Beautiful testimony from Paulina!
I had the opportunity to volunteer in Brazil with Iko Poran for three weeks in August 2013. My project was located in Salgueiro, a pacified community very well known for having one of the most famous samba schools in Rio de Janeiro.
Teaching Children to paint and some English
In the mornings I worked in an ecological garden that provided food to the poorest families in the community and to the local school, and in the afternoons I helped in what they call “the library”, which is a space where children from the neighborhood come to hang around playing, drawing, painting or learning English.
My volunteer time in Rio was a very nice experience that I’ll never forget. One of the most important things I learnt is that you have to try to not to give up if at any time you have the feeling that the project is not fulfilling your expectations, or that you are not helping enough. You have to always keep in mind that things in Brazil move at a different pace… The best approach to this situation is to face each day with renewed illusion and to always show a positive and proactive attitude.
The best part of the gardening project was meeting the people who work there: nice, friendly and welcoming people, who quickly opened the door of their home to me and their hearts.
The Children’s Smiles can light up your day
In the project with children I learnt that just with our presence, we prevent these kids from being in the streets exposed to dangers and possible negative influences. I also learnt that what really matters is the love you give and that you receive from them in huge amounts. It’s almost amazing to see how their smiles can light up your day and also motivate you to keep going and value the work you are doing there.This experience also allowed me to meet amazing people. I’m talking about the other volunteers from different nationalities that lived in the same house as me, and also the Iko Poran team. They’re all lovely people that I hope to see again someday!– Paulina Dañino
Do you want to be a volunteer in Brazil?