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Dear Yale Alumni, Students, Family and Friends,

The Yale Alumni Service Corps invites you - alumni, family, and friends - to join our inaugural service trip to Brazil. Don’t miss this opportunity to use your time and talents to make a real difference in the lives of others on the first of several inspiring journeys to Serra Grande, an underserved community located in the state of Bahia in Brazil.

Building on our strategic plan designed to empower the communities we serve and to ensure that our programs have an enduring impact via robust partnerships, Yale staff and a small group of Yale alumni visited Serra Grande in March of 2015 where we met with ground partners, brainstormed with key community leaders, and discussed potential projects. We hope to create the most effective and sustainable projects with engagement and commitment from the community, including its leaders and local organizations. By working closely with our ground partners, we plan to keep in touch with and develop our relationships with the local schools, libraries, and grass-roots/local organizations we met. We aim to empower the community in a way that will preserve the amazing biodiversity while encouraging economic, educational, and environmental initiatives in the long-term.

Working in collaboration with our main ground partner, Floresta Viva, an organization that brings sustainable economic alternatives to small agricultural producers in protected areas, you have the opportunity to:

  • Teach children in the primary and secondary schools the importance of environmental protection, reforestation, and recycling, as well as fun science, math, oral history and reading motivation projects, arts and crafts, music, photography, videography and painting – you will also encourage them to stay in school and continue their studies.
  • Create a children’s room at the local library for various activities, build shelves, and clear a field behind the local school for children to play.
  • Support environmental conservation with members of the community through educational programs, planting seedlings and trees for a proposed botanical garden and developing the watershed area with Floresta Viva, a partner of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.
  • Address key public health needs including maternal and child health, teen pregnancy, drug and alcohol abuse, dengue prevention, domestic abuse, mental health, and dental hygiene, and encourage members of the community to participate in free health screenings at the local clinic during our stay.
  • Provide business consulting assistance and organize financial literacy classes for children and adults and work with local NGO that provides micro-loans and grants to local businesses. There is an application period for financing of these loans that is closing around the time of our trip so this is an excellent opportunity for volunteers with business skills to work on actual cases.
  • Introduce new sports to children such as Frisbee, jump rope and kick ball, organize boys and girls soccer sessions, running, dance, and other athletic activities.

No special skills are required. If you want to join us on our trip to Serra Grande, we will find a volunteer opportunity for you. Alumni from all classes and all graduate and professional schools – and their friends and family – are welcome.

There is no better gift you can give your children, ages 10 and older, than working with them side by side while serving the community. As on our prior programs, you will find this trip to be life changing, for both the villagers and our volunteers.

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