Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI) is seeking an energetic, proactive individual to volunteer in the role of Global Village Assistant for the Habitat for Humanity Brazil office. This volunteer assists in the Global Village department with hosting and communicating with future and current Global Village teams of volunteers who come to Brazil to help build homes with Habitat for Humanity. This position will be based at the national office in Recife, Brazil.
*Majority of time is spent in the field with int’l groups on 1- to 2-week home-building trips.
*Upbeat, enthusiastic, and problem-solving individual needed, and one that would equally enjoy working side-by-side with the teams.
*Must be equally comfortable speaking in English and Portuguese.
ABOUT THE HABITAT FOR HUMANITY BRAZIL OFFICE:
A recent survey ranked São Paulo as the tenth most expensive city in the world (up eleven places since last year), and Rio de Janeiro as the twelfth (rising seventeen places). New York, North America’s most expensive city is at number 32, making Brazil the most expensive country in the Americas. The figures concerning the housing situation in Brazil are staggering. Brazil has between 6 and 8 million fewer houses than it needs, and the poor are the most impacted by this deficit. People earning a monthly salary of US$1,000 or less account for about 90 percent of the housing deficit, which is expected to remain stable for the next decade.
The greatest needs are in the northeast and southeast areas of the country. In the cities, there is urban overcrowding and housing deterioration. It is estimated that more than 50 million Brazilians currently live in inadequate housing conditions. Most of these families have an income below the minimum wage of roughly US$350/month. According to data from several sources, 26 million people living in urban areas lack access to potable water, 14 million are not served by a trash collection service and 83 million are not connected to sewage systems.
Habitat’s work in Brazil began after an extended period of severe rain in December 1987, which displaced many families in the city of Belo Horizonte, capital of Minas Gerais in the southeastern region of Brazil. With the support of Methodist Communitarian Center of São Gabriel quarter and the approval of a construction project of 100 homes, work officially began in 1992. Habitat for Humanity Brazil has now helped build over 3,400 homes in six different states throughout the country.
Brazil is the largest country in South America, bordering Venezuela, Colombia, Guyana, Suriname, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina, and Uruguay. The official language of Brazil is Portuguese, and Brazil is the only country in South America to have roots stemming from Portugal. Brazil has been an economic powerhouse for the last few years, and there are many international banks located in the country. This makes banking for foreigners very easy. Sao Paulo is a very large city with a population of 19 million people, making it the largest city in Brazil. The city is commonly called Sampa to locals, and holds more than 60% of the Brazil’s GDP. Sao Paulo is known for its art and museums, as well as great public spaces.
The weather in Sao Paulo is also pretty temperate year round, however it does get hot and humid in the summer, and cool and rainy in the fall. Brazil is also known to have great food. Some typical dishes found in Sao Paulo are: Tutu a mineira (mashed beans, roast pork, cabbage, and rice), Pao de Queijo (cheese bread), Acaraje (fried shrimp pie), Virada Paulista (rice, beans, bananas, and meat), Feijoada (black beans with meat rice and kale), Pastel (fried pies with different fillings), and Churrasco (barbecued meat). There is also an abundance of beaches that many Brazilians take advantage of on a regular basis.
ANTICIPATED HOST ORGANIZATION SUPPORT:
*Bus tickets to work, cell phone (but not phone credits) office set-up, Global Village trip expenses when accompanying a team
ANTICIPATED COSTS TO THE VOLUNTEER:
Monthly estimate for a single individual is given below. (All figures are in USD.)
For a rental apartment:
Transportation to and from office: $0
Other (recreation and personal expenses) : $200
Estimated Monthly Total: $1000-$1200
*Fluency in English and intermediate Portuguese language skills required
*Excellent oral and written communication skills
*Experience working in a cross-cultural setting and flexibility!
*All IVP volunteers must confirm the purchase of international insurance coverage for the duration of their stays.
Habitat for Humanity engages people of all ages and backgrounds in addressing community needs.