We are delighted to hear that Rosie & Patch have decided to continue their work as volunteers in Newcastle for one more year.
Rosie and Patch enjoyed a wonderful weekend with Dave, Shelagh and the Trustees in the sunny but cool Lancashire and Yorkshire countryside. It was a delightful weekend of visiting cultural and historical sites as well as lots of eating and socialising. On their return to Newcastle they entered a process of discernment and decided that they would continue to work as volunteers for one more year.
We wish them well in their second year and we will do all that we can to support them.
Rosie & Patch with cakes designed around their national flags baked by Shelagh
VinB continues to support young people and families in the Santa Teresa district of Rio through the Favela Brass Project.
Brass instruments are extremely expensive to buy in Brazil and brass tuition is almost non-existent in Rio’s state school system. Net result: children in Rio’s low-income neighbourhoods rarely learn to play brass, which is a huge shame considering that music plays such a central role in the cultural and social life of the city. The Favela Brass project aims to change that situation for children in a small favela (slum) called Pereira da Silva.
Tom Ashe and the Favela Brass project
Each of the 30 local children enrolled in the project have free lessons three times a week in the house of British trumpet player and project founder Tom Ashe, located in the heart of the community. They also get to borrow brass instruments, nearly all donated by friends in the UK and USA, to practice on between lessons. The long-term aim of the project is to establish a new musical tradition that mixes New Orleans “Second Line” brass band music with Rio’s rich samba school tradition.
Check out the project at: http://www.favelabrass.org/
A ‘last supper’ with friends in Rio for Dave & Shelagh – but will this be their last!
Dave & Shelagh have been supporting the team at the Living and Learning Project through challenging times as there was a real possibility, and what looked like probability, that the project would have to close its doors. Thankfully the doors are to remain open.
Their last supper??
Dave and Shelagh have a last meal with friends connected to the project, Rose, Beth and Tom before returning home to Longridge.
Will they go back to Rio?
Will this be their last meal with these wonderful people?
Somehow I don’t think so!
Welcome home Dave & Shelagh – don’t unpack the suitcases!!
Full of life, adventure and mischief are two local volunteers, Dave and Shelagh Richardson, have landed back home just in time for Christmas.
On their second campaign to the Living & Learning Project Dave and Shelagh shared all their vast knowledge and skills in teaching and youth work with young people from Santa Teresa. A long side a team of international volunteers and local staff they provided opportunities for young people to help build self esteem and engagement with their local communities through music, art and excursions.
Cheers guys – when does the third campaign start?
Welcome to Giovanna who hopes to follow in the footsteps of fellow Brazilian Gabriel and become a volunteer working with the young peoples’ community project in the North East of the UK.
The project is run by the order of the Assumption Sisters, who also run the Living and Learning Project for young people in Rio, where VinB places a number of volunteers each year.
Giovanna, who just recently completed her studies to become a vet, lives in the North East of Brazil in a town called Cristino with her mother and is following in her footsteps as well, because for a number of years her mother, Tottinha, has supported VinB volunteers in their work with the farming community as well as hosting visiting groups on the VinB led pilgrimages.
VinB is proud of the part it plays in enabling volunteers from both countries to shape a future founded on mutual understanding and appreciation.
VinB volunteer Martina has arrived in Rio to complete her placement in the Living and Learning Project and found time to reflects on her time in Cristino.
Cristino Castro became my home and I am very thankful to everyone, especially to my host family, my Brazilian mum Dona Maroca and her family, Miguel, Ronaldo and Marta and all the people who influenced my life in so many different ways. Along with the sadness it is also a time to celebrate, to be thankful and to move on with a hope to see them again! I’m missing my students. I learnt much from them, not just the language but also about the Brazilian culture, traditions and admirable hospitality. Sometimes they had been a challenge, but always an amazing challenge which helps you to grow. Now I am looking forward to getting to know everyone in the Living and Learning Project. Martina
Martina, our volunteer in the North East of Brazil, is now in Rio preparing to welcome Pope Francis to World Youth Day. Since her arrival, a little over a month ago, Martina has worked as a volunteer in a day centre for street children, run by the AMAR Foundation.
Every morning the AMAR minivan goes to the central station to collect the kids that are sleeping there. Then the bus takes them to the centre that provides showers, meals, arts and sports activities, but most importantly it provides them with love and support.
For the first few days I found it very hard, especially going out to collect them and seeing how many children are actually living on the streets. Many of them had to leave their homes because of violence, drugs and abuse.
It took me some time to adjust but soon I started to see them as normal children who still like to play and really enjoy being children…though there is no easy solution to solve this big problem. What I was able to see, was that even small acts of kindness make a difference to the children and provide them with the hope for the future. Martina