Livia’s volunteering project in 2009!

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Volunteering through Iko Poran was a truly wonderful experience.

As cliché as it may sound, there are no better words to describe the 6 weeks I spent in Rio with the Iko Poran volunteers.

I chose to volunteer with Iko Poran because they offered a variety of social, cultural and artistic projects that most volunteering associations don’t provide their volunteers.

Moreover, they were a truly local association, with a broad network of local schools and organizations and one of the only one which didn’t seem to rip off its volunteers.

Finding an adequate and affordable volunteer program is no easy task so I was very glad to have landed with Iko Poran.

The project

Having some experience with fashion and crafts, I ended up volunteering at the Retalhos Cariocas (Rio fashion workshop). And I also gave swimming and English classes to the children living in the community of Barreira do Vasco.

I didn’t speak a word of Portuguese, so Ingo, from Iko Poran, made sure I was settled in and comfortable with my project.

From then on, everything is a happy blur. I put all my prejudices about Brazilian favelas aside.

I loved being around the children in my project, they were curious and avid to learn. To this day, I feel like they have taught me more than I have taught them.

Living Experience

I also hold great memories from my time spent with the other Iko Poran volunteers. When you volunteer abroad, you are very like to meet people with a similar mindset to yours – open-minded, fearless and fun.

We all lived in the same accommodation, shared meals, discovery walks and nights out. Every single volunteer I met was remarkable. They were passionate about their project and inspired me in many ways. I met dancers, sportsmen, outstanding academics, cooks, dreamers … There were incredible energy and vibe in our ‘house’, one that I haven’t experienced in a lot of places.

Need I say more?

If you are thinking about volunteering and want to experience a cool adventure abroad, Iko Poran can make it happen for you!

Liv, 2009 volunteer


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