Category Archives: Volunteer opportunities

Volunteers Needed for Lake Clean Up Event, March 19-20


Got Milk? Project Teach Seeking Donations

Project Teach is requesting donations of shelf stable whole milk. Please keep them in mind when you are at the grocery store! You may drop the milk off in the CLO office or contact Farah Vinnedge:


Volunteer for the 2016 Olympic Games

rio2016Beginning on 28 August 2014, the volunteer application process for the 2016 Olympic Rio Games will open. Click the link below for information.


Project Teach: Have a Little Bit of Extra Time?

By Fiorella Medina, Former Project Teach Coordinator

When I arrived in Brasilia in December 2012, I was uncertain of what my role would be in this new community. With no job, children, or particular hobby, there was no default way for me to spend my time. In order to keep myself busy, I decided to join Project T.E.A.C.H on an excursion to an underprivileged school in Águas Lindas. This experience turned out to be far more rewarding and meaningful than a simple activity to pass the time. Continue reading

Updated List of Activity Groups

The CLO has recently updated their list of activity groups available to embassy members.

Click here for the list:

Activity Groups Embassy Brasilia 2014


FSYF Announces New Teen Mentoring Program


Project Teach Thanks You!

A big thank you to the Embassy for your generous baking and donations on behalf of Project TEACH!  We raised R$1450, which is an incredible amount and we are SOOO grateful for everyone’s support and generosity!  The money will go toward buying fresh fruits and vegetables weekly to fortify the children’s lunches, as well as other academic needs the school and/or project needs to be effective.

Seeking Nominations for 2013 SOSA and Tragen Awards

1.  Nominations are being solicited for the Secretary of State Award

for Outstanding Volunteerism Abroad (SOSA) and the Eleanor Dodson

Tragen Award (Tragen).  SOSA is sponsored and administered by the

Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide (AAFSW), the

non-profit that supports Foreign Service spouses, partners and

employees.  The Tragen Award is sponsored and administered by DACOR,

an organization of Foreign Service professionals.  Continue reading

Volunteer Opportunity: Fun and Easy!

Dear Embassy Community,

The Public Affairs section is looking for volunteers interested in conducting outreach to English Language students in Brasilia. This is an engaging way to go into the local community, volunteer your time, and get to know local Brazilians – and it is all in English!  Current opportunities exist with Brasilia’s network of 8 public school language centers, known as CILs, which reach 25,000 Brazilian public school students.  For example, Kelly Dzurny has worked with PA since last year to help establish the English Resource Center at one of the CILs, and it was through her direct connectivity and interest as a volunteer that helped us to establish a community service/outreach program between the American school (EAB) and CIL, which began in March.  

There is no specific time commitment required, and you can volunteer as often as you would like. You just need a little time, interest, and ability to converse in English to take part!


If you are interested and would like more details, please email Ramona Sandoval,

5K Walk/Run a Success!

By Carlos Chen

On 23 February, the U.S. Marine Security Guard Detachment at the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia hosted a 5K Walk/Run to raise awareness of children’s cancer in Brazil. The Marines got the idea for the run when they visited the Casa do Menino Jesus last December during their annual “Toys for Tots” drive. The Casa do Menino Jesus is a children’s cancer center located in Gama, D.F. that was founded 1991 and is currently managed by Alda Menezes. After touring the facility at the Casa do Menino Jesus, the Marines  observed  the subpar conditions that the residents were living in. It was then decided that they would do something to help. Continue reading


AAFSW congratulates the 2012 winners of the Secretary of State’s Award for Outstanding Volunteerism Abroad (SOSA). The six awardees, including our own Amy Zimmerman,  were honored at a ceremony at the Department of State on Tuesday, December 4, 2012. 

Read more about the award winners here, and look for a more in-depth article on Amy Zimmerman and Project TEACH  coming soon.

Toys For Tots Delivery

By Sergeant Carlos Chen, USMC   

toysfortotsToys for Tots began in 1947, when Major Bill Hendricks, USMCR and a group of Marine Reservists in Los Angeles collected and distributed 5,000 toys to needy children.  The idea came from Bill’s wife, Diane.  In the fall of 1947, Diane crafted a homemade doll and asked Bill to deliver the doll to an organization, which would give it to a needy child at Christmas.  When Bill determined that no agency existed, Diane told Bill that he should start one.  He did.  The 1947 pilot project was so successful that the Marine Corps adopted Toys for Tots in 1948 and expanded it into a nationwide campaign.

Since beginning the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program in 1947, Marines have distributed more than 452 million toys to more than 209 million needy children.  This charitable endeavor has made U.S. Marines the unchallenged leader in looking after less fortunate children at Christmas.  Over its life span, the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation has supplemented local toy collections with more than 98 million toys valued at more than $694 million; plus provided promotion and support materials valued at over $8.5 million.


Papai Noel stands in front of a van packed with toys, food, and clothing, ready to be delivered. Special thanks to Jason Banks for hooking us up with Santa.

The Toys for Tots Program reaches not only children in the US but many children worldwide. Marines stationed overseas at various diplomatic and consular facilities continue this tradition of giving.  This year the Marines from detachment at the embassy along with the help of many members from the embassy community distributed toys and donations to the “Casa do Menino Jesus”. Over 100 children benefited from this year’s drive.  The children were very pleased with their gifts and all got a chance to meet Santa, or as they called him “Papai Noel”. 


Photos from the Day

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Luis Lima Receives Certificate of Appreciation


Luis Lima was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation this week “In recognition of his selfless volunteerism and support of the Ceilândia Orphanage through his annual Santa Claus toy drive.”

For more about Lima’s efforts on behalf of these children, click here.
Congratulations, Luis, and thank you to all who donated toys to this worthy cause!

Girl Scouts

Transitioning overseas isn’t always easy. Neither is growing up as a girl, and navigating a sea of expectations, stereo-types, and pressures. USA Girl Scouts Overseas is American Girl Scouting avail-able abroad to all girls enrolled in International or American schools (inclusive of all nationalities). USA Girl Scouts Overseas focuses on bullying prevention, self-esteem, leadership, awards, and service learning. Adult volunteers are needed to bring this important program to life. Volunteer opportunities are available on a short-term, project-focused basis or as an on-going opportunity—working with girls or working in an administrative role. Orientation and training are available online and further support and consultation is al-ways available. Giving even a few hours as a volunteer with USA Girl Scouts Overseas makes a lasting and positive impact. Connecting with others aligned to the Girl Scout mission can help adult volunteers build their professional resume, deepen their networks and have fun! For more information on what Girl Scouting is doing today and how you can get involved as a volunteer please email

Letters to Santa

FAC technician Luis Lima has good connections with Santa. Eight years ago, Luis decided to collect gift donations after hearing from kids in his community that many had never had a Christmas present. That changed when he set a mailbox in his house/community library for anyone who wanted to communicate with Santa. And the letters keep coming, now amounting to more than 600. Luis’s secret: he takes the letters to the embassy and asks his colleagues from all sections to choose a couple and fulfill the simple desires of the senders. Luis has usually collected about 300 gifts.  He will be visiting the offices as he always does, but anyone interested in taking one or more letters can come in and choose a letter or contact the CLO office at You can leave the gifts there for Luis to pick up. Just before Christmas, dressed as Santa and with help of 40 of his neighbors, Luis gives out the gifts with the name of each child who dared to write a letter trusting Santa wouldn’t forget them.