One more year

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

Rosie & Patch with cakes designed around their national flags baked by Shelagh

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A new home and a face lift

Painting the New Site on Good Deeds Day

On Saturday morning, 16 volunteers arrived at the project to paint our new second home at the College of the Assunção-Cenam centre. This kind and generous act was organised as part of International Goods Deeds Day, the volunteers putting themselves forward to help via the site of a Brazilian NGO called Atados.

The painting was a great success and the house, which previously was looking distinctly abandoned, is now looking smart. The sisters of the Assunção-Cenam centre laid on a lovely lunch for everyone involved and the whole job was prepared and organised to perfection by local professional painter Eliezer from the Pereira da Silva favela. We also had help from Roberto and Regivaldo who work at the Assunção-Cenam Centre.

As can be seen from the photos the school is very big and it was a great team effort to prepare and paint all of the green parts of the building in just one day. It was a very enjoyable day and many of the group have resolved to come back next Saturday to paint the white parts of the building.

We would like to say a big thank you to all of the people who were involved in this very special day and we would also like to thank UK charity Volunteer in Brazil Lancashire, Atados and Thamyrys Paz for the financial help in buying the painting materials.

Without a shadow of a doubt, the improved appearance of the school will help us to attract a new group of students from neighbouring favelas Fallet, Fogueteiro and Morro dos Prazeres. In other words, this means even more youngsters learning to play trumpet, clarinet, percussion, jazz and samba in Santa Teresa!

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Volunteer in Brazil and Favela Brass

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

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:

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Getting ready to Volunteer

From Rio to Newcastle, Rose can't wait!

From Rio to Newcastle, Rose can’t wait!

Hello everybody my name’s Rosimeire, I ‘m from Brazil. I’m 29 years olds. I have always worked with children in Brazil. I like children and I love to help them.  Right now I am living the best moments of  my life. I ‘m preparing to go to England for one year. I will be working as a Volunteer in Newcastle. I believe this will be the biggest experience of my life. This will be my first time traveling abroad, I’m very excited. My expectations is to learn from this experience and to became a better person so that I can serve the world better. I’m a spiritual person and I want to live my faith and do what God calls me to do. Being  a volunteer in Newcastle will be a challenge but I will put my hands, head and my heart into everything and I will give and  I will receive. I want to give my whole being . It will be very interesting to get to know and participate in another culture. I would like to thank the VinB trustees for helping me on this journey. I would also like to thank Helen Granger, she is the coordinator of Assumption Lay Volunteer Programme and she has really helped me. Thanks also to the Assumption Religious as they have supported me for a long time.  I ask for your prayers for me and for all the young people who will be volunteering this year. I know this experience will transform my life!
Sorry about my English…
Rosimeire Brito
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Their last supper?

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??

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!!

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Back around the hearth

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.

Dave & Shelagh

Cheers guys – when does the third campaign start?


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Volunteering and shaping the future

GiovannaWelcome 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.

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Volte sempre (always come back)

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.

saying goodbye from 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

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Home sweet home…but not for the street children of Brazil

streetChildren1Martina, 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

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One voice … one youth



In a few days I will leave Cristino Castro and head to Rio De Janeiro  for the World Youth Day 2013There I will meet with other Assumption volunteers and together we will  spend four weeks working  in a project that supports children and young people.

I am excited and looking forward to this very special opportunity to meet with the Holy Father and to share the experience of faith with other young Catholics throughout the world.   Martina

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