The children of 'Madre Teresa' in Salvador

By Corinne Risler

  • My Experience
  • Photos

As an employee of Sabre Holding, I was awarded with a $5,000 volunteer grant to participate in Travelocity's Travel for Good progam. I signed up for a 2-week placement in Salvador. Brazil still has a lot of poverty in and around the big cities, and after having visited the country as a tourist in the past, I was very excited to serve the community in Salvador.

My placement was at one of the houses of Mother Teresa of Calcutta that caters for poor and malnourished children between the ages of 1 and 3. The nuns took care of about 25 kids of which some of them actually slept at the house throughout the week. The first day at the placement was very emotional seeing these little kids knowing that their parents are unable to take proper care of them. Two sisters, both called Yasmin, broke my heart, the older one never smiled and had this empty look on her face.
Nonetheless, they were all very beautiful and just wanted to get some attention. I helped the nuns with the daily routine of play, lunch and nap time. Although my Portuguese wasn't that great, it was so much fun taking care of the kids.
There were also 8 elderly ladies who were abandoned or don't have any family left and now live at the house. I also spent some time with them playing Bingo or giving them manicures and pedicures.

We were a total of 9 volunteers at the Cross Cultural Solutions group house and we were very well catered for by the in-country staff. I also loved the cultural activities such as Portuguese lessons, guided tours around Salvador and the history lessons of Professor Fred. He got us all excited about Candomble, the Brazilian version of Voodoo. Salvador is such a fantastic place with a rich culture.

All in all it was an unforgettable experience and I met some wonderful people during this trip. The volunteer work has definitely made an impact on my life and I am very grateful for this experience.
I will definitely go back to Salvador, maybe on another volunteer trip.

For more information on my trip check out my blog:

Additional Info:

Trip Duration: 2 Weeks
Country: Brazil
When: March 2011
Travel Provider: Cross-Cultural-Solutions
Volunteer Experience Type: Human Services / Education
Organization: Salvador, Brazil

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