We have launched a program of workshops for volunteers. It provides an introduction to the lessons of Pedagogy/Presence of Padre Renato. Lessons about sociology of the favelas. Elements of Portuguese. Guided tours in the favelas Rocinha and Vila Canoas and in the Zona Norte of Rio. Introduction to the problems of water supply and food in Rio de Janeiro. Tour in Rio de Janeiro. Elements of Responsible Tourism. The history of Para Ti. Some of these issues will be sent to the candidates in advance and followed by a brief review. This is because we realize that those who really want to do the volunteer should really know the environment and situations. Fundamental to this kind of listening experience, responsibility, humility, respect.
  1. Introduction
  2. The environment in which it operates
  3. South America
  4. Brazil
  5. Rio de Janeiro
  6. Favelas
  7. The favelas of Vila Canoas and Rocinha
  8. The social reality
  9. The children
  10. Para Ti NGOs 11.
  11. Activities with children 
  12. Psicopedagogia- Presence 
  13. Volunteers
  14. The socio-cultural and human exchange 
  15. Voluntary activities 
  16. Lessons for volunteers 
  17. Times, places and methods 
  18. Participation fees 
  19. Different services


“Being a volunteer” is not as simple as it may seem in human terms. It’s simple, if you will, in terms of logistics, but only when the “voluntary” is free of any bias in the comparison of oneself, of others, of the social environment. Who voluntarily decide to give their time and their presence should not do anything else other than that: give time and, above all, presence. But it will have to abandon all idea of ​​teaching, help, donation, professional experience, tips, personal skills. The volunteer is a person who primarily interact with other people with an exchange that will take place on a completely equal footing from the human point of view. It is clear that the volunteer will have skills and experience. Children, on the other hand, have their own experience. Both sides have something valuable, in addition to being on both sides “People”. Then the exchange will take place, also very deep, often decisive, which will enrich all, much more than you think, in this type of experience.

The environment in which it operates

The social environment in which they work then focuses on various levels. South America, Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, the favelas, the small favela of Vila Canoas and the neighboring Rocinha, the largest of the Latin American world, our center Para Ti.

South America

The entire South American continent has been featured in the recent past and also far away from a certain political and economic instability. On a cultural level it is an ancient land (the first settlements has now found that date back to about 30,000 years ago), invaded and plundered by Europeans who did not have no mercy for indigenous peoples and the environment. But not only. Much of the ancient cultures, such as Tiwanaku, Machu Picchu, Inca and other deeply connected with nature were destroyed and most of them go sadly lost ancient knowledge. The same thing happened in Brazil, where barely survives the indigenous community and the lush tropical Atlantic forest has been reduced to 17% of what it was at the beginning. There’s nothing more to plunder …


Meanwhile, the Europeans themselves, especially the Portuguese, plundered slaves on the African coast and in the interior. So most of what has been plundered and built it must be to robust slave labor. Slavery in Brazil was only abolished in 1888 by Dom Pedro II, a ruler of the most enlightened that Western history can boast. It happens frequently that even today attendants, waiters, porters, drivers, ordinary people, travelers or at least call white people: Patron. So, just to say. But at the same time the incredible mixture of Portuguese, Indios, African, French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Germans created one of the most wonderful people in the world, both aesthetically and on that behavior. Racism is unknown at the popular level. However, there is some segregation on the socio-economic development. That’s why it is usually the poor are especially blacks, natives, poor whites from the provinces of the north-east of the country, or a mixture of different ethnic strains. The problem of poverty in Brazil is still deeply rooted, despite the pathetic efforts of the government and the rich to look like a developed country and avant-gard Rio de Janeiro It is enough to turn in the immediate outskirts of Rio to meet with carts pulled by donkeys and mules or people moving by horse. It is extremely colorful and interesting, but it is not an industrial reality as they try to make us believe. Rio de Janeiro is not an industrial district as Sao Paulo and Belo Horizonte. Rio remains the Marvelous City, with charm, beauty, sympathy, Samba, music, art, nightlife, colonial architecture survived, sea, entertainment. In a word Vida Louca. Favelas Within this landscape, as in most other Brazilian metropolises, you can find a lot of favelas, cities in the city, made by ​​the shacks of the poor, once of wood (some survive) today masonry. Difficult places where people live in makeshift homes, tiny and poorly finished, with no facilities. In the favelas rages exploitation of cheap labor, but especially crime and drug trafficking, which find fertile ground and root causes in extreme poverty and, above all, the lack of hope. The mean drug-trafficking violence, often unprecedented and beyond imagination. Ferocious violence.

Vila Canoas and Rocinha

In this context, there is the huge favela of Rocinha (4/500 thousand inhabitants), now on paper “pacified”, but where in fact violence and drug trafficking continue undisturbed, but where there is also an extremely interesting on the cultural and travel, with many points of interest, local crafts and a renowned Samba School. A one kilometer from Rocinha is Vila Canos, the small favela, where we operate, with about 3,000 inhabitants. A place until recently totally quiet, today peaceful, but which must be taken very vigilant for outbreaks of traffic can arise anywhere.

The social reality

In such environments degraded drug trafficking does not mean four joints on Sunday, but shootings, torture, murder, smuggling of hard drugs such as cocaine and, above all, a devastating and low-cost as crack, blackbird, ecstasy and always new crap of all kinds. A large majority of men drinking (but also many women), especially beer, but also cachaça (distilled local sugar cane). Many do not work and live by their wits, sometimes petty theft or drug transport commission. The major drug traffickers billionaires wallowing in this crap. Families are often defeats. The father is often absent, and mothers, when they exist, have upon himself the whole weight of family and children, often work to make ends meet. Brazilian women are famous for their beauty, mostly are really with tough, with little men who are six months on and one month off. If they are not dead.

The children

In such a situation the children grow up alone, abandoned, with few landmarks, if not totally free. If they survive on the road for a few years, soon become prey to pedophiles and murderers. Most of the 50,000 children who disappear every year in Brazil are found dead after being abused. Abused children in the family do not count. The school for the poor more than a dream is a luxury, because most of the poor can not wait to be able to work to make ends meet. Or, if you do not find work, can not wait to own a 38 special, shoot, kill, take drugs, to command, to grip on women, have a good time until a bullet in their back, at 25 years, puts the word “end” to this absurd adventure. But these are the lucky ones, because some of them, more than born, and defecated down the floor, by drugged mothers, and thrown in the trash. Of course many things are changing now, and there is a lot of people who work hard to put an end to this horror. But it’s nothing compared to what is needed to extract the street, poverty, violence and abuse 7 million street children, without even counting the favelas. There are a number of NGOs and humanitarian organizations that are very serious and make a lot of things. But many others, numerous, are covers, scams, further exploitation, pastimes for the rich and not Western ideas.

Para Ti NGOs

Our NGO, created by an Italian family in the 80’s has been operating for over 25 years and is a pilot project at the international level. For information about our organization, reference should be written by us specifically on it. It engages in the after-school program, financial support for children, creative workshops and cultural activities of all kinds, but especially human support. It is visited annually by 15,000 travelers interested in social. It also has a bar, a B & B, a shop of crafts, food services, cultural services, tour managers and ecological, yoga, photography, dance, theater. A really important activity now is MEDITATION FOR CHILDREN, but for adults too. In the past, has been engaged in the reform of 400 cabins, making them acceptable homes, reform of the entire community of Vila Canoas with sewage, kindergarten, senior center, library, game room, after-school, health center that applies the Cuban medicine and other services . See website http://www.parationg.org Today Para Ti is directed by Lydia Urani and Mauro Villone. Executive Director of the Centre is Tatiana Ventura. There are other employees and consultants and volunteers from different countries. Para Ti is connected to an indoor space, but in the open where they are espoti the work of artisans of the favelas Vila Canoas and Rocinha and Rio de Janeiro. In the center is engaged with the children from 8:00 to 11:00 and from 13:00 to 17:00.

Activities with children

Para Ti is an after-school program. The children are going to school in the morning to the afternoon and vice versa. The activities are to support school and performing. This activity is accompanied by the game, on the terrace or in the playroom. Frequently our staff and volunteers Brazilian or foreign holding classes: Yoga, Dance, Drama, Food, Geography, Photography, Art and Creativity, Arts, Capoeira and others. But the most important activity is simply being with children. These poor children, although very beautiful and in excellent health. The families of origin face many difficulties such as food, housing, work, and often these families split where one or both parents absent. In the latter case often children are adopted by grandparents, uncles and friends. The frequency at Para Ti is free and compulsory. It is a miracle see the children present every morning at eight o’clock. As an alternative, they would simply be on the streets or in their homes, often of nine square meters. They often do not come out of the favela for safety reasons or because they have no money for the bus. But mostly they come from a world of solidarity, but not enough attention to them. Ultimately the Presence is the important point. We experienced this personally, although the issue of Pedagogy-presence was formalized by Padre Renato Chiera the Casa do Menor, with whom we work, that represents for us an important point of reference and source of learning.

Educational psychology-Presence

In the 40 years of activity in Brazil Padre Renato has accumulated a lot of experience with children and adolescents and, in general, with the high degraded environment of the suburbs in Brazil. The head office of Rio do Menor is located in the Zona Norte, one of the most dangerous and degraded in Brazil. Here, over the years, has had to deal with abandoned children, infants found in the trash, vagrants boys, boys 16 years that have killed 20/30 times, young people and children to toxic crack, ferocious traffickers, people without food, victims of gunfire. Literally all the worst that the degradation of today can offer. His experiences are described in numerous books, to which we refer. To sum up his valuable experience has served to understand (and to pass on to others) that the key point is to give children and young people with presence. Presence which, in our view, often results to be Presence, as well as to others, to ourselves and to Life.


With this in mind, we have identified the role of a volunteer in a person, of which are not important factors as age, socio-cultural backgrounds, skills, level of education, social position. They are instead important the following characteristics:  psychological sensitivity  social sensitivity  ability to get involved in the discussion and  willingness to share, participate and communicate  humility  willingness to exchange equal  adaptability  curiosity  ability to love and the will to do it  ability to give presence or the will to do it  absence of prejudices and judgments It is not at all to be enlightened who knows all, indeed. The point is the willingness to put yourself in discussion. In Para Ti no one teaches, everyone learns, from the exchange of feelings and experiences, sharing.

The socio-cultural and human exchange

The experience of travel in general and in particular in Rio, Brazil, in the slums, may be crucial for the development of a person, regardless of age and previous experience. It is only to listen with great humility.

Voluntary activities

Volunteers will stay just with the kids and play with them or participate in courses and workshops for them, such as dance and meditation. What is required is willingness to help with the following:  prepare breakfast and snack;  clean and keep in order the food in the center, the class-rooms and terraces;  cook for themselves and eventually turns to the other volunteers;  make maintenance chores in the center and in the nearby Guesthouse whose proceeds go to the maintenance of the project;  reunite kids to their activities;  those with specific skills may propose to the management activities of any kind;  In the case of excursions outside the city center take the children along with the other leaders;

Lessons for volunteers

The workshop, as well as giving the opportunity to do activities at the Centre, provides short and intensive lessons about one to two hours each, for a total of 5 hours per week in order to understand the environment and the favelas of Rio, to be able to communicate, understand the spirit of volunteering. At the time of the agreement with the volunteer will be sent via e-mail handouts which is previously explained in detail the content of the lessons. Followed by a consultation by telephone or Skype. In Rio, the classes will be held individually or in groups in the classrooms of the center. With time 11:30 to 12:30 or 17: 00-18: 00. You will also meet with introductory 2/3 hour the first day of stay. With verification of what was learned from the study. There will also be tours, accompanied by the staff of Para Ti, on the weekends. Other excursions may be accompanied or conducted in an independent, but with the help of our guidelines. The lessons:  Portuguese base, or better survival for those who do not know him;  philosophy of Para Ti-Presence and Educational Psychology;  exchange and sharing; and will be receiving in equal measure;  what is responsible tourism;  behavioral habits, customs and traditions in the favelas and Rio;  there are people and countries better and worse, there are times historical, social and psychological with different paths;  eating habits;  social, cultural and political life of Brazil and Rio de Janeiro;  drug trafficking and trafficking of weapons and people, prostitution; risks and precautions  problems related to housing, to food and water;  family situation and social development of children and adolescents; In addition to these issues, which are essential, we encourage volunteers to participate in our meditation sessions, which have no religious connotation and are used basically to align body, mind and spirit and to put yourself in a position to listen. Walking excursions:  favela of Vila Canoas;  favela of Rocinha;  Atlantic forest; Trips by car:  half-day tour in Rio;  area-north and Casa do Menor; Excursions by bus, subway and on foot:  from Sao Conrado Ipanema, Copacabana, Central;  Barra beach and Island Gigoia; Of course, you can make many other trips. In our workshop we will make the most closely linked to social and voluntary.

Times, places and methods

Location of the workshop and of the volunteer is the seat of Para Ti in Rio neighborhood of Sao Conrado, Rio de Janeiro. In about half an hour from the beach of Ipanema. The beach of Sao Conrado is found 300 meters and a ten minutes walk. The volunteers will be accommodated in rooms very basic, but comfortable within the complex Para Ti and Para Ti Guesthouse/Villa Urani. >here we have rooms dedicated to volunteers. If a volunteer wants to use one of the rooms at Guesthouse we’ll notify the surcharge. Working Hours: 8: 00-12: 00; 13: 00-17: 00. Classes are interrupted from 11:30 to 12:30 or 17:00 to 18:00, except for changes in logistical needs. They will last from one to two hours each, for a total of 5 hours a week. In addition of course to the supervision during working hours. The first day of your stay there will be a meeting of 2-3 hours of verification of what was learned from the lecture notes and introduction. The hike will take place from 11:00 to 13:00 or after 17:00 from Monday to Friday. Or on Saturday or Sunday. Any forest walks will take place on Friday and Saturday. The excursions of the cars, buses and metro will take place on Saturday and/or Sunday. The periods in which the volunteers will be at Para Ti are modular in tranches of one week each, but only for organizational reasons. It is however possible to stop for periods of time that are not multiples of one week, in relation to the needs of Para ti and the volunteer. Minimum recommended time a week. Of course, with longer periods of time you can go more in depth understanding of the business. You can stop for periods from three months to two years.

Participation fees

Volunteers are selected unquestionably by the management. The volunteer will be closely monitored in terms of training. On the organizational and logistical needs to be as independent as possible. It is therefore his care cleaning the room which he is given and must prepare meals that are dependent on him, leaving the kitchen clean and tidy. He is told what and where to buy what is necessary.

Price for stay of 10 days: € 350.00 Students up to 25 years old discount 15% The price includes:  10 nights accommodation in one of the rooms allocated to volunteers; if the volunteer would like one of the rooms at Guesthouse for tourists notify the fee;  activities at the Centre;  supervision from the staff throughout the period;  breakfast and snacks with the children from Monday to Friday;  use of the kitchen of the Centre;  2 walking tours;  1 excursion by car;  handouts;  Certificate of Attendance to the NGO Para Ti, with specified dwell time. Price does not include:  flight from the country of departure;  transport to and from the airport;  breakfast on Saturdays, Sundays and days when the center is closed;  food and drink;  additional lessons and excursions as well as those relating to “the price includes” For the second week the fee is € 25.00 a day. Subsequently, the volunteer will continue to be closely monitored, but it will be more independent. Decrease the frequency of meetings dedicated. From 3 to 6 weeks on 10% discount From 7 to 9-week stay 15% discount From 10 to 12 weeks stay discount of 20% In addition to twelve weeks to be analyzed case by case and also need a special visa to stay for volunteers. In the weeks following the first one will continue the lessons and trips up to 2 weeks. From the 3rd and subsequent weeks there will be two weekly meetings with management and excursions are optional and at an additional cost. Of course, the volunteer on weekends is free to take trips, non-hazardous, independently. We evaluate specific skills and periods of long-standing and/or assumptions, after a trial period of six months.

Different services Para Ti Para Ti Guesthouse and have additional free services:  a lounge area;  library in Italian, Portuguese, French, English;  collection of CDs and music files Brazilians, Italians, Americans, British, Argentine;  hammocks;  beach 300 meters;  boutecos on the beach (cheap) and an Italian restaurant (expensive);  supermarket 100 meters;  boutecos (ie restaurants favela) very popular, but quality is 20 meters;  small shops and supermarkets in the neighboring favela;  pharmacy and health center;  computer center;  Wi-Fi;  shower of spring water;  Tijuca National Park 100 meters. 20 km away. (the largest urban national park in the world); and the following paid services:  pedicure and manicure (of which the Brazilians are masters);  massage;  shiatsu;  yoga;  meditation;  capoeira;  herbal medicine;  essential oils;  shop crafts;  taxi at 150 m .;  bus at 200 mt .;  hire bikes on the beach;  free flight tandem hang gliding or paragliding: the world’s most prestigious;  Gavea Golf 500 m .;  shopping center 800 m .;  film and theater at 800 mt .;  gyms and swimming pools 800 m .;  Further Excursions in Rio and neighboring areas Conclusion and contact We have designed this program to make the experience of volunteering and travel to Rio serious, successful, respectful and responsible. Anyone interested can write to email: unaltrosguardo@libero.it