The new year is coming, and we thought about some suggestions for the best volunteer programs. Since we found there are some volunteer projects, which our participants enjoy a lot, we made a list of highlights. Maybe, this can inspire you for your next volunteer trip. Have fun!
Nepal has been a fascinating destination for our volunteers ever since, and there is nothing like teaching young monks at a monastery close to Kathmandu. Lammert with his own words:
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. – Lammert
Find out more about the teaching English Program in Nepal on our Homepage
Marco Fiorito took a trip to Peru, Iquitos in the Amazon, and found it one of the best volunteer programs:
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. – Marco Fiorito
Find our page with all the Teaching English Programs
Helping local people at a clinic and caring for patients is one of the most rewarding experiences. Jason Simonides went to Brazil, and worked as a medical volunteer at a clinic in Rio. Besides his valuable experience, of course, Rio de Janeiro stands out for it’s charme. The people are very welcoming and soon you will feel at home in the Brazilian culture.
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
Magda Camaxide from Portugal traveled to Nepal, for a medical internship at the Kathmandu Pediatric Hospital. Her boy-friend went as well, and it was a unique trip for both of them! At the end of their journey, they visited the Annapurna region with it’s breathtaking mountains.
At the hospital I was able to exchange experiences and knowledge that was beneficial to both sides and was also extremely well integrated in the hospital routines. Thank You Manmohan Cardiothoracic Vascular and Transplant Center for this opportunity!!!
The final days in Nepal I spent trekking in the Annapurna region and was blessed with the most breathtaking mountain landscapes I have ever seen!All of these things were perfectly orchestrated with the help of Ikoporan and FDIP, and I will always be extremely grateful for that!!! Keep up the excellent work!!!!!
Elisa went to Brazil, and helped protecting the beautiful nature at the Tijuca Rainforest in Rio de Janeiro. At the same time, she worked at a community garden, where local people grow their vegetables.
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
In Ecuador you can work with reforestation at the Ecuadorian Cloud Forest. With your volunteer work, you will support a community in remote village, where they grow vegetables, coffee and also plant trees in the forest. It is a unique opportunity to experience the culture of the local people and enjoy the nature.
In Africa , you can participate in our Biodiversity Project in Uganda, helping to preserve the environment of the host communities. Your volunteer work will also include alternative energies in order to create a sustainable future.
You can find all our environmental projects here.
In South Africa, we offer many different animal conservation projects. You can work with endangered wildlife in an animal sanctuary near Port Elizabeth, or save the Vervet Monkeys near Tzaneen. The African Big Five are fascinating, you can monitor the elephants, rhinos, buffalos and elephants in the African Bush. Camille from France wrote:
This summer I had an unforgettable experience in South Africa. Thank you Iko Poran for this exceptional travel! Sure, I will do it again! – Camille Claus Marietti
Gijs from Holland helped to protect the Vervet Monkeys, and enjoyed his stay a lot:
I’m having a wonderful time here and there is nothing that I don’t like. – Gijs van Suijlichem
Last, but not least, you can go for a trip to the Caribbean beaches of Costa Rica, and protect the baby sea turtles. The program starts from March this year.
I had a fantastic time in Costa Rica with the turtles and I met many people and created memories I will never forget. I definitely recommend Iko Poran and the Sea Turtle experience in Costa Rica and I cannot wait until I volunteer with them again. Pura Vida! – Paige, 19 years old
You can find an overview of our Animal Conservation Programs here.
One of the favorite projects of our volounteers is teaching children at Doreen’s Crèche close to Cape Town:
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
You can find all our childcare volunteer programs here.
Have a beautiful experience teaching English in India, at the Jaipur Community School and help giving a better future for the local children
The project takes place within a CSR (Community school) in Jaipur. The school is situated in the southern part of the city. The school is catering to children from an economically weak & marginalized area. The school offers quality English teaching with all other required amenities. Our in country partners have supported the school with all the furniture, infrastructure & teaching materials like boards etc. There are around 54 students who are studying in 1st to 5th grades. As a volunteer you will teach the students the necessary things that will help them in developing their interpersonal skills. You will also help the local staff in daily operations of the school. The top-most requirement of the project is to develop the overall personality of the students by encouraging extracurricular activities, art & craft, group discussions, teaching & communication.
This is an incredible opportunity to gain real-world teaching experience and work alongside bright enthusiastic young minds, while also getting to experience all the beauty of India. This project is particularly well suited to teaching students and teen volunteers.
Take part in the Peru Construction Volunteer Program and help to build family homes, schools or provide water supply.
According the number of volunteers and the needs of the community we work in schools, orphanages, family homes, and medical and community centres to improve the living conditions of the people living in underprivileged areas. We work alongside the community and families to help to promote social change and impact by working together. There are no words to describe the satisfaction of seeing the completion of a renovation project, and the effect that it has on the local people. This project is unique and rewarding as it offers volunteers the chance to see their immediate impact in the community in which they work.
Every day the tasks of the project vary depending on the current need of the public and feasibility based on the number Volunteers painting a mural in our renovation program of volunteers. When we work in houses for disadvantaged families work can vary from renovation to painting and gardening. You will see the smiles and happiness of the benefited families, something which will stay with you for the rest of your life.
You can choose between projects in Arequipa, Peru’s beautiful white-stone city shadowed by the famous El Misti Volcano; Cusco, the home of the Incas and the archaeological capital of the Americas; and Iquitos, the gateway to the Peruvian Amazon.
Please note: This project is available for a minimum of 5 people arriving together.
Go ahead and apply as a volunteer in Peru
We will take you step by step through the enrollment, and you will learn abeout everything provided with the program, costs envolved and requirements.
Visit also our page with some of the best volunteer projects in Peru.
Make part of the vervet monkeys animal conservation volunteer program in South Africa where help is needed with the integration of the foster moms of 23 little orphans back into the troops.
Join the family at this amazing primate sanctuary. At this special initiative, orphaned primates come from near and far and are given a loving home where they are rehabilitated and cared for until they can be released back into the wild.
With over 500 cheeky monkeys in care at any one time, this sanctuary always needs an extra pair of helping hands. Your participation will help to ensure they are all well fed, cared for and loved; and will help raise funds to maintain the place up to scratch for its gorgeous guests.
This is an incredible option for those who go bananas for animals as you will get the chance to work hands on the vervet monkeys, under the guidance of experienced professionals. At other occasions, you will be helping to carry out all the back-stage tasks which really ensure the monkeys’ wellbeing.
“I’m having a wonderful time here and there is nothing that I don’t like.” Gijs van Suijlichem in our South African program
At the same time you will get to experience the amazing life in the African bush, and make friends you will remember forever – some furry and some a little less so.
Learn more about South Africa Animal Conservation Projects
Read more about wildlife volunteering in South Africa: