Parceiros Voluntários

Maria Elena Pereira Johannpeter
Enhancing human development through organising and training volunteers to find solutions to social demands within communities.
What solution does the innovation propose?

Parceiros Voluntários (PV) prepares people, corporations, schools and universities to improve the quality of life within a community through organised volunteer work, while preparing non-profit organisations to effectively utilise the skills and goodwill of volunteers. However, it is not just a coordinator of volunteer activities, or human resource placement agency. By training both the volunteer and the recipient organisations through customized methodologies, PV stimulates people of all ages to see themselves as agents of social change and build more proactive and socially aware communities.


Prêmio Empreendedor Sustentável (2015).
52nd position in the Best Practices Award Dubai International, by the municipality of Dubai and ONU/Habitat (2014).
The innovator was awarded the Schwab Foundation's Social Entrepreneur of the Year (2004).

Impact evidence

  • In over 18 years of operation, more than 15,600 certificates have been given out.
  • 404,477 volunteers; 2,563 companies and 2,152 schools have been mobilized through the volunteer network in partnership with 2,288 civil society organisations; benefitting 1,617,908 people.
  • Tribos has already implemented 1,080 volunteer actions, having engaged 8,258 students.
  • In 2015, 24,332 hours of teaching were provided by the organization and 939 leaders were trained.
  • In less than 12 months of volunteering, 78% of participants stated that their stress levels had been reduced; 95% thought they were transforming their communities into a better place; 94% affirmed that volunteering made them feel in a better mood; 96% said that volunteering enriched their life perspectives (2010).
  • A 2014 evaluation gathered the following ideas on the Tribos programme’s impact:
    • Participants remain engaged to the project for long periods of time (with an average of 14,1 months among children and 12,5 for adolescents). A quarter of the students participating on the research was involved for more than two years.
    • Participants generally stated that the program had positive effects in their lives. On a 1 to 5 scale, important lessons were learned (4,4), new friendships were made (4,3), participation increased at school (4,2) and the sense of responsibility towards academic activities improved (4,3).
    • Significant differences were found comparing participants and non-participants, regarding their development and protection. Those involved in the program showed a lower frequency of aggressive behaviour, higher personal fulfilment and levels of satisfaction with school and friends around them.
    • Families highlighted positive changes in participants’ attitude: increased levels of responsibility towards school activities, better time management and an improved knowledge of other social and cultural realities.
    • According to participants, the most positive item of the intervention was learning cooperation and teamwork skills.
How does it work?

The key to success lies in PV’s capacity to reach those people willing to participate meaningfully in a community. The organisation prepares participants with a level of competency and leadership skills that enable them to effectively engage with volunteerism. It also works as a tool for companies to engage in corporate citizenship, motivating their staff to share their skills with civil society and raising, at the same time, the company's reputation.
‘Tribos’ (Tribes in English) is the specific program for young people who want to perform civic service, and has become the largest youth volunteer movement in Brazil, involving thousands of students from the public and private school networks. Through this program, schools design a project to find solutions to the existing challenges in their communities. The pillars of the methodology are:
- Youth mobilisation around a tribe from their school.
- Activities to be carried out by the tribe, in the format of theme tracks (Education for Peace, Environment and Culture).
- Mobilisation and training of teachers and youth leaders.
- Agreement with the principal’s office of the schools and, in some cities, with the Department of Education, to provide greater legitimacy.
- Organisation of city and regional forums for the sharing of experiences. The success of these actions is even greater when the tribe seeks partnerships with local companies, radio stations, TV stations, neighborhood newspapers, other schools, family, neighbors, representatives of public authorities, social organisations, scouts and youth groups among others. The aim of this initiative is that young people practise the four pillars of learning proposed by Unesco: learning to know, learning to do, learning to be and to live together, in addition to social entrepreneurship, solidarity and individual social responsibility.

Geographical scope

Where was initially developed
Porto Alegre (Brazil)
Where has been implemented so far
51 cities in Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil)