My name is Luis Felipe Murray (Felipe); Brazilian, married and father of two little girls.
I was born in Rio de Janeiro and always did volunteer work since I was 13 years old. First in philanthropic fairs in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and later, after graduating in Performing Arts, in favelas of Rio de Janeiro where I taught acting workshops and English. From 1999 to 2001 I did a Masters in Executive Marketing and specialized in the social area. Then I started to teach Social Marketing courses in Universities of Rio de Janeiro. In 2002 I was teaching courses in Universities of Rio de Janeiro and joined some third sector forums over the Internet. In one of these forums, I saw an advert of an international volunteer program which fee was approximately US$ 2,500 for only two weeks. I was very impressed with the expensive price and ran a big market research that really surprised me when I noticed that all the international volunteer organizations were travel agencies based in developed countries charging volunteers a hugely expensive program or registration fee to organize their programs. Then, together with other participants of these forums, I decided to start a local non-profit organization to make international volunteering in Brazil more affordable and help foreigners to share their skills while experiencing Brazil from a local perspective. Iko Poran was founded in December of 2002, the website was launched in July of 2003 and received the first two volunteers in November/ December of 2003. We gained a lot of experience during the 11 first years and met many volunteer organizations and community groups from other countries while participating in international volunteer summits and seminars. Then in 2014, following our Mission to strengthen local communities while promoting intercultural exchanges and strengthening a constant and growing number of partner organizations, we expanded our activities to other countries and partnered with community groups to launch Iko Poran Volunteer Abroad with the aim of making international volunteerism very affordable, safe, rewarding and effective. Our country coordinators are also locals that run their own development projects founded from their hearts. As an Iko Poran volunteer, you will be accepted and treated with extreme kindness by the local community and will have an unforgettable experience. We are very happy to receive and support so many wonderful people with good intentions that travel abroad to help others. We care about your safety, the effectiveness of the program and the value of your money. Join us in which is meant to be the time of your life!