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Information

What?

The Monte Azul Community Association is an anthroposophical organization conducting integrated social work.

Where?

São Paulo, Brazil.

Number of volunteers required?

Monte Azul can usually reserve one place per year for a UWC volunteer. It is extremely competitive.

Other requirements?

A volunteer must fulfill various requirements along with his/her regular work (usually Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.): Volunteers must be aged 20 or over at the time of starting their placement.

  • The participation in the co-workers’ meetings of each project area every second Thursday night
  • The participation in community life, especially in cultural events, joint annual festivals, lectures, and discussions
  • Familiarization with the favelas and their inhabitants
  • Participation in courses and events of the “Escola Oficina Social” (Social Educational Workshop)
  • Participation (and organization) of regular volunteer meetings, where guest speakers are invited to talk about a variety of topics (Brazil, structural and philosophical backgrounds of Monte Azul’s work, biographies of co-workers, etc.)
  • Intensive observation of a certain child during the course of his/her work
  • A final report describing his work experience through personal impressions, critique, and insight.

Interest in Waldorf/Steiner approach useful. Desire to learn Portuguese necessary.

Benefits?

The volunteers, like the collaborators, view their work in the Association as a profound process of self-development. In many of the reports that volunteers have written at the end of their stay, they reflect on their time here as a learning and growth process. They tend to stay for a year, receiving free food and shelter in exchange for their efforts.

Minimum length of stay?

Volunteers must commit for one year. If you cannot, you can apply as an intern to work for a shorter period, but interns must pay about NOK 45 per day to cover the cost of their accommodation.

Volunteer tasks?

The volunteers work as helpers in nearly all work areas of the Association, except for the health area, which is usually restricted to trained professionals. Most of the volunteers are placed in the pedagogical area, which ranges from nurseries to workshops for adolescents, hence encompassing children of all age groups. Initially, the volunteer mostly assists the teachers in conducting their daily routines. But eventually, depending on his motivation and effort, he can play a more independent and responsible role in the organization’s procedures.

Details?

In 1975, Waldorf teacher Ute Craemer first started to conduct social work with Brazilian slum children. Until the present day, she is in many respects the pioneer and role model of numerous social initiatives. Over the years, through direct work with the favelas’ inhabitants, numerous changes have been initiated. This was made possible by constantly urging the favelados to help themselves, hence substantially improving the living conditions in the favela. Running water, sewage systems, kinder gardens, adult schooling, ambulatory facilities, and trash recycling form just a part of the many visible results of a stimulus toward development that over time has searched more and more thoroughly for answers to the urgent problems of a big city slum. With the future in mind, it attempts even today to deal with constantly renewing challenges to create a humane life for those living in impoverished conditions.

Start date?

September each year.

Current volunteers?

None

Former volunteers?

2007-2008: Marlene Johre (AC 05-07) ( mjohre@hotmail.com)

2006-2007:Maria Seim, Norway, RCNUWC 04-06 (maria_seim@hotmail.com)

2005-2006: Emilie Gravelle, Canada, Adriatic 03-05

2005: Cecilia Rubiolo, Italy, RCNUWC 02-04 (yakautaky@hotmail.com)
Frances Ratcliffe, U.K., RCNUWC 02-04 (francesbryony@aol.com)