Mais Caminhos (Social Programme in Rio de Janeiro)
Volunteer in Rio de Janeiro with Mais Caminhos
‘Mais Caminhos’ is our social programme, offering educational and cultural activities for underprivileged local Brazilian children and teenagers. Our philosophy is to support motivated underprivileged children and to offer them tools that can help change their lives.
Empowering a generation of underprivileged children and teenagers to build their own future.
Our Mission is to provide motivated children and teenagers from underprivileged communities in Rio de Janeiro with the necessary educational and financial support and mobilize them to improve their future perspectives.
Mais Caminhos is divided into three areas:
- Mais Caminhos Complementary Education
- Mais Caminhos Scholarships & Exchange
- Mais Caminhos Family
Mais Caminhos Complementary Education
We have free after-school classes four days per week for children from the nearby favelas, Cantagalo and Pavão-Pavãozinho. The classes offered by volunteers and staff take place at Caminhos Language Centre in Ipanema. ‘Positive Discipline’ is our methodology for educating these children. We provide the following classes for the children: English, social and emotional learning (SEL), creative thinking, creative skills, sports, theatre, games and dance. All activities are provided by carefully selected and well-trained volunteers.
Mais Caminhos Scholarships & Exchange
We offer scholarships and exchange programmes for underprivileged Brazilian motivated teenagers and young adults.If the students have demonstrated that they are motivated and have the right profile, we do our best to organise an overseas exchange programme. In our experience such an exchange can be life-changing for participants and a great motivator for others.
Past overseas exchange programmes:
- Davi (1 year to Holland, 2012) – watch the video
- Escarlet (½ year Spain, 2013)
- 5 children (Poland, 2014)
- 6 children (Poland, 2015)
- 6 children (Poland, 2016)
Mais Caminhos Family
We provide rent, food and educational support to Brazilian families in need. All of these families in our programme have children or young adults in Mais Caminhos.
The objective of the support is to create a pleasant home environment for the family which will help participants of the programme to concentrate on education, rather than having to worry about money, food and safety. Our staff and volunteers closely monitor the effect of the support we provide.
History of our social programme
Between 2009 and 2014 we supported the Casa do Caminho Orphanage. The orphanage and language school were run mainly by volunteers. Casa do Caminho Orphanage was located in Xerém, Duque de Caxias, a rural area in the state of Rio de Janeiro. The orphanage had around 40 children divided into three houses:
- Casa Beek (kids 4-12);
- Casa Heppenheim (boys 12-18); and
- Casa Amiga (girls 12-18).
Pack for a Purpose
We are proud members of Pack for a Purpose, an initiative that allows travelers like you to make a lasting impact in the community at your travel destination. If you save just a few kilos of space in your suitcase and take supplies for the projects we support in need, you’ll make a priceless impact in the lives of our local children and families. Please click here to see what supplies are needed for our project/projects.
Thanks to the financial support from the language school and the help of volunteers, the orphanage in Xerém was able to provide better education, food and activities .
At the orphanage several teenagers (Ewerson, Jonatas, Viviane, Aline, Jessica, Diana, Uderson, Luciano, Davi and Lucas) were able to finish quality vocational courses and now have good quality jobs and live independent lives. The Caminhos Language Centre paid for international exchanges.
One teenager, Davi (a former resident of the orphanage), lived, studied and worked for one year in The Netherlands and has been granted custody of four of his siblings in Brazil. The Dutch national TV channel, RKK, made a documentary on Davi which was selected as RKK’s ‘Best Documentary of the Year’. A further two videos have been made on events organised in cooperation with Mais Caminhos, the orphanage and the experience of our children in Poland.
Escarlet (another former resident of the orphanage) went for a six-month placement in Spain to work among an international team of volunteers.
Mais Caminhos also has an international partnership with the Brave Kids organisation. Since 2014 we have been sending six talented Brazilian underprivileged children annually to participate in an international cultural event in Poland. These trips have proven to be true eye-openers and motivators for these children, who have returned to Brazil with more confidence and motivation to make the best out of their lives.