Internships in Brazil for Americans

Interns are assigned to favela (slum) work projects best suited to their respective skills, interests and personality. This could be in Rio, Paraty or São Paulo. Duration of internships may vary from 10 – 12 weeks depending on student’s availability. Accommodation may be with a host family or rented apartment. BRAYCE covers all travel and living expenses, and provides a modest stipend for each student. Typical work assignments include teaching after school activities in the visual arts, dance, theatre, mentorship, media, crafts, music, sports, supporting a percussion class and teaching English. Whenever possible, interns will be given the opportunity to work in more than one project. Ages of favela children vary between 6-16 years. When not working or preparing lesson plans, interns are free to enjoy Brazilian life and culture.

Students should inform BRAYCE organizers about any specific area of interest/activity they might have which could be shared with Brazilian youngsters e.g. a dance student might be assigned to Cia Dança e Arte Paraty  where he/she might be given the opportunity to teach a master class or develop a personal project with dance students culminating in a performance. All projects are supervised by project directors of BRAYCE partners (see below).  Intern coordinator, Marlies van Exter, a resident of Rio, coordinates and supervises all interns, and is available by phone or email at all times. Toby Calder, who runs the BRAYCE office for Brazil, is also a Rio resident and similarly available. Any issues/problems that arise should be taken first to the project director and thereafter to the BRAYCE program coordinator.

All interns are required to complete a comprehensive, substantial report at the end of their internship and are expected to support BRAYCE thereafter by interviewing potential future interns and speaking at events.

Interns work in projects under the aegis of BRAYCE partners listed below. In Rio de Janeiro, Vila Olímpica and ACERTA are partners, ACERTA for teaching English and Vila Olímpica for English, dance, sports and martial arts.  In São Paulo, the Graded School is also a new partner and although we hope to welcome a young Brazilian from their community outreach program to participate in leadership training in the USA, it is unlikely that we will be able to organize an internship until 2016.

PARTNERS in Rio de Janeiro, RJ

For more than twenty years IBISS has been “a weapon against social exclusion”. With more than sixty different projects the organization focuses on the most deprived groups within Brazilian society such as favela residents, the street population, prostitutes, people who work at dumpsites and disabled people. To date, IBISS has recruited and rescued over 5,000 youngsters from involvement with drug gangs.

Vila Olίmpica de Maré
Contributes to citizenship and community integration of the residents of the multi-favela community of Maré, especially to children, adolescents and youth. Participants are provided with opportunities for sport, health, education and culture, in a process aimed at personal development of the individual and collective, in order prepare them to enter the work force.

Provides opportunities for educational enrichment and cultural development to gifted and talented youngsters from marginalized favela communities in Rio de Janeiro.

PARTNERS in Paraty, RJ

Cia. Dança e Arte Paraty
Established four years ago as an initiative for street children in Paraty, Cia. Dança e Arte de Paraty now trains over 400 local youngsters in ballet, classical, jazz, folkloric, modern and contemporary ballroom dance.

ITAE Institute of Art & Education
Founded in 1987, ITAE is a nonprofit recognized by the Ministry of Culture. The organization offers art workshops, education, sports, computer, home economics, crafts and special projects to young people between 6 and 18 years, these projects are also offered to families. All programs are free of charge.

Casa Azul/FLIP
FLIP (International Literary Festival, Paraty) is the most important literary events in Brazil. Renowned Brazilian and international authors gather to meet and read from their latest works. Casa Azul/FLIP support a year round literacy program in the local area schools.

PARTNER in São Paulo, SP

The Graded (American) School
In 2000, through a transformative gift from Mr. Jorge Paulo Lemann and Fundação Lemann, Graded created the Lemann Scholarship Endowment, its first-ever endowed scholarship fund targeting low-income students from the nearby favela community of Paraisópolis. The goals of the Lemann Scholarship Program are to provide access to a Graded School education for qualified children of school support staff who would otherwise not have the opportunity to attend this private school and to increase socioeconomic diversity of the student body. Some low-income students will be selected to participate in the BRAYCE program.

What a BRAYCE Intern might expect in Paraty

In Paraty, BRAYCE organizes an internship split between its partner organizations. The specific work schedule is assembled by BRAYCE coordinators in Paraty. There is also the flexibility for an intern to present and implement a personal project which represents his/her particular interest, talent and skills. This might be to augment an existing class or to introduce a totally different project approved by the program director.

ITAE:  Students typically only attend school for ½ a day in Brazil. ITAE, located in the neighborhood of Mangueira, provides programs for the Paratiense youth to attend before or after school.  A BRAYCE intern would work closely with the different professors, assisting and participating in any of the classes offered.  Classes offered include:  English, Judo, Theatre, Miçanga (jewelry and other crafts with beads), Computer classes, Music class- recorders, Mini Tennis, Photography, Capoeira (martial arts program).

Cia Dança e Arte Paraty: Here a BRAYCE interns teach English to two groups of young dancers. One group of girls from ages 7-10 and the second group of girls from ages 11-16.  One intern, a competent Yoga enthusiast, chose to teach Yoga which was very popular with all age groups. Another chose to teach piano which again, was well received.

FLIP (The International Literary Festival). This internship component varies depending on the specific needs of the organization at the time an intern is in Paraty.  One BRAYCE intern worked as a bilingual receptionist for the authors participating in the festival.  There were approximately 15 bilingual receptionists speaking a combination of English, Portuguese, Spanish, or French, and originated from Brazil, France, Canada, and the United States. This work enabled the intern to meet the authors, use her language skills, and attend some of the conferences for free. 

What a BRAYCE Intern might expect in Rio de Janeiro

Currently interns perform community service work in several favelas in Rio de Janeiro under the aegis of BRAYCE partner, IBISS. Again, there is the opportunity for an intern to introduce and implement his/her personal project, again with the approval of the project director of the specific assigned IBISS program. In addition, an intern might be asked to teach English to a Brazilian BRAYCE recruit preparing to travel to the USA to participate in a YMCA Youth Leadership Training Program at Camp Hazen, in Connecticut.

A typical intern assignment might be to work in the Projeto Meninas Mães project, directed and funded by IBISS.  The project operates in three favelas—Complexo do Alemão, Cidade de Deus, and Vila Cruzeiro. It is a social initiative that offers opportunities to young women, up to age 17, who are either expecting or already have a child. Workshops offered to these young women include English, Portuguese extra-help, math extra-help, computer science, Dance, Art, a crafts workshop, and a cooking course. All of the workshops are intended to give the girls better professional opportunities after they turn 18 and out of the project. BRAYCE interns work closely with the project directors in each of the project locations, supporting the regular programs, but with flexibility to inject their own ideas and implement their own personal initiatives.