Web / Creative communication Casa do Caminho NGO Rio de Janeiro, BrazilMay the 2nd, December the 31st
Plan Why did I choose Casa do Caminho My application My NGO History Organization Ophanage Centro Cultural Language School My internship(s) Centro Cultural Web Cineclub Photography Graffity workshops Language Centre Reception SEO SEM Video Beach Volley Conclusion
Why did I choose Casa do Caminho NGO ?My goals before my internship were to : Be helpful for the planet or the community : to volunteer Discover a new culture : Brazil Learn a new language : Portuguese Use my skills and knowledge : web / creative communicationSo the first thing I did was going to Google and search « volunteer in Brazil ».Sometimes, we have to apply for a hundred different companies to get a job…And sometimes, rarely, the first opportunity that you find, is the one for you.When I saw this opportunity to volunteer in Rio de Janeiro for Casa do Caminho, I dideverything I could to be the chosen one.
My applicationThanks to EUROMED Management (coaching, resources…) and my own personalexperience in job/internship application, I was prepared.I needed my resume made by a web designerI went to www.codeur.com, to find a freelance in France to do the job for cheap.I received 17 offers in 24 hours, from 35€ to 215€And I finally chose one for 50€
My application – my suggestion about the web site I checked out their website and thought some things needed to be changed. So Before my Skype Interview I made a suggestion for the website.
My application – my Skype interview Bart Bijen, the dutch manager of the NGO, interviewed me for this position. I knew spanish and I kinf of learn portuguese by myself but I was not really fluent in portuguese. So when I knew I had to perform the interview in both english and portuguese, I prepared my speech in both language. … And it worked.
My NGO – Casa do Caminho History In 1982 Carlos Alberto Nogueira established Casa do Caminho with the help of five friends. They distributed aid to homeless people in the area of Xerém, RJ. Their vision was to create a shelter for homeless people in a green natural setting far from the urban center. In the first five years of the project, the original group lived among destitute men, women, and children and they formed a unique community that resided in primitive buildings without electricity. It wasn’t until the 1990s that the objectives of Casa do Caminho changed to prioritizing projects for children solely. Nowadays, Casa do Caminho still focuses on children, so the core product did not change but throughout the years many side products have been added to the portfolio. In 2003, Bart Bijen, the director of Casa do Caminho, designed the volunteer program. After the implementation of the volunteer program there has been a continuous flow of volunteers that provide Casa do Caminho with the flexibility to expand its facilities. Ever since, this program is evolving rapidly. Since 2003, Casa do Caminho has added an adolescents´ center to house the older children to make the project itself more sustainable and give the orphanage program a longer range. Various social enterprises have been added to the portfolio, i.e. the Language Centre, in order to create incoming cash flow and support the orphanage with continuous funds. The ICT project (Information, Communication, Technology), a Sport and Community Centre, and a Sexual Education project have been added too, in order to augment education as a supporting pillar of the Casa do Caminho program. Also, Casa do Caminho is sells Doces de Verônica, which are homemade preserves made from the Orphanage organic farm. In the last five years close to 300 volunteers from all over the world continually shaped, developed and updated the program to make it more effective and more professional; this provides more help and more care to the children of Xerém.
My NGO – Casa do Caminho Organization The orphanage in Xerém is composed of three different houses : one for Orphanage kids between 3 and 12, one for male teenagers, and one for female teenagers.The language school inIpanema teachesportuguese to The idea of the« gringos » (foreigners) Language Cultural Centro Cultural is toand english to School Center give back to thebrazilians. All the Xerém communityprofits go to the (that supports theorpahange. orphanage) by giving for free, or for Clube really cheap, accessVideo here Verde to culture : language classes, cinema, thea tre, dance, music… The Clube Verde is a green project that will enable teens to work in farms and in the green area in general
My NGO – Casa do Caminho The orphanage The Sede « sede », « headqquarter » in portuguese is where 20 kids live. The place is situated in the hills in the middle of natureCasa CAM, Casa dAsAmigas, is where the girlslive. They are more or lessten. The house is located inthe village ofXerém. Casa CAM Heppenheim In Casa Heppenheim, also in Xerém, live more or less 10 boys. The name is from a rich donator that financed the project.
My NGO – Casa do Caminho Centro Cultural The Cultural Centre situated in the village of Xerém, offers thanks to 6 volunteers, different activities for cheap or for free : • Language classes => english, spanish, french • Music => Piano, guitar, dance • Theatre • Art => photography, graffity, creative arts • Cinema => free cine club every Thursday I was myself working at the Cultural Center between May and August. During this time I was in charge of many different things : • French classes • Graffity workshops • Photography workshops • Cineclub • Web 2.0 Promotion
My NGO – Casa do Caminho Language Centre The Language School is more than necessary for the NGO. A significant amount of the money the NGO gets monthly, is from it (the donations are the other source of income) The Language Centre is the leading Portuguese language school situated two blocks away from Ipanema Beach, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. “We offer Brazilian Portuguese Courses for foreigners from 14 R$ per hour (best prices in South Rio). We teach Portuguese to adults, children, university groups and businesses. We have group lessons, as well as private lessons. We offer regular and intensive courses at flexible times in the morning, afternoon and evening. There are no registration fees or other hidden fees. Our teachers are all highly qualified, experienced native Brazilian teachers.”
My internship(s) – Centro Cultural Web 2.0 The Cultural Center was knew and unknown in Xerém. The goal was to advertise to our public : young people willing to learn something different for cheap/free. In Brazil, Facebook is a pretty knew thing, people used to prefer Orkut, an equivalent runned by Google and Msn Hotmail. But 2011 was the exact year when the worlwide leader Facebook succeeded invading Brazil. Good for me, because I knew way more about Facebook that about Orkut. When I arrived the CC had a Facebook group, a Facebook fan page, an Orkut account, and a couple of blogs… Any of them was really successfull and well uploaded. My first decision was to focus on Facebook that has the same content as a blog (news, photos, videos, article, network on the platform…) . My strategy was to upload as many info and content as possible. Everything had to be directly related to our activities and had to be intesresting for the FB users. I took pictures of all the classes and workshops, made video interviews of all the volunteers, uploaded news and schedules for the weeks to come… And I had an idea.
My internship(s) – Centro Cultural Web 2.0Case Study – IRL + Web 2.0 = Success As a community manager, I was convinced that an online strategy could be efficient only if it was supported by an IRL (in real life) strategy . We needed to meet our community in a public place and make them go to our Facebook platform. As I started working with photography in 2010 in France (in a night club and for amateur models), I thought photography could be a good way to catch people’s attention. My strategy was directly based on the one some websites use to get viewers and generate moneytizing their traffics => taking a picture of people and then giving them a business card with the address of our platform. So I needed to : 1. Find THE busy place and its rush hour 2. Catch people’s attention 3. Make them go to our FB page Look professionnal
My internship(s) – Centro Cultural Web 2.0Case Study – IRL + Web 2.0 = Success 1. Find THE busy place and its rush hour : In Xerém, there is a famous place called Mantiquira where young people and family like to hang out, have açaï (amazonian fruit), « batata frita » ( french fries) , « pipoca » (popcorn) and watch the teenagers skateboarding. Xerém is a very religious town and there is a huge amount of churches, mostly evangelist. So it was pretty obvious, that the Mantiquira was the place. And the moment was Sunday night after the evening Mass when people are logically well dressed.
My internship(s) – Centro Cultural Web 2.0 Case Study – IRL + Web 2.0 = Success 2. Catch people’s attention : We need to be at a place where everybody goes through, make them watch, stop and participate. So we decided to put on some dance music, and light up the our stand. We also printed a 3x5m poster to put behind the people we photoshoot with our FB address on it facebook.com/xeremcultural.It made it professional Random people become real stars for a moment
My internship(s) – Centro Cultural Web 2.0Case Study – IRL + Web 2.0 = Success 3. Make them go to our Facebook page and like it : We caught people’s attention, we made them smile and get interested to our activities… Now we had to convert prospects in clients. So we printed business card and gave them to everybody that we photoshoot or that stopped by to take a look/ discuss with us. To get the pictures, they needed to go to our FB page and like it. Then we they liked it, they were reachable. And we could communicate with us. Plus, because it was an opportunity for them to have professional photos of them. Many of these people turned the pictures into FB profile pictures. Our FB address was on them, so they started to advertise for us.
My internship(s) – Centro Cultural Web 2.0Case Study – IRL + Web 2.0 = Success Results I started this action July the 10th, less then 2 months after the number of Facebook likes had been multiplied by more then 10 ! More students for the classes Better brand image in town 329 likes More traffic at the 27 likes Cultural Center launching Nov 2010 July 2011 Sept 2011 my starting date
My internship(s) – Centro Cultural Web 2.0Case Study – IRL + Web 2.0 = Success Critical Success Factors 1. The right place at the right moment 2. Photography catches people’s attention 3. We gave a chance to Xerém people to feel like a star for 5 minutes 4. The action was related to our activities (photo workshop, art, music…) This action showed how much the web 2.0 needs to be supported by an IRL strategy. If young people can spend up to 5 hours a day on the internet, it means that during 19 hours they are In Real Life !
My internship(s) – Centro Cultural Cine Club The Cine Club is a weekly activity happening on Thursday nights at 9:00pm The idea is to get people together for free and show an alternative movies, something they could not / would not see by themselves : short movies, independant cinema, art, documentories, unknown master pieces… Just like « 5 millions of others », « O povo brasileiro », « 5times favela »… The Cine Club started to be a success, up to 45 people were coming every Thursday to watch the movies, so we decided to invite some directors over. For example Cacau Amaral, one of the director of 5x Favela shown at Festival de Cannes in 2010, came to present his movies and discuss with the audience.
My internship(s) – Centro Cultural Cine Club Because we had Giovanny Moreno, a drama teacher at the orphanage, and because he knew I was into video production (CupcakeTV) , we started to make short movies and documentories for the Cine Club, here is the trailer of Casa Velha, all made by Casa do Caminho : the kids, the drama teacher and myself. rated ithttp://www.dailymotion.com/video/xjsweu_trailer-a-casa-velha-by-cupcake-tv_creation
My internship(s) – Centro Cultural Photography workshops I am no professional at photography. I started a bit more than a year ago. But as long as I was creative and motivated, I was able to bring something for the teenagers I was teaching. The workshops were a lot about « light painting » as people usely like it for being fun and pretty. here a video But I also offered free photoshoots at the end of every workshop. Girls loved it !
My internship(s) – Centro Cultural Graffity workshops Usally the workshops were open to Xerém community : teenagers from the town or the area. The graffity workshop was only open to Casa do Caminho teenagers because the spray paints are very expensive in Brazil
My internship(s) – Centro Cultural Results Being at the Cultural Center was a great experience for a lot of reasons : 1. I was doing creative activities such as photos, videos, graffities… 2. I was close to the orphanage and was able to see the kids and teenagers everyday 3. It put me in a really brazilian enviornment, not the one I used to know 4. I learnt portugues really fast But Xerém is a very small town, and I could not live more than 4 months in it. I was born and raised in a city so something was missing in my life. I decided to apply for the web 2.0 / SEO position at Casa do Caminho Language School in Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro.
My internship(s) – Language Centre Language Centre At Casa do Caminho Language School, I was also in charge of the same kind of missions, but I was hosted for free in Ipanema, 2 minutes away from the beach. Video production French classes Web promotion Beach volley
My internship(s) – Language Centre Reception At the Language Centre, we are 6 volunteers from Australia, South Africa, Belgium, Holland and France. We all live together in the school building. Our main task is being at the reception in charge of : 1. Welcoming and giving informations to people 2. Cashing in payments 3. Doing the paper work 4. Answering emails in our language (me in french and portuguese) We have 5 weekly shifts of 7 hours so 35 hours a week. From Monday to Friday. It is either from 7h30 to 14h30 or from 14h00 to 21h00. But we also have specific taks. Mine are web 2.0, Search Engine Optimization and Marketing (SEO/SEM) and the beach volley activity.
My internship(s) – Language Centre Web 2.0 The page already had a good amount of likes, and a good interaction with the IRL world : pictures of the activities tours, beach volleyball, cineclub… So my job was just to run it, and improve it a little bit. Just like adding a landing page to increase the rate viewers/like This is the first thing people now see when they visit the page In 3 months we got 22% increase of the likes
My internship(s) – Language Centre SEO When I arrived, the school was paying a company to add backlinks on marketing website. Thanks to that, the website ranking got way better, and the traffic increased a lot. This strategy is prohibited by Google, it can only be a short term option. Google bots crawled websites and analyze this kind of link building strategies. As soon as you get caught. Google put your website in a « sandbox » and you disappear from the SERPs (search engine result pages). It was really difficult to make my boss understand and accept that. As this « black hat » strategy generated a lot of incomes for the school. But I made a report based on forums, blogs posts, books about SEO that I called with humor « SEO for Dummies » then my boss decided to stop working with them. 3 of the 34 slides right after, (full presentation here)
Search Engine Optimization 1. 2. Definition of SEO A complete strategy Plan1. Content is King 1. What kind of content ? 2. How to optimize our content ?2. Backlinks 1. Definition 2. What is a good quality backlink ? 3. How to get good quality backlinks ?3. Ninja Linking 1. Definition 2. How to use the Ninja Linking ?
Search Engine Optimization DefinitionDefinition : Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improvingthe visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via the "natural“ orun-paid ("organic" or "algorithmic") search results. Other forms of Searchengine marketing (SEM) target paid listings.
Search Engine Optimization A complete strategyHow to get on top of the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs)?1. Write One-of-a-Kind Content2. Add brand new content all the time3. Use keywords4. Watch out the competition on these keywords/key phrases5. Write an accessible website6. Get good quality backlinks
My internship(s) – Language Centre SEM Thanks to that we saved $400 a months and kept our ranking on Google ! Then we started to use this money for something else : Search Engine Marketing Adwords Even when you have the first ranking on the SERPs, you are actually at the 2nd (or 3rd) position right after Google ads That is why it is always usefull to invest on Google Adwords
My internship(s) – Language Centre SEM Adwords clearly was an option that guaranteed us a good traffic during the last few months. This healthy source of traffic is giving us more and more visitors. We even miss « clicks » due to budget, which means that with a higher budget we’ll get more « clicks ». Adwords investment Clicks and viewers Clients Monthly report here
My internship(s) – Language Centre Video production In order to offer creative content and generate more traffic and more business for the school, I was i charge of take pictures and making videos of all kind of things : 1. The classes 2. Interviews of the volunteers 3. Students testimonials 4. City Tours (called « shitty tours » ) 5. Beach volleyball… 6. The events Here is our Youtube Channel http://www.youtube.com/user/cdclanguagecentre
Conclusion– Casa do Caminho At the time I am writing this, my internship is not over yet. I am currently performing my seventh out of eight months in Rio de Janeiro State. Four in the small town of Xerém. Harsh on the one hand in extreme conditions but on the other hand amazing thanks to the kid and the lessons I learnt. And three in the Cidade Maravilhosa of Rio de Janeiro with all its parties, its culture, its dirtiness, its lack of infrastrure, its beaches, its accent, its slang, its people… I have to work, 4 more weeks and a lot of things can happen during this time. But so far it has been a wonderful opportunity to work for an NGO in Brazil. Even if a lot of unexpected storied happened to me I can tell that I completed all my goals.
Conclusion– Casa do CaminhoI fell in love with Brazil the day my mum gave me an Atlas as a present. I foundbrazilian and portuguese flags the cuttest ones. Because they were complicatedand unique. Then I started to discover more about brazil, its culture, its dances,Its football and its language… And I knew it would a place in my heart forever.After living 8 month in it, I can say I was first disappointed. Nothing is like I wasimagining. I experienced traveling before, so I know it is never the way you havebeen told it is, but still it surprised me again.I do not know if I will come back to live in Brazil in the future. I need to see moreCountries to really compare.But which is sure, is that Brazil is a very special country, and will always be for me.
Conclusion– Casa do CaminhoI was not only in a new culture, but in a complete new environment and experience. I had spent 1 month in the West Indies, 3 months in Mexico, 6 months in San Francisco away from my friends and family. So I kind of knew what it was to be alone having to integrate a new culture.But it was the first time I was volunteering full time. And this, was the most difficult thing. 7 days of work a week, from the sunrise to late nights, sharing a room with 4 other people, having cold showers, electricity blackouts, eating the same food everyday… Made me realize I was a very selfish and spoiled kid.It was something that I could not have realized before because I never had the chance to put myself in such an extreme situation and conditions. It definetely made me grow.Fortunately I am a very motivated and strong person that barely gives up with my goals. I went through critical situations that made me miss physical and mental comfort back home but I finally found solutions and solved problems.
Conclusion– Casa do CaminhoWhen I go to a country, I try as much as possible to act like the people and then become one of them. Some societies are easier to integrate then others. Brazilian society is very welcoming one but it does not mean becoming brazilian is an easy thing.Their food for exemple, based on rice and beans everyday was a huge surprise. In a country with so much diversity in terms of fruits, vegetables and animals, I was expecting something way more exotic. They also never drink water with meals, they have guarana, sodas, or most of time : beer.
Conclusion– Casa do CaminhoBrazil teached you how to be happy : you are poor ? You are orphan ? You are homeless ? See the good aspect of it… anyway this is the only thing you can do. This is not a stereotype to say brazilians are positives. They do not always smile or dance for no reason. But they learnt how to be happy with less. Not because of samba, caipirinha or football, but because they went through slavery, misery, dictatorship… Not so long ago.Cariocas do a lot of sport and/or work out. They take care of their body and this is very inspiring.Since I came back from San Francisco in June 2010, I decided to become step by step vegetarian. Contrary to what we can think, being veggie in Brazil is a very complicated decision as meat (churrasco and assado = bbq & roast meat) is part of the culture. But I staid strong and ate only when it was necessary.
Conclusion– Casa do CaminhoFirst I learnt brazilian portuguese, which does not make me unique but rare.What made me really unique is the human experience. Working with orphans, in extreme conditions gave me such an other vision of life. I am not sure I have the same goals in life that most of the other students.Happiness would be the only one thing that matters in my life, no matter what I will be doing, where I will be living, and how much I will be earning.
Thank you for readingIf you have more time, I would like you to watch this video I made about a very important event at the orphanage : The Olympic Games with the kids.It is a yearly event when all the kids and teenagers get together and play during a full week learning the values of sport.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRNRSiqwzXU