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.
It will be better if the connection with local family is improved. Sometimes the internet is not good in this small village, so volunteers need someone who can speak english well.
Find the full cataloge with the projects to volunteer in Ecuador on our Homepage.
Over the last September, I volunteered for 2 weeks as a teaching assistant in Padre Cocha, a small community located at 20 min by boat from Iquitos, in the middle of the Peruvian Amazon.
The project consisted in a 2-week English course for local people of all ages and aimed at improving their everyday communication with foreigners, in order to promote tourism in the community.
During this period I’ve been hosted by Jorge and Jenny, the organisers of this project, at their b&b, who made me feel welcome since the very beginning and gave me all the support I could need for visiting the area.
Teaching has been an incredibly rewarding experience for me, as put me in direct contact with the local people, who really appreciated the time and effort I put into it and who truly believed in the benefits of the program.
In my experience, two weeks have been a sufficient time to forget about my own life and to dive into this new reality, getting to know new people and appreciate their differences and similarities from my cultural background, build friendships, enjoy the jungle and, hopefully, make a difference for this community. This first course, in fact, has set the basis for a longer-term project that will continue with new volunteers and with the same enthusiasm to help the development of this marvellous place.
Overall, I couldn’t be more satisfied of this affordable and rewarding adventure, especially given that I’d never really considered volunteering before, and surely recommend this kind of experience to anybody.
I spent the month of October working with Iko Poran in Rio de Janeiro on projects teaching English, Art, and Dance. I met some wonderful people, some of whom will hopefully remain friends forever. It was good to make a difference, even for a short while, to the lives of people who in some cases have so little. But what they may lack in resources they make up for many times in their enthusiasm for learning. I was able to contribute on a number of programmes and I think the more adaptable you are, the more you will get out of the experience. Rio de Janeiro is an amazing place, not without its problems, and you do have to take care travelling around, however one of the best aspects of the experience for me was being able to live almost like a local, travelling miles on the rattling buses, eating very economically in “local” restaurants, really feeling a part of the community. You just would not get that coming as a tourist. A tourist will get to know places….a volunteer will get to know people!
I would have liked a brief sheet with information for the projects.
Address, contact details, history of the project, website if there was one, just to be as familiar as possible before getting struck in. Also some projects are quite far away and the prospect of getting lost was always there, although it didnt happen.
Just completed a month of volunteering in Rio de Janeiro with Iko Poran. I worked in programmes in teaching English, Art, and Dancing. It felt good to be making even a small difference in the lives of people who in many cases have so little. Iko Poran were excelent hosts and made sure my time was well spent in projects that suited my skills and abilities, as well as leaving me time for my own tourist activities, and pursuing my own drawing and painting hobby.
– Bob Black
Volunteering in Rio de Janeiro, one of the most beautiful cities of the world – dubbed as “Cidade Maravilhosa” by the Cariocas, residents of Rio. Cidade Maravilhosa means the Wonderful City, as it stretches out with curving hills overlooking magnificent beaches, and protected by “Christ the Redeemer” on top of Corcovado.
The residents of Rio are open-minded people and will welcome you with open hearts. Even if there is a language barrier, local people will communicate naturally with you. Pretty soon you grap some words of Portuguese. If you have any chance of learning some Portuguese before travel, the people will love it. With just a few words like “Bom dia” or “Tudo bem?” you will make local people very happy! With volunteer programs of four weeks or more, Portuguese lessons are being provided anyway.
Find out more about volunteering in Brazil.
Ute Heinzel from Germany has been teaching English in Rio de Janeiro as a volunteer, in 2015.
Brasil was the country of my childhood, as my Dad took me to Rio when I was eight years old. It took me 26 years to return to Brasil. In 2014 I went to Belo Horizonte, but my views on life changed with this visit. I’ve lived in Berlin and live in London now, so I’m used to homelessness and poverty, or so I thought. Seeing drug addicts and homeless people in Brasil made rough sleepers in London almost look cushty. That was when I felt that I had been extremely lucky in my life and that it was time to give something back, and so I decided to volunteer.
Once I had made the decision to volunteer, I did some research and was overwhelmed with the possibilities and organisations. I actually wanted to build houses in a favela, but the particular organisation that offered the program allowed volunteers only to stay for a maximum time of four weeks. As it was clear to me that I’d apply for a sabbatical at work and that I’d like to stay for at least three months, I decided against it. Instead I thought of how people at work always told me that I train them so well, so I thought “Why not teach English?”.
Rio de Janeiro is a beautiful city, one of the best places in the world. Despite the fact that more than six million people live there, you can actually manage to meet the same people over and over: at the bus stop, at the many Botecos, at the beach. I loved the diversity in the city and how widespread it was. I was never really scared and felt pretty safe most of the time. That said, I think it does make a difference if you make sure to dress as simple as possible to not attract unnecessary attention. I will always be spotted as a
gringa, my skin will just not get dark enough and my Portuguese is still slow, but if you make the impression to have everything under control, I experienced that people are cool with you.
The program itself is surely not unique, teaching English to underprivileged people in favelas is something that every organisation offers. What made it unique for me was that Felipe, the manager of Iko Poran, was always hands-on with everything; from picking the volunteers up from the airport to driving them to the placements to going out for drinks and organising spontaneous BBQs, he was always up to get together and interact with us. His life experience makes a huge difference in how he handles things and I felt in really good hands during my three months stay in Rio.
I personaly taught English, Math, Music and dances, in several grades (2 to 7th)
I had a very good relations with all the school personel and the kids.
The satisfaction of helping the school is very good.
The children need a lot of love, help and support and give you their love back…
The school needs more volunteers and also financial support in order to improve its conditions.
The preparation before arrival in order to meet expectation of all sides (the volunteers, the organization arranging the program and the organization receiving the volunteers)
In June of 2017, I was given the opportunity to teach English as a volunteer in a community outside of Rio de Janeiro. Unfamiliar with Portuguese and inexperienced in teaching, I was very nervous to enter this new environment in an attempt to make a difference in the students’ lives. I was unsure if I could singlehandedly make a change for the better, given I did not speak Portuguese and had never taught English as a second language to others. However, my initial unsettledness proved to be misplaced. I left the program with my desire to teach reaffirmed, some new friends, and very fulfilled. Despite the language barrier between me and the staff at the placement and some of the students, I was proud of reaching them and teaching them English, be it simply introducing themselves or having a complex discussion. Most importantly, however, I forged relationships with some of my students who I know I will never forget and who I promised I will visit on my next trip to Brazil. I strongly recommend the trip to anyone who hopes to teach at some point in their lives and to anyone who wants to work with people in a meaningful way.
Find out more about volunteering in Rio de Janeiro
Volunteer in Brazil and teaching English in Rio de Janeiro, learning Portuguese, and providing access to one of the world’s most spoken languages.
This incredible volunteer project allows for much more than a standard teaching job. While teaching English in Rio, you will be fully submerged into the culture of the Brazilian people – and will end up learning Portuguese as well. You will have the opportunity to create bonds with students, ranging from primary aged to the elderly, teaching them the life skill of one of the worlds most spoken languages. Therefore you will be responsible for educating and creating opportunities for local people in Rio, who may not previously of had the chance to.
As a volunteer in Rio, you may witness the difference in the education provided, and as an English teacher you will have the blessed opportunity to supply further education to those eager to learn. Through working in local favelas, you will allow people access to education they previously did not see as possible – an opportunity of a lifetime!
Do not allow lack of teaching experience put you off! The project thrives from allowing English speakers to lead discussions and classes, whether that be small or larger groups. Your help will hugely impact their learning, for the better! Volunteers often help each other in planning lessons and activities, allowing for a diverse learning program. The volunteer project allows you to teach and also give you the opportunity to learn the Portuguese language.
Find out more about volunteering in Brazil and proceed with your application.