Edumais’s primary focus is providing children in Rio’s favelas a great opportunity to learn and develop, to give them a level of teaching, support and respect that is not always easy to come by in their everyday lives.
For us to be successful, so that the children we work with have the best possible futures, we require our volunteers to be professional and dedicated.
Volunteering for Edumais is not a ‘breeze’. You can’t merely ‘show up’, do a little teaching and then hit Ipanema beach – it’s not enough – we care about the children we are responsible for too much for a volunteer to come in and merely ‘have a go’.
When I left my home in The Netherlands to live and work in Qatar in 2006, could I have imagined that it was the beginning of a journey that would take me beyond the Middle East, to Rio de Janeiro and to founding EduMais in 2016?
Certainly not, but what a ride!
By Janelle Sowers
9 Months of volunteering with Edumais has certainly made its impact upon me, but just how deep can’t be known yet. It all started from humble beginnings, just a seed, an idea that I see blossoming now just as I have recently moved on. The effects will long be unfurling for many moons to come. The idea of ‘giving it forward.’ has been sinking in and why we are motivated to give to being with. When we give we also receive back in the form of love, inspiration, and energy among other boons. In this act of giving we also inspire others to give, therefore creating a conduit through which more giving can occur. If we all just gave a little more and centered our beings on this act, how transformative might this be not only for ourselves but entire communities?!
When a diva storms off stage or out of a TV interview, we love them for it, we’re even disappointed if they don’t. When a child walks out of a classroom because they don’t get their own way, it’s not acceptable, after all, we don’t want a generation of divas – one Mariah Carey is plenty.
Yet why do some children behave in this way and how do we at Edumais deal with it?
My name is Dominic - I am 26 years old and have been volunteering with EduMais since January till 22 June 2017. For the past four years, I have been living in Paris, working as an English teacher and studying a Master’s in Human Rights and Humanitarian Action at Sciences Po. After gaining some work experience in the NGO sector in Paris, I wanted to see how these organisations functioned on the ground and found that EduMais allowed me to do this as well as utilising my skills as an English teacher.
My typical day begins shortly before 8:30am when I leave my apartment in Cantagalo and make the short walk to our classroom in the library of Solar Meninos de Luz. Depending on my energy levels, I will either decide to walk from the bottom of rua Saint Roman for a gentle way up into the community, or if I’m feeling more brave I will wait until the stairs by the exit of General Osorio station. While it’s more exhausting, it is also very picturesque with stunning murals painted all the way up. At the top of the stairs, I cross the road and already people will be saying “bom dia” and asking how I am as I walk in.
“There is this Dutch lady working in the favelas here in Rio! I think her project would fit you so well!”
How it all started, a simple tip. It got stuck in my head and I reached out to Diana. During the Skype interview I felt it in my stomach, this is the internship for me.
Never could I have known how great this experience would be and how much I would feel at home. After 6 months in Rio I switched from studying to working. Going from the richest part to the poorest.
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