Casa Madre Giovanna (BRA-55)

Type: Socially Excluded Groups: Street children - Country: Brazil

Brief description and main aims

The project Casa Madre Giovanna was created in 1995 with the objective of receiving and supporting children who used to stay on the streets of Campo da Tuca District, a poor area with many social problems such as child work, adolescent pregnancy and drug abuse.

The project has grown considerably since then and counts with a new and better structure since 2000. Nowadays it receives more than 70 children ageed between 5 and 15 years old, divided into 3 age group. These children come fromat risk families (drug addiction, lack of male figures at home, strong poverty, etc).

The mission of the social project is to help children from the local community develop skills, knowledge and values that will allow them to have a better future. The project works to decrease the amount of children wondering on the streets, stimulate their awareness, responsibility and will to get over the obstacles their living situation creates. The children can be reckless but are very sweet and in need of genuine love.

Main Activities

The educators try to develop the skills and  encourage the kids interests through different activities, such as educational and pedagogical activities, music and art workshops, sports, lectures and debates (about social themes, drugs, sexuality, health), Capoeira and dance, English lessons and the promotion of activities for their inclusion in the community. 

Volunteer tasks

The volunteers are expected to:
  • help the educators with the activities previously mentioned
  • participate in the games and sports with the entire group
  • work with a small group of kids, helping them in some specific activities (reading, start to write, homework, etc.)
  • propose new workshops, such as story telling, simple music, arts, English lessons, sports, etc.
  • help in the kitchen or with administrative work, if necessary
  • visit the families of the children at home

Volunteer requirements / Skills

The role of the volunteers in the social project is important. The educators are expecting a volunteer who will be enthusiastic and willing to get involved. Most projects don't have a specific role to offer for the volunteer. The volunteer should strive, be creative and self-confident to develop their own activities/workshops while keeping in mind the responsibility of asking the people involved (project coordinators, staff) about the possibilities of doing such things.


The project is located in Porto Alegre.

Hosting Situation (Board and Lodging)

The volunteer will live with a host family. 

More Information

This is a small and simple project placed in a favela, one of the poorest areas of the city. This particular project is suitable for volunteers who prefer a more “familiar” situation, as the staff is small and very receptive.

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