Community in Action

Community in Action

Community in Action is a grassroots, non-governmental organization (NGO) founded on the basis of creating a platform for social entrepreneurs who seek to implement community outreach programs and promote sustainable living while working with local resources.

Community in Action operates in one of Brazil's largest favela (shanty town) communities called Complexo do Alemão, and is seeking volunteers or group organizations who would like to carry out sustainable projects such as community gardening, tutoring, teaching English, or building houses in order to empower residents with the tools necessary to increase their quality of life.

Community in Action was founded in 2004 by Zak Paster and Luiza Paster in order to promote sustainability in one of Brazil's largest favelas, Complexo do Alemão. Despite Brazil's irresistible beauty and lively culture, it is not exempt from its share of economic turmoil and political unrest over the course of its history.

Over 6 percent of Brazil's population live in favelas, or shanty towns, which are mainly located within the urban areas of Rio de Janeiro. These impoverished communities, home to over 11 million inhabitants, extend for miles overlooking some of the most desirable destinations known to the world, such as Ipanema and Copacobana for example. The original favelas were formed by vagabond soldiers and former slaves with no place to work or settle, and now after generations of extreme gentrification and little economic stimulation or governmental aid, a large portion of Brazil’s people are left with a deteriorated lifestyle and low morale for future collaboration.

Founders, Zak and Luiza, developed an idea to create a platform for social entrepreneurs who would like to promote sustainability while using local resources to drive their success. Community in Action equips entrepreneurs, volunteers, and other organizations with the proper resources and connects aid to where it is needed most in the favela communities. The ultimate goal is to empower the favela residents by giving them the responsibility to problem-solve and develop a more sustainable way of life. 

There are many opportunities to volunteer within Complexo do Alemão, and they include tutoring, providing day-care, supporting building projects or community gardening, and teaching English, just to name a few. Community in Action encourages single volunteers and groups to visit Rio and help by providing hands-on support to the favelas, so if you are interested in setting your entrepreneurial ideas into motion or just want to lend a hand in one of the world’s most transformational and culturally unique cities, then contact Community in Action - Volunteer Rio for more information on how to get started.

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