Ephrat Fisseha, from Ethiopia, bought training jackets and a new ball for the football school at her Child Development project.
Thank you very much Ephrat!! Our world is a better place, because of people like you❤
Find out more about volunteer work in Brazil.
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.
Iko Poran do an amazing job at putting you into contact with local communities and projects that need support. The work these projects do are extremely important in these communities and it was a privilege to be able to help with it. Everybody i worked with was very friendly and accommodating. I highly recommend others to pursue a volunteer project and believe it is just as beneficial to the individual as to the community you are working with. – Lisa
New Year volunteers in Rio de Janeiro.
Happy 😃 2018 and Welcome to Brazil.
Felipe Murray with his volunteers on Escadaria Selarón in Lapa, Rio. A promising New Year 2018 has just arrived and the volunteers enjoyed the New Year’s Party in Rio. It is summer in the cosmopolitan city and the beaches are beautiful.
Open-hearted people will welcome you. The Carioca way of life is beyond comparison! People thrive with hapiness and spontaneity. May be this year you try out the Carnival preparation project? You can help creating the decoration for the floats and dive into sambe rhythm.
In Rio you can teach English, work with Urban Environmentalism at the Tijuca Rainforest. The Arts and Design programs are sought after as well, you can even work with ballet classes. Or you choose to give your love and joy to the children of a day care centre or orphanage.
There a plenty of options, check it out on our homepage, the Brazil volunteer programs in full detail!
If you want to listen to the words of alumni first, check out the volunteer experiences in Rio here on our blog.
Be welcome to Rio!
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.
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.
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.
Iko Poran was value for money and I received ongoing support from Felipe, the project co-ordinator. I took part in 3 programmes, 2 with children and 1 helping prepare for carnaval; it was great for me as I expressed my interests and skills and the programmes were then matched to my specification.
The cultural change and language difference, can at first be daunting, but if you are willing to take advantage of the language lessons you receive as part of the programme and you embrace the culture, I believe you will get so much more out of the projects.
The children and workers I worked alongside were amazing and I was humbled by the warmth and positivity they showed, despite having very little material possessions.
As you are not working every day, you have the opportunity to explore the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro and learn about the cultures of others. For me, Brazil is an amazing country and I hope to return, to see more.
The accommodation provided is basic, but the staff were friendly and so helpful that after 5-months, they became like family.
If you go with an open mind, respect the cultural differences and put in what you get out, I can assure you, you will have the time of your life. I didn’t want to leave, but I have amazing memories and friends for life.
Go for it, I say!