Love Volunteers

Construction & Renovation Supporter

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil show on map

Alleviate health and social issues within the Complexo do Alemão favela by supplying warm, safe and sanitary conditions for families to live in.

The program

This essential program was created with a simple goal in mind. Help families in the Complexo do Alemão favela repair their homes to provide them with a safe place to live. Housing is a fundamental human right under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and everyone should have a safe, secure and habitable home. In Complexo do Alemão, this right is not met, with the abject poverty seeing generations of families living in shacks and with a population now of more than 70,000!  Building codes are non-existent and many families build their own homes with whatever scraps of wood, brick or metal they can find. Residents of favelas suffer from health conditions due to overcrowding and unsanitary conditions, with the average life expectancy 13 years less than other residents of Rio.

While residents try to repair their homes to the best of their ability, many are unable to afford basic food and clothing, so often construction materials are simply out of reach. This project allows residents and volunteers to work together to repair and maintain these homes and create a warm, safe and sanitary place for families to live.

Goals of this Project:

  • Improve the future prospects of families in one of Rio’s largest shanty towns
  • Alleviate health and social issues within the Complexo do Alemão favela by supplying warm, safe and sanitary conditions for families to live in
  • Provide free labor and some basic materials to help build or repair homes for residents
  • Enable cultural exchange with benefits residents and international volunteers alike
How you can help

This project makes a genuine difference to the health and safety of residents, with volunteers being integral to its success. Without the manual labour and supplies provided by a willing international volunteer workforce the most vulnerable residents of Complexo do Alemão would continue to experience the health and social issues associated with substandard housing. Many local residents report that they are simply unable to repair damages caused by mudslides or storms or to build additional rooms on overcrowded homes. The manual labor assistance provided by the program enables local residents to pursue projects that they’ve been wanting to accomplish for years, such as painting homes, landscaping or basic construction tasks to create liveable homes. Having a home favela residents can be proud of is a catalyst for change, building their confidence and self-worth to help them achieve their goals. Residents will live safer, happier lives and gain cultural understanding from working alongside international volunteers.  

Volunteers can expect to:

  • Help implement manual labor projects: painting, landscaping, basic home repair
  • Provide some basic supplies (amount set prior to placement)
  • Prepare and lead activities
  • Network with local residents and program staff
  • Monitor progress and write debriefs

Typical day

A volunteer’s work day on this project will generally last between 4 and 6 hours and while we ask all volunteers to be flexible in this regard, a typical daily schedule is likely to go something like this:

7:00am Breakfast at the hostel

8:00am Walk or bus to project site

8:45am Pre-start meeting with project supervisor

9:00am VOLUNTEERING DUTIES START

A tea break and lunch break will be fitted in during the day, but often the timing of breaks will change based on the needs of the local staff and number of volunteers on hand.

4:00pm VOLUNTEERING DUTIES END

4:15pm Debrief with project supervisor

4:30pm Walk or bus back to hostel

Evenings Free time to relax and grab some dinner or explore the sights and sounds of central Rio!

Details on Arrival

This project is available year-round and programs start every SUNDAY. Spaces on this project are limited and therefore subject to availability. Early booking is recommended.

Free-time activities

This program is located in one of Rio de Janeiro’s largest favela (shanty town) communities - Complexo do Alemão - in the northern part of this sprawling city. Rio is Brazil’s second most populous city after Sao Paulo and is symbolized by the iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer which stands atop Sugarloaf Mountain and watches over all of Rio. World renowned for its eponymous carnival, Copacabana and Ipanema beaches and of course the 2016 Olympics, Rio has something to offer every traveler. This is an amazing location for volunteers to not only give back to the local communities but to have a truly memorable experience!

Water Sports
Swimming
Concert/Music
Museum/Opera
Sports

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Required Documents
Emergency contact
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
This 'hands-on' project is ideally suited to those volunteers with some knowledge and experience in construction or any of the building trades, however the project is open to all. mportantly though, all applicants must first and foremost have a genuine willingness to help, be fit and active, show drive and initiative, and bring a positive 'can-do' attitude.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 09:00 - 16:00

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Groups
50+

Included Services

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process - including all necessary payments. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to our:
Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Love Volunteers cancels your trip
Resolution Support
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Love Volunteers.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
Love Volunteers (your host organization) provides consulting and is keen to answer all your questions. Once you reserved your spot, you will receive the contact details of your volunteer project.
Online preparation course (optional, from $49)
Prepare yourself and become a confident and well informed traveler. Global Travel Academy takes you on a journey before you leave home, helping you to become one of the world's greatest travelers. Our trusted partner for online learning offers courses in "International Volunteering", "Travel Health & Safety" and "Travel Safety Abroad".

On-site services

Services by Love Volunteers
  • Dedicated pre-departure support
  • Exclusive access to the LV Trip Planner! 
  • Airport pick-up on arrival 
  • Orientation & full safety briefing on arrival
  • Accommodation
  • Food & Meals
  • 24/7 local support network 
  • Project placement & onsite supervision
  • Lifetime LV Alumni Membership
  • The opportunity to make a REAL difference!
  • Certificate of Completion (on request)
  • LV registration fee
Airport Pickup at Galeao Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport

Upon your arrival in Rio de Janeiro, you will be collected at the airport and delivered to your accommodation. On Monday morning you will receive an orientation to help you settle in, find out about your volunteering placement, the local surroundings and meet your fellow volunteers (if you haven't already!). A representative from the local team will fill you in on local and regional customs, traveling, rules and recommendations, and of course, what to expect from your volunteering experience. They will also help you with purchasing a local sim phone card if required. Local maps and a transport guide are provided free of charge by the hostel. This is a great opportunity to get to know your hosts, meet your fellow volunteers, and ask any last questions you may have!

  • Program Arrival Day: SUNDAY
  • Program Departure Day: SATURDAY
  • Arrival/Departure Airport: Rio de Janeiro–Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport (aka Galeão International Airport), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Code: GIG)
Accommodation

Volunteers on this project are accommodated at one of Rio de Janeiro’s top youth hostels - the CabanaCopa Hostel - which is perfectly located in the safe and popular area of Copacabana next to a beautiful nature park just three blocks from the famous Copacabana Beach and within convenient access to metro stations, restaurants and the many attractions of this vibrant city. Volunteers will stay in shared dormitory-style rooms of various sizes, with shared bathroom facilities. Several awesome communal areas are provided for guests to hang out, catch up with the many fellow travellers, or to simply relax!

All standard amenities are available in the hostel, including hot showers and modern bathrooms, air conditioning/ceiling fans, microwave, bed linen and free drinking water. There is even free Wi-Fi, an onsite bar and a pool table! Private double rooms w/ensuite are available on request for an additional fee and external laundry services are available nearby. The hostel is well managed and meticulously clean, is a perfect home away from home and a wonderful base for your stay in Rio!

Youth Hostel
Food & Beverages

Volunteers are provided with a traditional Brazilian breakfast every day at the hostel (included in the program fee). They then have the opportunity to use other meals times to experience the amazing culture and cuisine that Rio has to offer. Simply get a few of your fellow hostel mates together and head out to one of the many local restaurants, bars or cafes and enjoy all the local and international delicacies on offer! Easy!

Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Galeao Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport (GIG) in Rio De Janeiro. We assist you to find cheap flights to Brazil.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Brazil provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Brazil you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Brazil.
Costs (Prices in USD)
1 week (min. stay)
$849.00
2 weeks
$1,159.00
3 weeks
$1,516.00
4 weeks
$1,861.00
5 weeks
$2,206.00
6 weeks
$2,551.00
7 weeks
$2,907.00
8 weeks (max. stay)
$3,252.00
Average fees
$628.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Rio de Janeiro/Brazil between 1 week and 8 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Love Volunteers will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Brazil.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with {project.name} during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
  Americas South America Brazil  Rio de Janeiro, N/A

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