On the 9th September, the Ideia Tours team in Rio took part in a voluntary project at the Santa Rita de Cássia Orphanage, aiming to help renovate and redecorate this vital building. Home to around 85 girls, the orphanage was set up to help some of Rios most vulnerable. Whether victims of sexual violence, abuse or social persecution, Santa Rita de Cássia acts as both a safe sanctuary and boarding school in one. Some drop in for just the morning, others live full time and can even be selected for adoption, but all will find a communal space to interact and feel protected. This is a well-worthy cause, though one which struggles with the day-to-day finances of maintenance, paying for professional teachers and other unavoidable expenses.
So, in association with the Rio Volunteer Group and non-profit organization Casa de Apoio Fraterno - Ponto do Bem, we picked up our paint pots and brushes, to spend the weekend giving each section of the building a freshen up, from top to bottom, enabling the girls to feel more comfortable and at ease during their time there, as well as preparing walls for interactive sessions and games. The work, in fact, turned out to be so extensive that it went on long after the weekend, with it being essential that everything was spotless, clean, and to a standard befitting of the brave girls who live at the center. We were extremely proud to support and briefly be part of this project.