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Organization: Associação Iko Poran, Iko Poran Association
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PROGRESS: Has your organization seen progress toward a culture of peace and nonviolence in your domain of action and in your constituency during the first half of the Decade?

Iko Poran Association is a civil organization of private right, non-profit purposes, independent of any political party or religious link, based on the principles of democracy, peace, citizen’s rights, human rights, and non-discrimination against beliefs, race, color or gender. Iko Poran conducts international volunteer programs to work in various areas.

Iko Poran has its operations linked with many non-profit organizations and allocates the volunteers according to their abilities and interests and the partner organization necessities. The volunteers have a unique experience of participating actively on the development of the tended communities and on the construction of a fairer world for all.
Iko Poran contributes to the Culture of Peace promoting a wide experiences exchange, strengthening the cultural agreement between cultures, and broadening the horizons of the beneficiaries.

OBSTACLES: What are the most important obstacles that have prevented progress?

Iko Poran was founded in December of 2002 and the biggest obstacle that we faced was to have the necessary credibility to recruit international volunteers. We also had to let prospect volunteers know that we were here. To overcome the first obstacle we managed to established partnerships with trustable and powerful development organizations, such as UNESCO, United Nations Volunteers, International Conference Volunteers, and International Volunteers Programs Association. To overcome the second obstacle we did a huge communication effort and managed to post links to our initiative in more than 120 other websites. As a result, we were invited to make a speech on the ‘World Summit on the Information Society”, promoted by the UN in Geneva, and to the “Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors” of the Inter-American Development Bank, in Lima. Now we are growing an average of 800% per year and causing positive social impacts in the partner projects at the same time we provide rewarding and productive experiences to our volunteers who feel the social and environmental impact of the changes that they provoke, while they create a rich personal opportunity for cultural exchange.

ACTIONS: What actions have been undertaken by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the first half of the Decade?

Iko Poran, through its international volunteer programs, contributes to the Culture of Peace strengthening the cultural agreement between cultures, and broadening the horizons of the beneficiaries. The fact that the volunteers came from so far away just to lend a hand has a great impact in the projects and increases very much the self-esteem of the beneficiaries.

We are growing an average of 800% per year and causing positive social impacts in the partner projects at the same time we provide rewarding and productive experiences to our volunteers who feel the social and environmental impact of the changes that they provoke, while creating a rich personal opportunity for cultural exchange.

We have not done anything specifically to September 21st because we usually we have a high volume of volunteers in September when it is summer in the Northern Hemisphere. This year of 2005 we will do a big celebration with volunteers from the most varied countries who we will be receiving, such as Iceland, Norway, Ireland, France, Spain, Canada, England, Korea, Serbia, Rumania, Netherlands, Austria, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Australia, and United States, and beneficiaries from many partner organizations, such as Afro Reggae, Fundação OndAzul, Spectaculu, Crescer e Viver, CEDAPS, REDEH, Nós do Cinema, Jongo da Serrinha, Nós do Papel, Dança pra Galera, Sociedade de Amigos do Morro dos Prazers, e outras.



Anouck Gevaert, from Holand, with children from the organization "Programa Social Crescer e Viver"



Barbara Loeschning, from Austria, with students from the organization "Nos do Cinema"



Olga Martin e Leticia Hernando da Espanha com alunos do Grupo Cultural Afro Reggae

ADVICE: What advice would you like to give to the Secretary-General and the General Assembly to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the second half of the Decade?

To promote the cultural understanding and the exchange of experiences.

PARTNERSHIPS: What partnerships and networks does your organization participate in, thus strengthening the global movement for a culture of peace?

We strongly believe that partnerships are the best way to achieve better and bigger results. Actually, we see volunteerism as a partnership which must satisfy the volunteers involved as well as benefit the NGO concerned: fulfilled volunteers are more committed and mutuality of interests between the organization and the volunteer will produce value for each partner. We believe that the cooperation relationships will migrate from alliances traditionally philanthropic to strategic alliances. In today’s interconnected world, third sector organizations will not prosper or survive if they do not find partners that can help them reach wider results to face the challenges ahead.
Alliances are vehicles for the accomplishment of each participant’s mission, so that the partnership becomes an integral part of any organization strategy. All relationships involve an exchange of values between the parts. Before asking something, you should know what you could do for the other part.

We have established partnerships ands work together with the United Nations Volunteers, International Volunteer Programs Association, UNESCO, International Conference Volunteers, WSIS volunteer family, Portal do Voluntário, RIOVOLUNTÀRIO and many Brazilian non-profit organizations in which we allocate our international volunteers to cause positive impacts.

PLANS: What new engagements are planned by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence in the second half of the Decade (2005-2010)?

We plan to expand our activities to other cities of Brazil next year, such as Salvador and Recife, and, in a near future, to other countries within Latin America. We want to promote the cultural agreement even more to cause bigger and better social results.

Postal address of organization

Av. Nilo Peçanha, 50 room 1709 -  Centro - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - 20.044-900 - Brasil

E-mail address of organization

rj@ikoporan.org

Website address of organization

www.ikoporan.org

Highest priority action domain of a culture of peace

Culture of Peace

Second priority action domain of a culture of peace

Sustainable Development

Highest priority country of action (or international)

Brazil

Second priority country of action (or international)

International
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Organization: Associação Iko Poran, Iko Poran Association

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