From start to end, from coming off the airplane to leaving on the last day, we had the support of Felipe and his close friend, Regina. On the days that we volunteered at the clinic, one of them would greet us early in the morning at our hostel to pick us up and help us get there. On the days that we did not volunteer, they would still drop everything for us if we needed them. The program itself really allowed us to immerse ourselves in the culture and get a sense of the Brazilian healthcare system when we volunteered. It was a very good learning experience and a great opportunity to shadow doctors and learn some basic medical techniques, such as taking blood pressure. The doctors and nurses were all very nice and willing to work with us despite the language barrier. I was very happy with my experience with Iko Poran in Rio. – Jason Simonides
Find here more volunteer programs in Rio de Janeiro.
Teaching English to the child/junior monks at the Monastery has been an interesting, inspiring and educational experience for me. I only hope my pupils experienced it the same way. The atmosphere in the monastery was very welcoming, peaceful and enjoyable and so were the people in it. At times, it was challenging to keep the kids in line by using only positive feedback and enthusiasm (because they see and undergo enough violence in their lives) but I think me and other volunteers have found a nice balance to make lessons entertaining, engaging as well as educational. It has been very rewarding to see how much progress they’ve made in the three weeks I got to teach them.
How can this program be improved?
By insuring that when volunteers are finished with the program, it is well-documented what progress they made and at what level the kids are at in their English proficiency. It took me quite some time to figure out what kind of lessons would be at the right level for the kids. – Lammert
Find here all the volunteer opportunities in Nepal, on our homepage.
On November of 2017 I had one of the best experiences of my life doing volunteer work with children in Masiphumelele Township, South Africa. The purpose was to help, but it was much beyond that. I had a life lesson, a very great personal growth. Everyday in the morning, when we arrived at crèche (me and the other volunteers), the children were waiting for us with a smile on their faces. Receiving those smiles, hugs, and kisses every morning was the best way to start the day. Playing, teaching a few words in English, helping in the distribution of snacks, it was a better way to brighten their lives because they need more love, affection and care. They need us!
I am very thankful to Iko Poran for the whole experience. They were always there from airport pick-up to accommodation, showing me the way and placing me at the project. It was unique experience without a doubt! My thanks to everybody who is part of this organization that has been helping all who need it. – Mariane
Visit our page with the volunteer opportunities in South Africa.
I would definitely recommend this program to anyone. It was fun, educational, and a new experience. We met so many people who love and care about others. The state of Rio was beautiful and we had a decent amount of free time to sight see. The program leaders were super friendly and they gave a lot of information on how to get around Rio. Overall, we made new friendships and dove into a new culture. This was by far one of the greatest experiences of my life. – Isabella
Valerie and Dad Orlando are spending the holidays in Argentina this year, together with Valeries mom and brother. They are helping out as volunteers in a small village with immigrants from all over South America. Valeries grandparents immigrated to Argentina many years ago. Valeries dad later took his wife and their children to Sydney to start a new life there. Now they are back, helping other immigrants. – We’ve had so much help and now we want to help others. There is no better way to spend Christmas.
Find Marianne’s story on Instagram
Find all the programs to volunteer in Argentina on IKPVA’s Homepage.
Nadir Oliveira from Brazil has volunteered with the children of “The Orphanage” in Arusha, Tanzania and shares her beautiful experience:
I’m from Brazil.
I’ve had three unforgettable weeks working as a volunteer in Arusha, Tanzania.
To be in a foreign country, especially in a continent so different from our western life was the first impact.
The second impact was the institution “The Orphanage” with many children that wanted affection. Besides the affection they’ve wanted to learn more.
On the other hand, the great variety of necessities of this institution: food, clothes, didactic materials, domestic services, etc.
But that’s What I’ve thought.
And now I only can say:
Thank you so much because I was able to learn, teach, support to teacher, play with children and help a little in the daily routine.
I only have positive points about the program: the whole organization, support with informations, suggestions, safety recommendations and many other things.
I also consider very important to comment the acommodation: localization, home, amenities, food and the care of people who work at the home.
At the end, I have to say thank you for the touristic informations and programs that I could did.
Thank you so much for this magic experience in my life.
– Nadir Oliveira
Last Sunday Iko Poran’s Founder and Director went with his family to volunteer in a community effort cleaning a riverbed at Rio de Janeiro’s National Park.
The Tijuca Rainforest is one of the natural gems of Rio de Janeiro. IKPVA volunteers have been working at the rainforest for many years now, in order to preserve the ecological so important area. What volunteers say about their experience:
So far I have had a wonderful experience volunteering in Rio de Janeiro with Iko Poran’s Urban Environmentalism program. I am half way through my two-month stay in Rio and I already know that it will be a very valuable experience for me. The project consists of work in Tijuca National Park and at a large community garden in a favela, where they grow almost every sort of common vegetable in Brazil. The people I work with in the communities are all incredibly kind and welcoming, not to mention they are doing work that makes a big difference for themselves and the environment. – Elisa
Volunteering with the environmental program gave me the opportunity to see first hand the ecological challenges that Rio faces and make a difference myself while also having the chance to witness the incredible beauty of the city and parks as I was doing it! I also loved the independence that Iko Poran gave me! – Destiny
Adriana Puiggros has been volunteering with children in one of Rio de Janeiro’s favelas, and she fell in love with Brazil:
Risking my life, investing my time, working to help the children of this favela in Rio de Janeiro was undoubtedly an indescribable experience that changed my way of seeing things and life forever. It saddens me to think that I will not see these children again, at least in a long time, but I am happy for everything that has taken me. Now it’s time to close a stage in Rio, but it’s not the time to leave. Soon I will open a new stage in Brazil full of new experiences, people and places to know. I’ve fallen madly in love with this country. ❤😍
Original – Portuguese:
Arriscar minha vida, investir meu tempo, trabalhar para ajudar as crianças desta favela do Rio de Janeiro, foi sem dúvida alguma uma experiência indescritível que me mudou a minha forma de ver as coisas e a vida para sempre. Entristece-me pensar que já não vou voltar a ver estas crianças, pelo menos em um tempo longo, mas estou feliz por tudo o que me levou. Agora é hora de fechar uma etapa no Rio, mas não é hora de ir embora. Em breve vou abrir uma nova etapa no Brasil cheia de novas experiências, pessoas e lugares por conhecer. Este país me tem loucamente apaixonada. ❤😍
Find here the programs to volunteer in Brazil.
About one of the greatest adventures.
Ended up getting more then I was giving.
All the smiles, all the sincere “Thank you teacher”, all those hugs were worth every second.
Porque no final, acabei por receber o triplo daquilo que dei.
Cada um daqueles sorrisos, cada um daqueles abraços fizeram valer cada segundo daquele lado. Aprendi que a simplicidade e a humildade são qualidades que fazem as pessoas lindas , e estes pequenos são tão ricos nisso que me fizerem sentir ridícula quando penso que tenho problemas na vida, bullshit… São pequenos adultos que irradiam amor pelo olhar e que aquecem a alma com um sorriso e talvez por isso vá sentir saudades…
Sara Ferreira de Matos
Mariana Oliveira, who has been volunteering with the children in South Africa, now has brought a the gifts for donation to the Crèche:
Today when I arrived with gifts at school for donation, I could not imagine such happiness, both of the children when they saw the presents as mine to see all those smiles and glitter in the eyes.
No doubt it was one of the happiest moments of my life! See all those kids screaming, jumping and saying “thank you, teacher”.
The schoolteachers were as happy as they were. They thanked me very much!
I told them I had help from many friends and family! Yes, this was only possible because many people helped with donations or sharing the post. We got a total of R $ 3,015.00 which converted into the African currency equals RAND 12,964.00.
With the money was bought 72 toys, cakes, juices and fruit for child, totaling RAND 10,230.00. The remainder of the money will be donated to the school for the purchase of carpet / floor carpeting where the children play.
I want to thank everyone for the trust, the help (those who made their accounts available and shared), those who contributed, those who sent a message of support … No doubt we made these children’s day much Happier !!!
Thank you – Mariana Oliveira
You can find Mariana’s post on Facebook here.
If you would like to find out more about the volunteer project at Doreen’s Crèche, find it here
Hoje quando cheguei com os presentes na escola para doação, eu não poderia imaginar tamanha felicidade, tanto das crianças quando elas viram os presentes quanto a minha de ver todos aqueles sorrisos e brilho nos olhos.
Sem dúvidas foi um dos momentos mais felizes da minha vida! Ver todas aquelas crianças gritando, pulando e dizendo “thank you, teacher”.
As professoras da escolinha ficaram tão felizes quanto eles. Elas me agradeceram muito!
Eu disse a elas que tive ajuda de muitos amigos e da família! Sim, isso só foi possível de acontecer porque muitas pessoas ajudaram com as doações ou compartilhando o post. Conseguimos um total de R$ 3.015,00 o que convertido na moeda africana equivale RAND 12.964,00.
Com o dinheiro foi comprado 72 brinquedos, bolos, sucos e frutas para criança, totalizando RAND 10.230,00. O restante do dinheiro será doado para a escola para a compra de tapete/ carpete para chão onde as crianças brincam.
Eu quero agradecer a todos pelas confiança, pela ajuda (aqueles que disponibilizaram suas contas e compartilharam), aos que contribuíram, aos que mandaram mensagem de apoio… Sem dúvida nós fizemos o dia dessas crianças muito mais Feliz!!!
Muito obrigada ❤❤❤
Obs. Os comprovantes estão anexados juntos com as fotos. Após a compra do carpete/tapete, eles estarão me encaminhando o último comprovante e eu estarei anexando tbm.