Project Favela’s Volunteer Program is the driving force behind our organization and allows us to implement our Early Childhood Educational Programs here in Rocinha. We use a responsible volunteer tourism model in order to create a one-of-a-kind school that benefits both the Project and the local community.
We have created and use a custom designed teaching system that delivers an intensive comprehensive free early childhood education to children in the community. We add a Brazilian twist to teaching styles such as the Montessori Education, Waldorf Education and the Colorado Head Start Program in order to adapt them for the favela. We have seen some amazing results over recent years and the progress that the children have made has been outstanding.
The school is open Monday to Friday for 8am until 9pm, seeing over 100 children and 30 adults pass through our doors each day. Our Early Children Education program follows our early morning adult class and runs from 9am until 4.30pm, seeing children ranging from 3 to 13 come to the Project. After 5pm our doors open to the community for free English classes for children and adults alike. On Friday nights our Girl’s Empowerment Night sees a group of girls aged 8-13 visit the Project for a safe space to discuss issues they face and how they can combat them.
Our priority is teaching our youngest children to be classroom ready. Teaching them control, focus and motor skills is an extremely important part of what we do and these early steps allow us to grow with them and teach them science, technology, art, math and engineering in the future, advancing their critical thinking and problem solving skills as we go.
The Project Favela teaching staff is made up entirely of volunteers who work as “volunteachers” to help us deliver our amazing results. Volunteers plan and deliver lessons as well as manage the Project on the ground. Our team is always made up of volunteers from diverse professional and educational backgrounds and experiences. This diversity is what makes our magic possible in the classroom. Volunteers DO NOT need to be teachers.
We receive volunteers from all over the world from all different backgrounds, diverse, ranging in ages from 18 to as a high as 72 in the past! Volunteer stays vary between 3 weeks to 3 months or even longer and, by living in the community, they get a real authentic taste of life in Rocinha. Volunteers feel connected to the community because they really are.
Having our volunteers live within the community allows them to really get to know the children, their parents and other locals as well as providing and economic boost for the community.
The hope for the future is to be able to deliver a free charter school to our children, allowing them to receive all of their education within the Project. We want to be able to actively change lives, giving the children a future that allows every single one of them access to a college degree.
The new school will feature two educational programs, ISR (Instituto Sonhos Realizados) and PSP (Pre-School Project).
Project Director of Education, Angela Crawford, designed the PSP, which will offer free, high quality education in a unique pre-school program to children aged between 3 and 8 from the community. At the age of 8, the children would move to the ISR that will supplement and enhance their existing studies, incorporating a state of the art STEM curriculum that will carry them through until they are 18 and ready for college.
Of course, we will be needing volunteers who are more dedicated than ever to implement this outstanding curriculum and will soon be actively recruiting for the ISR and PSP for people who can help us deliver our ambitious programs..
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