Despite all the terrible news spread out by the mainstream media about Brazil, Nathab from USA participated in the capoeira class of a blind teacher in Rio de Janeiro. It turned out to be a life changing experience. As he puts it: “Don’t let the news fool you – Brazil is one of the most beautiful countries we have ever been to.” Read here his full statement:
Would highly recommend this. The people, culture, activities, and experiences will last a lifetime. I talk about them every day to this day. Felipe and his family are such amazing people. We participated in a capoeira class with a blind teacher who changed my life forever, played soccer with amazing children from the favelas to keep them away from drugs and violence, and of course enjoyed everything the beautiful country has to offer. Don’t let the news fool you – Brazil is one of the most beautiful countries we have ever been to. Of course you need to be smart and safe but that applies everywhere you are in the world! The culture and people are one of a kind and so much fun. – Nathab, Washington DC, USA
Find out more about our volunteer opportunities in Rio de Janeiro!
By working as a volunteer on the visual arts project in Addis Ababa, you can pave the way for your students to learn about the visual arts. With you they will both develop their own creativity and learn the techniques of photography, drawing and sculpture. You will empower students technically and artistically, and thus improve their chances of growing into a future profession. At the same time, you will get to explore this fascinating country and witness the Ethiopia way of life. This project is perfect for anybody willing to explore the whole range of creativity!
This project is a great opportunity for the students on the EEF education program to develop their inner creative skills. Learning about visual arts – painting, sculpture, etc, as well as photography, and being taught to come up with the ideas for a great piece of art work are as important as the art creation itself. This project can give the students an opportunity to pursue artistic vision. Whether they want to tell a story, sell a product or just capture the beauty around them, the project will fulfill their creative vision. Art and photography changes the way you see things. It’s actually quite an incredible transformation to experience. Suddenly you notice light, shapes, colours, textures, people, buildings, trees, flowers… Everything looks different around you when you start seeing the world as an artist.
For photography, volunteers would need to bring their own equipments.
Sam and his girlfriend went to Ecuador, to save an Amazon Community, and found the people were beyond amazing:
So my girlfriend and I spent a week and a few days in a little village called Las Tolas. The people there were beyond amazing! They were happy, supportive and generally loved life. They were such a good and connected community. Everyone knew everyone!
The days off from work were awesome, as we got to go to little waterfalls with the village’s personal guide, Solomon. He was very insightful and knowledgeable about basically everything in the area. From the local humming birds to the different rocks on the side of the rivers. He knew every town, and seemingly every person that inhabited it.
Our family were overly happy to have us and we were overly happy to spent time with them. We worked hard during most days, out in different farms, but I wouldn’t have traded the views for anything. Jaw-dropping stuff. It was an insane trip and I would do it again in a heart beat! Thanks for every one at Iko Poran and Las Tolas organisations for making this happen. – Sam, 22 years, Melbourne
This charming country is one of the most bio-diverse countries in the World and offers some of the greatest wonders of nature. It is a very inexpensive country with great food and friendly people. Actually, Ecuadorians are the nation’s greatest treasure: kind, warm-hearted, tranquil and generous.
Iko Poran volunteers have a different mix of opportunities in this Amazon Community inside the Rain Forest. Volunteers may teach English, work in the vegetable gardens, in the medicinal plant section, plant trees on the re-forestation project, work in the plant nursery, work in the craft workshop, plant coffee trees and pick coffee beans, hand milk cows, create footpaths in the cloud forest, and much more. Volunteers have a very personal experience with a flexible approach, which guarantees that different volunteering activities can be chosen and tried during their placements.
All of this is complemented by a wide range of leisure activities.
Join us for the experience of your lifetime!!
Eduarda traveled to a small village in the Peruvian Amazon and worked as a kindergarden teacher. Read her testimonial here, and find above the photo of Sangeetha Agara from Canada, who was working with children in Cusco!
I traveled by Iko Poran to Iquitos Peru on March of this year. I volunteered there for one week as assistant of kindergarden teacher in Padre Cocha, where it is an small Amazonian village.
This trip was an amazing experience for me .
The kids are lovely, I was completely imerge in the local culture, that way I practice a lot my Spanish. Also if you are looking for a place where you can rest, be in contact with the nature and learn more about the local, this trip will be perfect for you. Jenny and her family are excellent hosts. – Eduarda
When Elpidio from USA first learned about Iko Poran during a stay in South America, he signed up to volunteer as English teacher in a Buddhist Monastery in Kathmandu. But the uplifting experience with the young monks was just the beginning of more exciting travel adventures and volunteer experiences!
I was in South America December 2017 when I learned about Iko Poran. At first, I wanted to volunteer near where I was, considering that Iko Poran was Brazil-based. However, circumstances needed me to be in the Philippines in February. Fortunately, Iko Poran also had volunteering opportunities in Asia and after considering my options, I decided to volunteer as English teacher in a Buddhist monastery in Kathmandu. I registered for two weeks but ended up extending it to three weeks – March 17 to April 9, 2018. The experience was uplifting. It was my first time to work with children and it gave me optimism that the world continues to be more interconnected. While teaching, I met co-volunteers who opened my eyes to many more adventures which led me to visit Auroville, India and Bangkok, Thailand before resuming my original plan to immerse myself in Spanish-speaking countries. Now I am in Sevilla, Spain and I am looking forward to a next volunteering opportunity. I am confident working with Iko Poran will yield another outstanding outcome. – Elpidio (63), United States
I highly recommend Iko Poran’s Women’s Empowerment project in India! Every level of it was perfectly organized from the first email with owner Felipe to my conclusion! India can be a crazy, chaotic place, but I always felt completely safe. The on-site NGO program directors are in constant communications with you ensuring you have everything you need and they allow you to bring your best skills to empowering the women in Deep Public School. I started teaching English but I ordered a couple of sewing machines from Amazon India, which they’d never seen, they LOVED it — so we switched to sewing every day so they can sell their products.
I lived with an amazing host family, they completely adopted me making me part of the family! Stay with host family if you can, you will be completely assimilated into India much quicker. I’m a married 58 year old woman and this experience completely transformed my LIFE! The women of India need YOU, don’t wait another minute—sign up NOW!! – Claire Herbert, USA
Yes, I would
Find here all of our highly affordable volunteer programs in India, and how to proceed with your application.
Claire from USA did not only work as a volunteer on women empowerment, but also set up a fundraising plan, to buy new shoes and more for the boys and girls at a school in a slum of Jaipur, India. She was happy, when she discovered, how the women loved to learn sewing with the sewing machines, Claire had sent to India. Finally, Claire ended up renewing many equipments for the school.
It was such a great pleasure to volunteer and empower the women of India on behalf of your organization!
Before I left, I set up a very sophisticated fundraising plan to enable scores of my friends, family and associates to donate specific items that I could deliver to the slum public school once I arrived. I didn’t want to go over there, just serve my two weeks, and not leave without a lasting lifelong impact for the children and women.
I completely revolutionized the school, bringing it into the current century standards. I brought two laptops, two sewing machines, sewing and laptop tables, sewing equipment, material for sewing into sanitary products, and how to read school supplies. Their first ever 3×4 bulletin boards, 32 children’s chairs, 4 teacher office chairs (they were on benches or on the floor with the kids), first printer, boombox, projector and large screen for presentations and lessons. My friends adopted 10 children for $110 yearlong scholarships.
And finally, I couldn’t bear seeing the children’s shoes in tatters, so many kids with toes poking out. I negotiated with the principal to allow me to buy the entire school new shoes (they get them once a year in July) immediately, by having a shoemaker come and measure each child’s foot and deliver the shoes the next day. They nearly had nothing, now they have everything —including new shoes!
And I updated her website and I’m helping the schools social media postings. She said no one really has time to do it, but I’m getting it started for them.
Paulina has sent us this beautiful testimony about her volunteer work in Rio de Janeiro. During her time in Salgueiro, a pacified community in Zona Norte of Rio, she has been working in the ecological garden of the community. At the same time she was caring for children at the local school, and enjoyed playing and drawing with them. She even taught some English to them. As she says, things move at a different pace in Brazil, you have to be patient. But after a while things start to work out greatly, and you get the support of the nice and welcoming people in the favela.
I had the opportunity to volunteer in Brazil with Iko Poran for three weeks in August 2013. My project was located in Salgueiro, a pacified community very well known for having one of the most famous samba schools in Rio de Janeiro.
In the mornings I worked in an ecological garden that provided food to the poorest families in the community and to the local school, and in the afternoons I helped in what they call “the library”, which is a space where children from the neighborhood come to hang around playing, drawing, painting or learning English.
My volunteer time in Rio was a very nice experience that I’ll never forget. One of the most important things I learnt is that you have to try to not to give up if at any time you have the feeling that the project is not fulfilling your expectations, or that you are not helping enough. You have to always keep in mind that things in Brazil move at a different pace… The best approach to this situation is to face each day with renewed illusion and to always show a positive and proactive attitude.
The best part of the gardening project was meeting the people who work there: nice, friendly and welcoming people, who quickly opened the door of their home to me and their hearts.
In the project with children I learnt that just with our presence, we prevent these kids from being in the streets exposed to dangers and possible negative influences. I also learnt that what really matters is the love you give and that you receive from them in huge amounts. It’s almost amazing to see how their smiles can light up your day and also motivate you to keep going and value the work you are doing there.
This experience also allowed me to meet amazing people. I’m talking about the other volunteers from different nationalities that lived in the same house as me, and also the Iko Poran team. They’re all lovely people that I hope to see again someday!– Paulina Dañino