For Alice Garnier teaching in Nepal was her favorite as a volunteer, since she felt like a Nepali family. What she told us about her experience in Nepal:
I love all of you. I have done other volunteering in India and now I am in Vietnam, but you stay my favorite. You are my Nepali family!! ❤
Nepal is a dream destination for volunteers who wish to make a positive change in the lives of others. The volunteer work with the children is very rewarding, while also the experience as a guest in the home of a Nepali family is unique.
Moreover, you will have the opportunity to explore this culturally fascinating country with the Himalaya as a backdrop.
Dr. Ana Elisa Pena & Dr. Fernanda Rangel de La Peña doing a health screen of the children in South Africa. Both physicians came as volunteer from Brazil 👏👏👏 Well done ladies!! The world needs more people like you 😄
Visit our page with all the volunteer opportunities in South Africa, including health screening, volunteer work with children at Doreen’s Creche, a Marine Biology internship, wildlife veterinary internship and many more!
I was volunteering in Rio de Janeiro for only two weeks. My plan was to travel afterwards, so that’s why I only stayed in Rio for such a long time.
I had a great time! It started by getting picked up by Felipe at the airport, while we were driving to the hostel he explained me a little bit how the program works and what’s there to do in Lapa and Santa Teresia. I was volunteering with an Irish Couple and I thought it was really nice so I didn’t have to go somewhere by myself.
The volunteering itself was absolutely amazing, we were playing ball games with the children, rope skipping, drawing, we did some painting as well and they loved it! There were around 10 to 20 children each day, I don’t know on what it depended if they were coming or not, but mostly it was school I think. The children were between 2 and 14 years old, they could get a bit wild at times, but they were all very sweet and always really excited to see us.
I would definitely recommend this program, but in my opinion, two weeks is way too short! If you can stay longer, do it! It’s definitely worth it. Also, try to get some basics in Portuguese, I could already understand and speak a little bit, but sometimes it was very hard because not everyone speaks English and they really do appreciate it if you try.
Rio is an amazing city, I totally fell in love with it! At first I was a little bit scared because everyone told me it’s such a dangerous city, but in my opinion it’s just like every big city and you should listen to people living there on where you can and where you can not go. I never went out by myself when it was dark and I never felt unsafe, but I think that’s mainly because I listened to what Felipe said, like don’t behave too much like a tourist, don’t take any valuables, etc.
If you’re still not convinced, trust me: just go!
Volunteer in Peru working in a special needs school in Cusco.
This project locates volunteers in a special needs school in Cusco. This school is for children and youth with different learning difficulties, as well as children with physical incapacities or visual/ hearing problems. The students are aged from three to twenty five years and their needs and capabilities are varied.
The school is divided into the following classes, according to age and needs: kindergarten, primary, division multiple complex, deaf school and practical training. The number of children per classroom varies from 6 to 15 and teachers do not otherwise have assistants or helpers in the class. Your role will vary depending on the needs of the teachers and the children, but your presence will be truly appreciated by everyone here. There is also a room for physiotherapy and volunteers with any experience or training would be greatly appreciated.
Working and living in Cusco is an incredible life experience. You will see the real life of the cusquenians and will be part of their traditions, customs. Moreover you will taste the authentic Cusco cuisine at the home stay.
Find out everything about affordable volunteering in Peru…
Delphine loved her program last year so much that she came back this year. Volunteer in Brazil, teaching children.
Savannah Peiser gives an interview about her experience volunteering on child development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
I chose to go international because there was the dual opportunity to help those who are disadvantaged and to travel and explore Brazil. It was also a journey of discovery for me and to open up more career opportunities for my future.
I stumbled across their working abroad website, and when I spoke their colleagues in London, they made me feel relaxed and comfortable about their partnership with Iko Poran. The program also appealed to what kind of change I wanted to make, even if it was only a small change.
Little steps, along with patience, reach bigger goals.
The location of the project and the hostel I was staying in were within walking distance of each other, or a 10 minute bus ride. To walk was about 40 minutes, but it was worth it to meet people and to see the beautiful surroundings. Sometimes when I finished late, I caught some beautiful sunsets. Also, it was close to the main area for social life, so on the weekends, when I didn’t work on the project, I could enjoy with fellow volunteers and people staying in the hostel.
It was unique for many reasons; I was the only volunteer there, so because the children were inspiring the main reason for the uniqueness of the program was the ballet classes that gave the kids a peaceful retreat from their harsh day-to-day life. Their lives are not easy, the backgrounds of their families really do make you think. Also, it made me feel grateful, but sad, that there aren’t equal opportunities. Overall, it was unique because it was thought-provoking and inspiring.
Luis Felipe Murray gave a great introduction to the program and made sure I was happy with the project before I began participating. The only critique I have is that during the program there could have been a little more contact, just to check up.
Volunteer with children in Brazil
The smiley group of children from the morning half of the project at Ballet de Santa Teresa – my little cherubs!
I wish that I had brought more materials with me to engage the kids with a little more.
I would wake up around 7 a.m. or 7:30 a.m. at the hostel, get ready and have some breakfast, and leave by 8:30 a.m. I would arrive at the project by 8:45 a.m. or sometimes 9 a.m. because the bus would be late; in the mornings, I always took the bus. Upon my arrival at the project, I would check the rota for that particular day. Always in the morning was the activities with the younger kids aged three to nine. We would have some reading and writing classes, and then painting and puzzles. At 10:30 a.m. there would be a break for juice and biscuits, then back to classes. During the writing/readings/arts classes, there would be music classes happening, with various music teachers and ballet lessons (the main class of the school). Then at 12 p.m. we would begin lunch, which would go until 2 p.m.
During lunch, once the little kids had finished eating, they would change their uniform and go off to proper school. Then the older kids aged 10 to 15 would arrive, eat their lunch, and when the afternoon teachers arrived they would begin their lessons at 2 p.m. After 2 p.m the lessons consisted of making things for the production they were performing at the end of the month. The school would close at 6 p.m. Sometimes I’d stay until the end, but most days I left after lunch. That was a nice thing about the program, there was some flexibility.
I really enjoyed socialising with the people at the Rio Hostel Santa Teresa, the staff there were very friendly and became like my family for the month I was there. We would eat and drink together and go out on the weekends.
I stayed in the Rio Hostel & Pousada Santa Teresa. The people who worked there were like family and the other volunteers and people staying there were very friendly. From my time there, I have definitely made some real friendships.
Nothing really surprised or shocked me about Brazil, as I already had knowledge of how life is there due to having Brazilian friends. Also, I’m from South Africa and the two countries are incredibly similar; they have the same socio-economic issues, same culture, really similar cuisine, equally beautiful beaches/wildlife/outdoor landscapes, quite similar mentalities, and the same political problems (i.e. corruption).
I think when it comes to packing, it’s all relative to the individual. Pack what you need.
I didn’t struggle to communicate with the locals as I already had quite an extensive knowledge and practice of Portuguese. Sometimes there would be a problem with the accents of the different people, especially those from the various states of Brazil, but it wasn’t a big hindrance.
For sure it will enhance my career opportunities, and it has opened my eyes a bit more.
Yes, I’d definitely recommend Iko Poran! They’re a great organisation with great projects.
When I volunteer again, I would either come back to Brazil or go to South Africa.
About Savannah Peiser
Savannah was born in South Africa, but her family moved to London early on in her life. She was fortunate enough to attend a good school, and then move on to attend Goldsmiths College, University of London, where she received her bachelor’s degree in anthropology. Savannah loves traveling and has traveled to many places; she thinks traveling is an education in itself.
Want do volunteer in Rio de Janeiro?
Find the complete information about volunteering in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil here.
Child Development Volunteer in Kenya
The children in the orphanage range from a few months to teenagers. You will be able to offer your time via cooking, cleaning, bonding and offering a listening ear among others.
The children are eager to see you and will be looking forward to your visit every day. No experience required.
Our programs to volunteer in Kenya are based in Mombasa, which is the second largest city of the country.
Mombasa is a highly cosmopolitan city, which presents a range of attractions for visitors, including the white sandy beach which is world famous. Mombasa is only two hours drive away from Tsavo national park and three hours flight away from world famous Maasai Mara.
A safari can be arranged locally at cheaper rates and can be discussed with local team before arrival. Fort Jesus and Mombasa old town area is UNESCO heritage site which shows the influence of Portuguese, Indian and British influence to the town. The local Swahili language and English are spoken widely.
As a volunteer in Mombasa, you will stay in and hostel in the Nyali area.
The rooms are usually shared by up to four to ten people, and have shared bathroom. The hostel has free WiFi, lounge area, dining area and swimming pool.
Full breakfast is provided and other meals can be purchased here or in local restaurants nearby. A private room is available at an extra fee, depending on availability.
Nyali is an upscale, cosmopolitan and very vibrant area, full of life and Kenyan culture.
The area is five minutes from the beach and from and Nakumatt city mall. There are lots of local pubs and clubs walking distance from each other.
There is a local supermarket chain down the street with local cafes offering sumptuous meals at a fair price.
Projects in Kenya start on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month. You should arrive on Sundays. You can choose to volunteer from 2 to 12 weeks.
Orientation takes place on Monday after the arrival date.
You must be at least 18 years old at the start of your placement. Exceptions can be made for under 18’s accompanied by a guardian or with a parental consent.
All volunteers must have adequate volunteer travel insurance and are required to provide a criminal background check to local staff on arrival in Kenya or during orientation.
Knowledge of basic Swahili is desired but not a pre-requisite. You will already learn a lot practicing in your project where everyone is glad and willing to teach you. Professional coaching can be arranged locally if desired.
You will have a competent support and advices from the local team and project leaders. Someone will always be available in the case of any emergency. Please keep in mind that you are in a different country and should take some precautions to avoid exposing yourself to certain risks.
The local coordinators will give you all the information to have a safe and unforgettable experience.