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Coach football to children from a local favela in the south zone of Rio de Janeiro and at a football centre in the north of the city. At both centres you’ll work with young children and teenagers with a passion for football, whose enthusiasm is infectious. These kids are very talented but love having volunteers teach them new tricks!

You don't need any qualifications to coach sports in Brazil, just a basic understanding of the game you're coaching and a love of sports, as well as an enthusiasm to share it!


We've added some exciting new half-day and 1-day tours of Rio, with your own personal guide, to make your stay even more ejoyable!

You can add one, two or more of these low-cost / high fun tours to your itinerary and get to see Rio from a local's perspective.

See the "Optional Add-Ons tab below - the hardest part is which choice to make!


Price: £795 (approx. US$1,050) for 1 week
£275 (approx. US$380) for each additional week.
Excludes flights. Please see Full Price List & Other Currencies
Duration: From 2 weeks to 6 months or longer, subject to visa requirements.
Start Dates: All year round – you choose your start and finish dates.
Requirements: No qualifications or experience required, but you must be enthusiastic and have a good knowledge of the game. Minimum age 18.
What's included: Arranging your Programme
Full pre-departure support and assistance
Payment Protection insurance
Food (breakfast only)
Meeting you at the nearest Airport
Transfer to your accommodation
Daily transport to and from your project
Local in-country team support and backup
24-hr emergency support
Free T-Shirt
Certificate of Completion
What's not included: Flights, Insurance, Cost of Visas (if a visa is required), Food (except breaksfast, which is provided, Return transfer to the airport.
Who can do this Programme? This project is open to all nationalities. Suitable for gap years or those taking a year out, grown-up gappers, career breakers, anyone interested in coaching sports, care, teaching or working with children overseas while doing voluntary work, teaching projects abroad, or study abroad. Also available as a summer placement in Brazil or South America, short breaks or for those wanting to do TEFL teaching.
Available as part of the Latin-American Triangle.


  • An exciting opportunity to travel, see the world and experience a foreign culture first-hand.
  • New language skills, more confidence and invaluable personal and professional development.
  • The enormous satisfaction of helping disadvantaged children and knowing that you made a difference to them.
  • An opportunity to take a break from the traditional academic track or your current career path in order to gain life experience and global cultural awareness
  • An entry on your CV or Résumé that will enhance your career opportunities and make you stand out from the crowd.
  • Make friends, form relationships and build memories that will last a lifetime.
  • Opportunities to enjoy some exciting adventure and cultural activities while on your programme.
  • And best of all ... an unforgettable experience!


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Depending on availability and where you are most needed, you may work at just one or both centres. You'll spend time sharing your skills and building confidence and team morale, whilst working towards improving technique and strategy. What you will offer through coaching is immeasurable in terms of education in social skills, team work, self- development, confidence and the obvious positive effects it will have on their English language learning.

In the centre in the North the children train three days a week; Monday, Wednesday and Friday for two sessions, one morning and one evening and at the centre in the favela they train Monday to Friday, afternoons only.

At both centres you will be coaching children and teenagers aged between 6 to 18 and your main role is to assist the coach in all roles from warm up’s, drills, skill practice, to refereeing and sometimes you can also get involved in playing the game, as the kids love to play above all else!. Your working hours may vary as you may work solely at one centre or divide your time between the two. The children have a huge love for football and take it very seriously so working at this project will be a totally rewarding experience as their enthusiasm is infectious!

Coaching swimming is also available in conjunction with your football coaching project; however you need to hold a level one badge or a lifeguard’s certificate as a minimum requirement.

The project runs all year round except for Carnaval; the dates for 2017 are 24th February to 1st March.

The best part so far is seeing the enthusiasm of the kids at the football projects. They are all really friendly and try to communicate and thank me all the time. Seeing a famous city like Rio has also been of one my favourite parts. Jonas Geier

The first day or so in any new environment can always be a bit uncertain, but the placement kicked off with a really warm welcome from Karen and Romulo, the staff at the Samba Palace, and then finally Jose at the football pitch! From a football perspective, I was really pleased to see the 3G a step pitch and the players all kitted out in strips - it is certainly taken seriously but all in good spirit at all age groups. We sometimes do drills, at other times games and you have to be on your best game of you join in! It's a case of just getting stuck in really - play, coach, referee, help organise. Each day can be different. Cameron Holt

With everyone turning out to play, team Sunscreen headed to the pitches to take on some local talent. The pitches were all busy as usual for a weekend, but we found one pitch (in slightly better nick than the last time). With a couple of kids who had a ball and with our broken Portuguese and lots of random gesturing, we managed to get a game of 5-A-Side going.
The 2 hours in the burning heat was brilliant and we headed home feeling very much the better for it.
The evening was even more eventful, we’d decided to go watch Rio’s two biggest teams fight it off in the season’s big derby match – Fluminense v Vasco!
Rupert Webb

If you speak some Portuguese (or even Spanish), you will find it very beneficial on this project. But don't be put off if languages aren't your thing! You're sure to pick up some of the basic words whilst you are there, and will find other ways to converse without language becoming a barrier. Don't forget that we can also arrange some Portuguese Lessons for you during your programme if you'd like. Please ask for details.


You’ll stay at a welcoming modern hostel in leafy Laranjeiras, a wonderful area of Rio, just a 15 minute walk away from where you can take the train to Cristo Redentor – one of Brazil’s biggest attractions! With friendly staff and a relaxed atmosphere, you are sure to feel at home as soon as you step inside. The hostel comprises facilities including TV’s, computers and free Wi-Fi.

You'll stay in a dorm room (female dorms for woman and mixed sex dorms for men) but upgrades to a private room is available at a supplement. You will have access to a well equipped kitchen where you can prepare lunch and dinner and the hostel also offers a tasty Brazilian lunch for a good price.

Laranjeiras is one of the most traditional parts of Rio and is close to the Guanabara Palace and the Fluminese Football Club’s training ground. You are just a 15 minute walk from the closest metro station and you can reach Copacabana beach in under 30 minutes. Nearby are banks, restaurants, supermarkets, shops, bars – everything you could need is right on your doorstep.

Breakfast is included in this project and is a fabulous spread of coffee, milk, fruit juice, bread, butter, jams, meat, eggs, yogurts, cereal, fruit and cakes which should set you up for the day. You're located in the heart of Rio so there is an almost endless variety of dishes and restaurants, which is why we've provided the accommodation as breakfast only. Most of our volunteers regard eating out as one of the highlights of living in South America.

On your doorstep are numerous restaurants including local Brazilian fare, ‘Por Kilo’ restaurants (which charge based upon the weight of your food), Chinese, Japanese, Subway and snack shops galore! The snack shops, (Boteco’s) are a good option where ‘salgado’s are served (a type of savoury pastry filled with meat, cheese or chicken) and ‘pao de queijo’ (literally ‘cheese balls’ – delicious little cheese and bread balls) that all cost around Rs 4. One thing is for sure, you won't go hungry in Rio!


Read important information about the Support & Backup you receive before you leave and during your programme.

Read about the Safety and Security measures we take to ensure your safety and wellbeing while on our programme.


Once you have applied for a placement, we'll contact you and send you our Welcome Pack. You'll also receive Log-on details and password for our Volunteer Extranet where you'll have access to all the documentation and information which we've put together to facilitate preparations for your adventure! Your Project Co-ordinator for your country will liaise with you throughout the arrangements process, as well as while you're on your placement and on your return home.

The documents you'll have access to also include a Country Factfile, Safety Guide and any manuals that may assist you on your particular programme (e.g. Teaching Guide, Sports Manuals, Enrichment Suggestions for Animal Care, etc.). We do all we can to make your stay one that you'll never forget. This is a truly awesome, elegant and beautiful country.

As with all our destinations, the culture and heritage is different to what you're used to ... which, although one of the most exciting aspects of travelling, should be borne in mind. Self-reliance and independence are highly appreciated in all our destinations and will help you to make the most of this wonderful opportunity!

FREE COACHING MANUALS: As a volunteer sports coach with Travellers, you have access to a large number of coaching manuals for each sport - these manuals were produced in-house by our Sports Manager. These manuals are very useful and will help you to plan coaching sessions for your students.

As well as protecting all our volunteers, Travellers Worldwide is committed to all our projects and dedicated to practices which protect children and vulnerable adults from harm. Read Travellers' Child Care and Vulnerable Adults Policy.



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Travellers Team making a welcome donation to the Football Project


Make the most of your time there! To help you do that, we've put together some exciting activities, courses and tours that you can add to your itinerary. These are designed to be fun, but also to enable you to learn, and expand your personal and professional development enjoyment ... but mostly for your enjoyment! :-)

1-day Walking Tour of Central Rio de Janeiro in Brazil

Price: £45 for the 7-hour tour
Includes Lunch, Refreshments, Entrance Fees and Transport. You'll be personally guided on the tour by Romulo, who is very enthusiastic and knowledgeable about his home-town of Rio and Brazil in general.

You'll be picked up from the hostel at 9.30 a.m. for a full day tour of the city, including lunch. You'll see some of the famous sites of downtown Rio, including Otero da Gloria, Cinelandia, and Largo da Carioca and learn about the history of these areas.

We’ll stop for coffee at Confeitaria Colombo, a café in a historical building over 100 years old. After this welcome pit stop, we'll continue our tour to Mercado Popular and then Saara (Rio’s largest outdoor market), where there are hundreds of shops in small narrow streets. We continue onto Candelaria church and CCBB (one of the most important cultural centres in Brazil) with its neoclassical designs. The CCBB has a good bookshop and often has great exhibitions.

We leave here and walk up a small hill to Mosteiro São Bento, a good example of Brazilian Colonial architecture and amazing opulence! We head back down the hill to Praça Mauá, a large square with great waterside views and home to Museu do Amanha. You'll have time to visit the museum before heading back to the hostel (entrance fee not included).

Morning coffee and lunch is included on the tour. Comfortable shoes recommended. Don’t forget your camera!

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Walking Tour of some of Rio de Janeiro's famous beaches

Price: £37 for the 4-hour tour
Includes Refreshments, Entrance Fees (if any) and Transport. You'll be personally guided on the tour by Romulo, who is very enthusiastic and knowledgeable about his home-town of Rio and Brazil in general.

You'll be picked up from the hostel at 10.00 a.m. We'll take a local bus to Gloria and walk down to the Promenade. Here you'll enjoy amazing views of Guanabara Bay, Pão de Açucar (Sugar Loaf Mountain) and Flamengo Park. You can watch the planes take off and land as they circle Sugar Loaf Mountain and enjoying watching beach volleyball all along the beach.

We'll take a well-earned rest at the Obelisk for refreshing coconut water as we leave Flamengo beach behind and walk towards Botafogo Bay. This is a gorgeous walk where you'll see small ships in the harbour and closer views of Urca and Sugar Loaf Mountain - and of course,, the Cristo Redentor.

We'll hop on a bus for a short ride to Urca and Praia Vermelha. You may even catch sight of some small monkeys here! We'll walk through to Urca Beach, where there are many bars and restaurants with lots of people hanging out and sipping on a cold drink. We'll join them and take in more stunning views!

After our long walk we'll take a taxi back to the hostel, arriving around 2.oo p.m. Note: Please wear comfortable footwear and, again, don’t forget your camera!

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1-D Tour of the Ilha de Paqueta (the Island of Paqueta) in Rio

1-Day Tour of the Gorgeous Ilha de Paqueta (Island)
Price: £65 for the 8-9 hour tour
Includes Lunch, Refreshments, Ferry Costs, Entrance Fees (if any) and Transport. You'll be personally guided on the tour by Romulo, who is very enthusiastic and knowledgeable about his home-town of Rio and Brazil in general.

You'll be picked up from the hostel at 10.00 a.m. and return at approximately 6.30 p.m. The way to this lovely island is by ferry, which takes just over an hour from the centre of Rio. The trip to and from the island itself is pretty cool! The ferry journey goes under the Niteroi Bridge for amazing views of Rio de Janeiro – not to be missed.

The Island is car-free (except for 1 police car and the rubbing truck) and all transport on the Island is limited to bicycles, cycle rickshaws and horse drawn carriages - and that makes a tour of this island very special. You'll discover colonial buildings, a lovely park, a museum, outstanding view-points, lots of beaches. You'll also see the famous Baobab tree; legend has it you kiss the tree to bring you luck!

Our tour includes a cycle rickshaw ride which makes lots of stops for photo opportunities, including the time to visit the museum.

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Stand-up Paddle Boarding lessons in Rio De Janeiro in Brazil

Includes the hire of a board.
Includes transport to and from each lesson.
1 Single Lesson = £20.00
5 Lessons = £75

A popular and fun sport in Rio de Janeiro is the fast-growing Stand Up Paddle. This sport originated in Hawaii and is taking the world by storm ... everyone's doing it! Set on one of the most famous beaches in the world, Copacabana, you will spend a little time on land learning from the professionals on how to control the board with the paddle and keep your balance, before taking to the water for a great workout whilst admiring the stunning scenery.

  • All abilities catered for.
  • Lessons are one hour each

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Learn the art of Brazilian Cooking in Rio De Janeiro

PRICE: £65 for the half-day lesson
Includes lesson fees and ingredients.
Includes transport to and from the lesson.

A fantastic opportunity to join other foreigners for a real taste of Brazilian cooking. This is a fun half day where you will cook, eat, drink, have a lot of laughs and make new friends. You'll learn to cook traditional and exotic Brazilian food with a popular, friendly and knowledgeable teacher who will also give you an insight into the history of the food you will be cooking.

Your classes take place at a cooking school in the heart of Copacabana. Classes are 4 hours long and take place on Mondays to Fridays, mornings or afternoons, with two delicious menus to choose from:

  • Seafood Moqueca – a delicious Brazilian fish stew
  • Feijoada – a stew of black beans and meat which is part of the staple Brazilian diet
  • Vegetarian options are also available.

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Portuguese Lessons in in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil

** 1 Week Intensive Portuguese Course, 10 hours, private lessons, £545
(prior to starting your placement, including accommodation)
** 1 Week Intensive Portuguese Course, 20 hours, private lessons, £745 (prior to starting your placement, including accommodation)
** Portuguese Lessons, 10 hours per week, £180 per week (at the same time as your placement)
** Portuguese Lessons, 20 hours per week, £340 per week (at the same time as your placement)

Take Portuguese lessons alongside ANY project or as an intensive introduction course before you start. You can take a course for any length of time to run alongside your placement OR you can take a 1 week introductory course before you start your project at a super discounted price:

Your Portuguese lessons are with a private tutor for maximum exposure to the Portuguese language, and lessons are structured to suit your needs for maximum flexibility. Classes are held Monday to Friday and you will take your classes at a professional, prestigious school in the heart of Rio de Janeiro.

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Portuguese Lessons in Florianopolis in Brazil

Price: £70 per week for 5 lessons of 1 hour each per week
Includes transport to and from each lesson.
Includes Course fees.

Your classes will take place at the home of a local Brazilian teacher who has taught Portuguese as a foreign language since 2008. She also lived in the USA for 8 years and speaks fluent English. Lessons take place around 30 minutes by bus from your accommotion.
Classes are in one hour sessions and take place Monday to Friday, and they will be fit around your volunteering schedule.
Portuguese Language Lessons (5 hrs per week at the same time as your main project)
Lessons are available at Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced levels and are in the form of private classes that are prepared personally to fit your needs. You'll also be strongly encouraged only to speak Portuguese

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Surfing Lessons in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil

1 Single Lesson = £22.00
5 Lessons = £85

Includes transport to and from each lesson.

Surfing is a way of life in Rio and its home is Arpoador Beach, where our surfing lessons take place. Because of the fantastic rolling waves, the beach hosts to many surfing tournaments a year, and for the truly daring, spotlights on the beach also allow for surfing at night!

  • Lessons are arranged in conjunction with your main project and each lesson lasts one hour.
  • Lessons are arranged in groups with other volunteers or tourists up to a maximum of 4 people.
  • You can choose as many lessons as you like.
  • These lessons cater to all levels of skill, from Beginner upwards.

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Surfing Lessons in Florianopolis in Brazil

Price: £90 for a Course of 8 x 1-hour lessons
Includes Course fees.
Includes transport to and from each lesson.

The island of Florianopolis has 42 beaches and some of the most consistent surf spots in Brazil! Some of the beaches hold the worldwide surfing championships making it an ideal place to learn or improve your surfing skills. Lessons will take place on either Praia de Ingleses or Praia Barra da Lagoa, normally in the mornings. Your teacher speaks good English and is a member of the local Surf Association.

  • Lessons are arranged in conjunction with your main project and each lesson lasts one hour.
  • The course consists of 8 hours of surfing
  • Lessons are group classes with other volunteers/tourists up to a maximum of 4 people.
  • These lessons cater to all levels of skill, from Beginner upwards.

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Capoeira lessons in Rio De Janeiro in Brazil

Includes course fees.
Includes transport to and from each lesson.
£65 for the first 1 week (4 lessons)
£50 for each additional week of 4 lessons

Comprises 4 classes per week, Monday to Thursday, each lasting 1.5 hours

Our Capoeira lessons run concurrently with your main project and the course consists of 6 hours per week, 4 lessons each lasting 1.5 hours. These are group lessons which you will take with locals and foreigners and if you are a beginner please don’t worry, after the warm up a teacher will be allocated specifically for beginners and will help you with the moves.

You don’t need to be particularly fit, flexible or have previous martial arts experience to learn Capoeira but of course this well help. You need to wear comfortable clothing but the purchase of a uniform is completely optional.

Capoeira is not only a martial art, a dance and an art form steeped in Afro-Brazilian culture, it's also a language, a form of self-expression and freedom inside yourself - and the way to gain a deeper understanding of Brazilian culture! The basic moves are simple and, with a little practice, they are easy to learn.

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Ju-Jitsu Lessons in Florianopolis in Brazil

PRICE: £25 per week, includes 3 lessons a week of 1.5 hours each. Also includes transport to and from your lessons.

Lessons take place in a classroom attached to a local church, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Friday evenings for 1.5 hours each session. Classes are held in groups where you'll mix with other volunteers, tourists and local people. You will need to wear a kimono which you can either bring with you or you can purchase one locally.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is the martial art with speciality in floor fighting and grabbing, in which weight and strength are not the most important in fighting. Practice this martial art in a Brazilian style, with an experienced Brazilian teacher with over 20 years experience, teaching in Florida and Hawaii. Get to know Jiu-Jitsu Brazilian fighters, make new friends, learn the Brazilian technique and have fun!

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Latin Dance Lessons in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil

£55 for fortnight (4 lessons of 1 hour each, 4 lessons in total per fortnight)
£50 per fortnight, i.e. each additional 2 weeks

Styles of dance taught: Ballroom Dance, Samba, or Forró.

You can choose to learn Samba, Forro, or Ballroom dance and you will have 2 x one hour of group lessons per week. You can also learn Tango or Zouk but these classes are taught only once a week – but you can mix and match!

These dance classes are designed to be taken alongside your main project. The classes tend to take place in the evenings on Mondays to Saturdays and your timetable will be given to you prior to your arrival. You will take group lessons with locals and foreigners.

The dance studio is a short bus ride away from your accommodation and the cost of transport is not included in the price.

Brazilians seem to be born with the natural ability to dance and it’s hard not to get caught up in the excitement of Samba in Brazil – it’s everywhere! You can put into practice what you learn at your classes at the multitude of clubs in Rio!

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Photography lessons in Rio De Janeiro in Brazil

Includes Course Fees and transport to and from each lesson.

  • 2-Week Nature Photography Course - £345
  • 2-Week Lighting & Studio Photography Course - £445
  • 4-Week Beginners Photography Course - £595
  • 8-Week Full-On Photography Course, includes all 3 individual elements above - £1,145

Take some inspiring photography courses in than Rio de Janeiro alongside your main project. You'll enhance your Brazil experience and really capture the flavour of this beautifully enigmatic city with your lens. Courses are available at beginner, intermediate & advanced levels to cater for any kind of student.

The Photography Centre is the oldest and traditional photo school in Rio. It's located around 15-20 minutes from your accommodation on public transport. Courses run throughout the year - as you'll be working 1-1 with your tutor, the course can run at any time. All lessons are taught in English and all course materials are in English.
You'll have lessons 2 or 3 times per week. You’ll be taught using videos, slides, enlarged photographs and your course book. You’ll also have access to all the different cameras and studio equipment at the centre. Most students will work with both digital and film cameras. On the course, you will cover a variety of skills and ideas and have the opportunity to put them into practice in beautiful Rio de Janeiro! For example, the basic course covers:

  • How to use digital and film cameras
  • Technical skills including composition, lighting & colour usage, flash techniques, exposure and filters
  • Practical studio photography, including portraits and still life
  • Practical outdoor photography
  • A visit to a professional studio

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Terms and Conditions apply for Add-Ons, please see here.




Location: Laranjeiras is one of the most traditional parts of Rio and is close to the Guanabara Palace and the Fluminese Football Club’s training ground! Just around the corner to the hostel you can see the outspread arms of the Christ Statue and you are just a short bus ride away from where you take the train to visit Corcovado for an up close and personal view of one of Rio’s most famous sights.

You can reach the world renowned Copacabana beach and chic Ipanema and Leblon beaches in under 30 minutes by metro, and Pão de Açúcar (Sugar Loaf Mountain) by bus.

With restaurants, bars, supermarkets, banks, post office and chemists right on your doorstep, this really is an ideal location from which to explore this breath taking city.


  • Visit the beach! There are miles upon miles of beaches to choose from, the most famous being Copa cabana, Ipanema and Leblon. Copacabana is probably the world's most famous beach, with 3 miles of sunbathers and beach parties in front of one of the most densely populated cities on the planet.
  • Ipanema is Rio's most chic beach for the rich and the beautiful. Bustling, with beach volleyball everywhere and fantastic views over Vidigal and the Dois Irmãos and Pedra da Gavea mountains.
  • Volleyball, futevolley and beach soccer.
  • Futebol (soccer) is the national obsession, and Rio is the location of Maracana Football stadium, the largest stadium in the world. Many football legends have played in this ground. And the smaller Sao Januario, home of Vasco da Gama!
  • Surfing in perfect rolling waves is ideal for beginners or more advanced surfers.
  • Rock climbing – climb to the summit of Pão de Açúcar (Sugar Loaf Mountain).
  • Go hiking in Tijuca Forest – the world’s largest urban forest. There are various trails to choose from, waterfalls and stunning views over the city.
  • For some adrenaline packed fun, try hang-gliding, especially around Pedra Bonita, near Pepino beach.

Carnaval is Brazil’s most famous festival and the whole country comes to a stop during this time! Carnaval b egins at midnight on the Friday before Ash Wednesday and last for five days but the build-up for the following year starts almost immediately! Rehearsals at samba schools begin in August and marching percussion bands practise for their performances of music throughout the year. Carnaval Balls are extreme, surreal and erotic events; extravagant body painting, stickered tattoos, fishnets and spandex involved! Hypnotic music, grinding movements and beautiful dancers, all vying to be on camera!

The best samba schools in the country prepare all year for their moment of glory. This procession is a competition of the art. There are many aspects to samba including percussion, song, dance, choreography, costumes, story line, floats and decorations and the winner of the samba parade earns admiration and the pride of Rio and all of Brazil.

Street Carnaval is all about the dancing in the streets, marching bands ‘bloco’s’ pump out their theme tune and other rhythms as the drag queens and party crazed people bop along behind. The samba parades are perhaps a highlight of Carnaval and take place in every neighbourhood. As the Lonely Planet so nicely puts it, the Brazilians harness sweat, noise and confusion and turn it into art.

Coaching Sports to Disadvantaged Children in Favella Schools

Overall, my experience in Rio was amazing. Coaching at the school in Pavuna was really fun. The coaches there were very welcoming and kind. The kids made the entire experience even better because they were always happy and energetic. My experience at the school in the favela was also amazing. The coach was very warm-hearted and he was always willing to share a laugh.

The kids were very kind and super talented. I will definitely never forget challenging them to a few games and losing all of them. Staying at the Samba Palace hostel was very nice and enjoyable. All of the staff here were very nice and we even got to go out to parties with them.

This project was perfect in so many ways and I will never forget the good times I had.

Coaching Sports to Disadvantaged Children in Favella Schools

I’ve had a great three weeks here at the hostel and doing the football project. Living at the hostel was a good experience because everyone was really friendly and helpful. We stayed in a room with two other volunteers and grew to be friends quickly.

Being at the football schools was an amazing experience that I will always remember. The kids were so enthusiastic and always welcomed us. Their love for the sport was truly inspiring. Overall, I had a really good time being introduced to such a different and new culture.

Coaching Sports to Disadvantaged Children in Favella Schools

A typical day … Each day so far has been very different from the next. Typically I’d have to leave for the projects around 3pm and take the metro to either location.

The favela project involves mostly playing football with the boys and entertaining the younger ones pitch side. To be fair, the kids entertained me more than I entertained them! The coach is a local legend and would occasionally take us on a tour around the favela!

The project in the north was different as it was more exercise based. The coaches were great and I even got the opportunity to take a session with the players!

I tended to stay at the projects for longer than expected each day as I completely lost track of time. Everyone involved (the children, Travellers, hostel staff, coaches, volunteers) have been great to me! Everyone is so happy to help.

Coaching Sports to Disadvantaged Children in Favella Schools

Hi Romulo, Tudo otimo! Sem problemas. See below!

The first day or so in any new environment can always be a bit uncertain, but the placement kicked off with a really warm welcome from Karen and Romulo (Travellers), the staff at the Samba Palace, and then finally Jose at the football pitch! It was great to be shown around the Lago do Machado neighbourhood, as well as get a Brazilian mobile phone and be introduced to some typical Brazilian food! It is worth mentioning that I needed to see a dentist pretty quickly on arrival, and Romulo put in a great deal of effort to find me one straight away - this was something I appreciated a lot.

From a football perspective, I was really pleased to see the 3G a step pitch and the players all kitted out in strips - it is certainly taken seriously but all in good spirit at all age groups. We sometimes do drills, at other times games and you have to be on your best game of you join in! It's a case of just getting stuck in really - play, coach, referee, help organise. Each day can be different.

Aside from the football, I am really enjoying the beaches of Rio and the food available. Botafogo and Flamengo are full of good places to eat which are reasonably priced as well. I have more recently started doing some Portuguese study every day, something that will only make the experience even more rewarding in the long term.

Overall, I am clearly having a great time - long may it continue!

Boa noite! Cameron


Overall, my top 5 moments on the placement here have been as follows:

(1) Picking up circa 100 kit bags for the kids which had been sent from Australia, 6 months ago by a former coach
(2) Designing and putting up the sign of [the name of the club] and introducing the 5 principles on the field of play
(3) The snake behind the goal - it was 'sent off' before I got to training one day but I saw the photos, it was absolutely huge! Straight red card!
(4) Playing in the match between Santa Marta Favela and Rocina Favela on Flamengo beach (we lost 0-2)
(5) Going to the Carioca Cup Final between Botafogo and Vasco da Gama at the Maracanã stadium.

In summary, as you can imagine this has been one of the best experiences of my life. I have mixed this purposeful activity with pleasure though, the contrast of which has been great. I spent a few weeks in the north east of Brazil, where I had an amazing time and met some really cool people. I went to the island of Fernando de Noronha (a true paradise) and also a place called Lençóis Maranhenses - 20,000 warm fresh water lakes next to white sand dunes on the coast.

Coaching Sports to Disadvantaged Children in Favella Schools

The project, involving coaching football in a Brazilian favela, is a genuinely rewarding and enjoyable experience that involves playing the game with people who are genuinely passionate about football. The children are very eager to learn and to meet someone from outside Brazil and the staff, both from Travellers and at the favela itself, are incredibly friendly and supportive.

My most memorable moment on the project as saving a penalty after a match which had been drawn!

My biggest achievement was that by the end of the second week of the project I was more able to communicate with the children than I had been previously. Regarding positive impacts, I felt that it helped the children's ability to communicate with someone who is not a fluent Portuguese speaker.

The project could also always use more funds, more equipment and an extra pair of hands to assist with the project. I would genuinely recommend the project to anyone who is enthusiastic about both football and volunteer work in general.

Coaching Sports to Disadvantaged Children in Favella Schools

During my stay I learnt how to be more independent and I learnt a lot about Brazil itself.

The school I taught at was the best bit of my placement - walking up to the school and hearing the kids yell your name is the best feeling.

I recommend this placement to anyone; I think everybody should try this. It will make you a different person and make you appreciate everything in your life more.

I also think it would be great for people who have a low self esteem, as people here are so friendly and loving and they really appreciate you being here. Staying here for a while and experiencing that will really change you. You’ll feel a lot better about yourself,

Coaching Sports to Disadvantaged Children in Favella Schools in Florianopolis

It was honestly the best trip I've ever been on. The project I did was perfect for me because it appealed to all my interests and skills, so absolutely no improvements needed at all.

I felt like the best thing I learned from my experience in Florianopolis, Brazil, was how different life can be. I know this may sound a little generic, but I've honestly never had a wake-up call quite like this. The area in Florianopolis we were in was actually very nice but we travelled to other parts of the city with smaller favelas and quite poorer areas.

The children we helped volunteer for were part of this section of the community and you could just see in their eyes how much our project and our contribution was affecting their lives in a positive way.

I've grown up in a wealthy, relatively white community my entire life and I've never really left that zone until I went to Brazil and it felt genuine (a feeling I don't think I've ever truly experienced prior to the project) to help these kids and literally make their day.

It was a perfect trip!

About our Travellers' in-country support: I loved them, honestly, and they were some of the nicest people I've ever met. They made me feel right at home.

Coaching Sports to Disadvantaged Children in Favella Schools in Florianopolis

Oi Fabio!!!! Tudo Bem?!? I'm so sorry to have not written to you sooner!!! It's officially my 2nd month here - and I really don't want to leave! So far, I've had an amazing time here in Floripa.

Fran (TW host), who I am living with has become minha mae brasiliera and she's probably one of the kindest and sweetest people I've met! She has been so good at looking after me and making me feel at home. Eder, my Portuguese teacher is fantastic - he's become a really good friend - and lessons are always fun and relaxed, but still focused!!

And Ana (TW Organiser) despite being in her last stage of pregnancy - has been so hands-on and a super project co-ordinator - always calling to make sure all was ok, or coming to see me when I volunteered - I can tell already that she's going to be a super-mum!

Then volunteering at the Guga Kuerten, has also been really great! It's such a worthwhile cause, I really look forward to going there every week and getting to know all the children a bit more every week - they're so sweet and cool! I also get on really well with my colleagues (the other Professors) so its a really good environment to be in!

For the rest of the time, aside from yoga (which I do almost every day) and pilates, and samba classes - I have really enjoyed getting to know Floripa! I went to see the Black Eyed Peas at the Pacha a few weeks ago and went to my first football match ever; Avai - Botafo. It was so atmospheric + animated in the stadium - I loved it! The Brazilians LOVE their Futebol. I will definitely go to another one!

Going to the beaches: Jurere, Joaquina, Praia Mole - each so different and beautiful. Just the way of life over here and the people - just highlight what a fantastic place Florianopolis is to live.......I think I might have to come back.

I am in fact going to be studying Portuguese at University in Sept 2011 and my third year is to be spent abroad in the language-speaking country, so I'm already planning my return as it were! I would definitely like to get to know more of Brazil 1 month has literally flown by!

I'm really going to make the most of my 2nd month here!

I hope you and your family are well.

With lots of Love, Beijos,

Coaching Sports to Disadvantaged Children in Favella Schools

I feel that I have learned to work in a very different type of environment to that which I am used to. I have had to overcome the language barrier (well sort of!). I have had to adapt to a different way of teaching sports. Perhaps the most important experience is meeting so many new - and very different - people.

The best part of the placement I chose was meeting new people. I often talk to people that come back from holiday saying that the people there were really friendly. However I feel like I have lived here and so have had the chance to meet the real people and they are still friendly even after 2 months. Even when I was not working, just going to the school to meet the children, teachers and the parents was amazing.

Without a doubt I would recommend this placement to anyone if they are willing to come with an open mind and are prepared to try and adapt to a different culture. I loved it. If they turn up with certain expectations and find that the reality is very different then they may be disappointed. They also have to be prepared to adapt and the change the way that they would normally act/think.

There was nothing that Travelers didn’t tell me other than they need to be prepared for the hectic school days and that plans can chop and change at a moment’s notice - but that is all part of the fun.

Can you describe a typical day?
There wasn't really a typical day, but that’s why I liked it so much. I would always start at about 9.30, which normally meant leaving the hotel at 8.15. More often than not I would help the P.E teachers with running their classes. However I have taken English classes, helped with the younger children, worked in the office and also done various other tasks around the school.

Lunch is normally sometime between 11.30am and 1pm and is eaten in one of three places depending on the day (in the teachers staff room, a classroom or in the cafeteria). Normally I would finish around 3pm.


The Challenges
Initially the project was funded by the Government but soon the funds were stopped. However, the coach, who is a local himself, insisted on continuing – not just for the love of the job but because he wants to help the children from his community. He believes it will give them a chance for a better life.

The challenge is constantly trying to raise the funds to be able to continue to provide the children with access to football coaching.

Project Goals
The project takes place in a favela and the aim is to provide somewhere safe for the children to go after school. The goal is to keep them off the streets and away from potential dangers as it is, unfortunately, far too easy for the children to fall into a life of crime.

Our Achievements
Travellers Volunteers bring fun, a different knowledge of the game, and different skill sets. The kids and the coach get to learn little snippets of other cultures and the coach improves his English with each volunteer.

Travellers makes regular donations to the project and recent volunteers have also given football shirts and shorts, football nets. They've also given funds to have a notice board at the entrance of the football field with rules and regulations which the coach was really pleased with.

BOOK NOW! SEE ALL PROJECTS IN BRAZIL Travellers Team Karen and Romulo (left and right) with volunteer Lucretia van Wyk from Namibia in the middle Volunteer Marina Christen from Switzerland kindly donated all the shorts and T-shirts that the Team are proudly showing off here. Thanks a million, Marina, very kind!! BACK TO TOP