Renee is volunteering in Brazil

Brazil was a place I knew on a map. I had never dreamed of visiting, much less volunteering there.

So, why Brazil? Why now?

The original plan was to spend 10 days in Brazil for World Youth Day (WYD), an event held every few years in different countries for the young and young at heart to deepen their faith and understanding in Christ. I'm still in this phase of understanding how faith plays a role in my life but I was asked to go to Brazil as an opportunity to explore this faith and so I said, "sure, why not?"
Volunteering is something that I enjoy and I love being able to give back. With my background in teaching, I've always wanted to teach abroad, but I assumed I would have to sign up for 2 years. Being away from my family for that long was too much of a commitment and so I let this dream slide by. However, with International Volunteer Head Quarters (IVHQ), there are options to volunteer and teach for as little as two weeks. Since I would already be in Brazil, I decided to extend my stay and finally do it.

I will be in Brazil for almost 4 weeks, arriving in Rio de Janeiro on July 6th. Two weeks prior to the start of WYD, I will be working with children from low income communities by keeping them busy through sports as an outlet for entertainment and away from illegal activities. Although it is not necessarily traditional teaching, it is still interacting with children in such a way to help them make positive decisions in their lives. It is also an opportunity for personal growth as a young, capable woman with the tenacity to make my dreams come true.

Now that I have the time and the audacity to finally do this, I do need a little help getting there. My parents have graciously paid for WYD (a little more than $2,000); I couldn't ask any more from them after all they have sacrificed.

The money raised will help offset some of the costs:
Airline tickets: $1600

Program/Accommodation fees: $620
Visa: $100
Vaccinations: $50
Ground transportation: $25 /week
Criminal Background Check: $25
Portuguese lessons: $100
Food: $100 /week
Mandatory Travel Insurance: $60
At least $3000

I'm working hard and saving every penny that I can. I would be forever grateful for any amount donated in helping me make this dream come true.

I am also making graduation ribbon leis, hair nets, pencil pouches and makeup rolls to help fundraise. Let me know if you'd like one!

Renee :)

PS. If you'd like to donate directly to me, email me at [email redacted] for my address.

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Renee-Felicia Balboa 
Long Beach, CA
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