It started with that I contacted the volunteer organization Ikoporan who are based in Santa Teresa. They directed me to a kind of a culture house in Tijuca run by the Synval Silva Foundation. The target group is the people living in the favelas of the area, among them Morro de Formiga. Daytime it was for adolescents 12 o 18 years old and late afternoon and evenings also adults. I believe that the content of the activities depend a lot on what qualifications the different volunteers had. I taught drawing and painting, during my period there was also courses in Samba drums, guitar, music theory, English, handicraft from recycling, grafiti och the alphabet. An IT-room was under construction and plans were made for building a music studio for recording.

The goal for the activities with the adolescents was primarily to build up their self confidence through activities, motivate them to go to school and to keep them off the streets.

In order to work you should speak Portuguese, I didn’t and it severely hampered the efficiency of my teaching. I think that the Synval Silva Foundation work is fruitful and I recommend you to to contact them. You can try calling Alipio at 9639-0622.

Text written by Camilla in 2006

Who was Synval Silva?

I thought I should add a bit to this text. Synval Silva was one of the pioneers of Samba music in Rio. He lived in the favela Morro da Formiga until he died in 1994. Quite naturally the projects often include elements of music and the culture surrounding Samba.

The text on this page serves as an example what volunteer work in Rio can be like, it is not a particular recommendation for the Synval Silva foundation.