I’ve been in Brasil for 5 months now and it has been exactly one month since I started my internship with Abraço Cultural, an organization that provides opportunities for refugees living in São Paulo to give classes in their native language to Brazilian students. My first day there, I was shocked by how relaxed the environment is. There is one meeting space on the second floor and a work area with computers and desks on the ground level, but lots of the staff tends to sit in beanbag chairs on the floor typing away at their computers. The majority of the people who work at Abraço appear to be under thirty years old, with many in their early or mid-twenties. The “office” is colorful and a bit rundown, giving the NGO a hipster-type charm.
After discussing what my role would be within the organization it was proposed that I would focus on working within the area of marketing, creating materials that would generate more interest in the organization and in turn attract more students. However, although I have a definitive job description I have found it challenging communicating with staff at Abraço and finding tasks to complete which actually make me feel like I am making a difference. Oftentimes meetings are held and ideas are proposed but none of the projects come to fruition and I find myself working to come up with ideas for materials without much direction. My hope is that in the coming weeks things will begin to improve as I have been attempting to remain in constant communication in order to acquire more concrete assignments. I would like to see some of the publications that I create being used and distributed by Abraço Cultural and return to the US with some cool designs to show for.