaxed.
At the time I leave so will 9 other volunteers and there is uncertainty about how many volunteers will arrive
A craft lesson
With some of the volunteers going home I have been asked to step into a "second in command" role which means I will be doing what I normally do plus I will be more involved in discipline and the overall running of the program, in particular the morning shift which I currently work.
I will also be taking on the role of "house coordinator" for the apartment I currently live in, meaning that I oversee the general running of the apartment, although it's not too tasking. I will also be taking over leadership of girl’s night which we run on a Friday, coming up with ideas for activities and themes etc.
It could be a challenging couple of weeks coming up as I take on more responsibility but also adapt to living with new people and constantly making new friends. It has already been quite an intense few days with a number of new volunteers arriving but at least I will be able to write adaptability as a skill on my CV.
Everybody can be great because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love" (Martin Luther King Jr).
"Be the person you needed when you were younger."
"The children who need the most love often ask for it in the most unloving way."
Yes, they are expected to put their had up!
Beth was in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil for 2 and a half months, from 27th June to 2nd September, to work with a charity called Project Favela.She was there to improve her Portuguese language skills but also to do something worthwhile in the process.
She worked in a school in Rocinha, the biggest favela in Rio, giving lessons to children and adults of all ages and in a variety of subjects depending on what is needed, and where theyfelt she was best suited.
She lived in the favela in a volunteer house with other volunteers from all over the world.
Here is her 'diary'