Volunteering in Curitiba, Brazil by Susana Mpinge

Growing up I have meet so many people from different countries in Namibia and with that came the curiosity of wanting to experience a different environment and culture. So an opportunity arose and I grabbed it. I came across AIESEC Namibia exchange programme and decided to go do a volunteering internship in Curitiba, Brazil, for 2 months.


I was working in the Gira Mundo project in a NGO responsible for young girls who have suffered abuse, crime or cannot stay with their families due to the place not being safe. I with other interns from other countries taught the girls through workshops, lectures, games and other activities on four different subjects: social responsibility, entrepreneurship, cultural differences and sustainability.


Before I got to Brazil, I was expecting it to be as they advertise in the movies: everyone beautiful with perfect bodies. Don’t get me wrong they are beautiful but not perfect but I must say their culture is amazing, loving and unified.

During my stay, I traveled to the following places: Sao Paulo and Rio de Janerio. The language (Portuguese) was the main challenge but I was crazy enough to go without knowing even basic Portuguese. The trips were amazing and I got to meet different types of Brazilians from different states of Brazil.


I would say that the experience has made me a better individual. The way I reason is different, the way I see life and opportunities are different. My personality has defiantly improved, so is my understanding of other peoples cultures. I have built a network of friends around the world. I can go somewhere now and know I am safe as I have friends that I know personally.
I would recommend anyone interested in the exchange programme to go abroad, it’s a different world out there. It was the best challenge andI now know how it feels like to overcome my fears.


People will always have something negative to say about any place but it is until you get there and experience it yourself that you realize it came be  a home away from home. I now have a family in Brazil that I can go back any time. My host family have treated me far better than some my own family. I love them so much.

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