Over the past eight months, Real Gapper Fran has been travelling around the world with us - taking in sights from Machu Picchu in Peru to the marvel that is a Full Moon Party in Thailand. Now she's settled in Rio, and with all of the buzz of the World Cup we were really intrigued to see how she's getting on volunteering on our community project in Rocinha...
The past week in Rio has been noisy, busy, fun.... everything you would expect Rio to be basically! The volunteers all love in the middle of Rocinha, Rio's biggest favela, either in apartments or a newly opened hostel. And it's great! We're moments away from our projects living amongst the community where we're working. Not only has it got to the point where people stop me and say hi in the street (highlighting my limited Portuguese) but any money we spend goes directly back into the community that we're trying to help via the shops and restaurants here. At the time of the World Cup, it's a whole lot cheaper than the tourist areas too!
Real Gap have so many different projects going on that you can do as much as you want, and fit different projects to your skills accordingly. The many volunteers here mean that we get to see a lot of these projects in action. Sarah and myself have helped to launch an art programme for 3 year olds at the local school to get them used to sitting down and concentrating in a classroom. The Project already runs English classes for the older ones which have been a great success. Other guys at the project are involved in teaching football, surfing and English in many different ways such as during dance classes!
The next few weeks promise to be action-packed and interesting and I can't wait to see the different projects!
Check out Fran's next review over the course of the next week! In the meantime, find out more about our projects in Brazil over on the Real Gap website.