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We place international volunteers in local NGOs that work in local communities. We see our international volunteers as the perfect examples of Sustainable Tourist, because they are tourists that invest their holiday, time, and money, and also their skills and enthusiasm into the Sustainable Development of local communities. We strengthen local NGOs in different ways. First we financially strengthen the NGOs by helping them in their fundraising efforts and by donations from international volunteers. And of course, we also strengthen NGOs by recruiting volunteers that use their education, professional skills and life experience to strengthen the NGOs. But we are not only focused on strengthening local NGOs. We are also very committed to promote intercultural exchanges. We try to promote intercultural exchanges because we believe that the interaction between people from different cultures and backgrounds, and the exchange of experiences, opinions and knowledges will open up new horizons and opportunities for everyone involved. When we bring people together we like to create a win-win situation. Of course a community will benefit from volunteers who are teaching or applying their skills and experience during volunteer work. But we also like it to work the other way around too. For us, volunteering is more then just helping other people. We truly believe that someone should become a volunteer because he, or she, also wants to learn and use the experience for his own benefit and pleasure. Especially because the interaction with local communities, the intercultural exchange, gives them another perspective on their own life back home For us, creating a win-win situation is very, very important, because a win-win situation creates equal relationships between international volunteers and local communities. We strongly believe that everyone should be able to enjoy the right to live in an equal society. That is why in our volunteer programs we like to create an equal society on a micro level. This way, we hope that the international volunteers and the people from the communities not only learn from their differences. We also hope that they will see what they have in common. We hope that they will see that we all have similar feelings; we all have hopes and fears; we all have our problems. We all fall in, and out of love. We worry about our family members; and of course, we all like to relax and party. And that is when we see that, despite our differences, we are more equal than we thought before we met each other. Inter cultural exchanges not only open new horizons and opportunities, it also helps to build a fair and equal social
Volunteers partake in projects that are developed and operated by local NGOs and their respective community councils. We learned that our volunteers chose to be international volunteers because they see volunteerism as a good way to experience the real Brazil. As a normal tourist you do not have many opportunities to meet Brazilians outside the tourist trade. They also want to give a meaning and purpose to their extended holiday. They want the experience to be useful, for themselves, and for the communities. They want to do something, be active, and help other people with it. We have our operations linked with more than 40 Non-Governmental Development Organizations in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and we allocate our volunteers according to their abilities and interests and the partner organizations necessities. We format programs in many areas, such as teach English, dance, drama, business development, arts, music, sports, health promotion, gender issues, and others.
What is included in our programs:
Sustainable tourists should come in a spirit of generosity and sincerity; pen themselves up to the experience; be prepared for the emotional ups and downs; be open-minded to the unexpected things that will happen; not be intimidated by the strange culture; And last but not least, they should be independent, adaptable and motivated.
Lodging: Our volunteers are lodged in wonderful Guest Houses in Santa Teresa, one of Rio de Janeiro\'s most enchanting neighborhoods. A bohemian area with an intense cultural life. It stands out for its unusual architecture and the hundred and ten years old tram which still runs through its winding cobbled streets. A residential sanctuary in the heartbeat of the Mata Atlantica (Tijuca national park), the world\'s largest urban subtropical rainforest, it provides ready access to the Christ statue of Corcovado as well as to the city center, sambadromo (the place where the samba schools compete) and beautiful beaches. With an atmosphere reminiscent of that of a small town, it enchants visitors with its panoramic views of the \'Marvellous City\', offering a variety of options for eating local dishes to international cuisine. The houses have cable TV, free Internet access 24x7, fully equipped kitchens, laundry service and cleaning service as well as many other facilities. Iko Poran volunteers stay in BIG shared rooms. Linen is provided. Please bring your own bath towel. The houses are located in the best area of Santa Teresa, walking distance to the area where all the bars and restaurants are, as well as to the supermarket, drugstore, bakery, health clinic, and easy public transportations.
Food and Meals: Brazil is a relatively inexpensive country for foreigners, but it all depends on your lifestyle. As described above, Iko Poran houses also have fully equipped kitchens where the volunteers may cook. A meal at a restaurant may be as cheap as R$ 7.00 in very nice and healthy popular restaurants or up to R$ 30.00 in nicer places.
Iko Poran has its operations linked with many NGOs and provides them three kinds of jobs: volunteer work, financial resources and technical support in management and marketing. Iko Poran develops volunteer programs to attend specific necessities of NGOs to allow them giving better benefits to their people. At the same time, they give a very gratifying experiences to volunteers who feel the social and environmental impact changes that what he/she does can provoke.