We all enjoy our volunteers’ social meetings – a lot – and November meetings are especially popular because one or more of our local partners is usually here in the UK and are able to come along and join us. This year, we’re delighted to announce that both Adama Bah from The Gambia and Michael Horton from Cambodia will be here in Faversham!

Adama Bah

Adama Bah

Michael Horton - Cambodia

Michael Horton

Date & Time: Saturday 12th November – 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Our invitation is to ALL volunteers – previous and future – why not come along and meet Adama & Michael, as well as the  ‘people and places‘  UK team.

Please let us know A.S.A.P. if you plan to come too, as we have rather limited space here at ‘head office’ (i.e. Kate’s home!)

Just email Kate – kate@travel-peopleandplaces.co.uk – to book your place !

Looking forward to meeting many volunteers, both ‘new’ and ‘old’ (!)




by Dianne Ashman, volunteer programme advisor

As I write this article I am right at the end of my latest trip, to visit our projects in Cambodia.  I was last here in 2011 working with Michael, founder of ConCERT who are our local partners here.  On the ‘tips for volunteers’ sheet Michael and I compiled in 2011 he asked that volunteers bring a jar of Marmite with them as he and his family love it and it’s hard to get hold of here, so on my arrival at Siem Reap airport I was not at all surprised to see someone holding up a large sign saying


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by volunteer programme advisor Dianne Ashman

As you will know, there are two connecting strands to the work

people and places does.  We send volunteers on placements where their skills and experience have been carefully matched to local needs, and we campaign for responsible practice in volunteer tourism – and both these categories have been reflected in awards people and places have won, for Best Volunteer Organisation and

Best for Responsible Tourism Campaigning.

Up until now I have preferred to focus my time and energy on the volunteering side of things, helping our local partners identify needs and helping to prepare volunteers to do their bit to meet these needs.  I have not wanted to get involved in the campaigning side of our work as I am personally uncomfortable with the rather negative and critical connotations of some forms of campaigning (not necessarily ours) and I prefer to focus on the positives of trying to make our volunteer placements as successful as possible for all concerned.  However I have always taken an interest in the issues raised through our campaigning, particularly those involving children and child protection.  I have therefore followed with interest all the publicity around the negative impact of volunteers working in, and foreigners supporting, children in orphanages.  One of the articles published as part of a recent ‘blogging blitz’ on the dangers of orphanage tourism really made me think.  The writer of the article was talking specifically about student volunteers going to orphanages as part of a gap year experience, and he made the point that we are wrong to criticise these young people for taking part in a misguided form of volunteering because we have never taught them that it’s an inappropriate thing to do.  As a teacher that really struck a chord, and fits in exactly with my views – I don’t want to criticise bad practice but I do want to raise awareness about what some of the issues are and how to make good choices when volunteering or supporting people in developing countries.

 In fact, having once thought this, I now feel it would be irresponsible of me to know something about the issues and not to spread the word.

“The challenge is certainly not to stop supporting children in developing countries – the need has not decreased – but to make sure we are doing this in ways that genuinely help and are not designed simply to make us feel good – and that requires real thought.”

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people and places has facilitated several such placements – Master’s students who need ‘in situ’ experience to complete their research & assignments. The key for us is that such placements will also be of benefit to the communities / projects where volunteers such as Lisa are placed … Lisa’s report shows how this can work, and what we mean about this being a ‘win-win’ volunteer placement.

Lisa worked in Port Elizabeth (PE) with our local partners at Calabash in one of the township primary schools that we support.

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This is such wonderful news from our partners in Swaziland – big congratulations to all concerned

A Neighbourhood Care Point (NCP) is a community-based, non-formal, day care centre offering care and support for vulnerable children of pre-primary age in a safe, protective environment under the care of volunteer caregivers.  Using funds raised by volunteer project donations, along with the support of Swaziland Charitable Trust (SCT) and Cooper Dean Fund, our local partners at All Out Africa were able to work with the community to build a classroom, store room, toilet block and play area for Nkhanini.


25 children are now attending and receiving daily meals, learning opportunities

and lots of play time. 

Learn more about how you could volunteer with this programme here

Fantastic news from one of our previous volunteers, Therese Bateson – ‘Trez’.

A not-for-profit organisation she is involved in in the UK has decided to part fund the food programme at Emmanuel Community Centre until April 2017.

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‘Baby Angels’ aims to: “Relieve poverty among underprivileged children and their families world-wide by financially supporting meaningful development initiatives, aiming to promote positive change within their lives and help build sustainable livelihoods”

Thank-you so much Trez and Baby Angels!

In the fantastically beautiful High Atlas Mountains of Morocco, EfA (education for all)  is a local  NGO working tirelessly to help educate girls … as EfA say themselves: ‘educate a girl and you educate the next generation’, and the next, etc. ! This is the project where our volunteers work – in the girls-only, homes-away-from home where Berber village girls have access to education, beyond what is available in their villages  …

And just look at the results for this last academic year …

“CONGRATULATIONS to the 12 girls who have passed their baccalaureate (A’Level equivalent)! 8 are university-bound and 4 will go onto vocational college. Everyone of you who has supported EFA is part of this amazing success which is changing lives for generations to come. THANK YOU!”

2016 achievers !

2016 achievers !

These girls are bound for a new stage in their lives, and you could support future graduates, as well as their house mothers, in continuing EfA’s great work …

How’s your  French ? Want to  volunteer ?

calling all volunteers- please share you story

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By Sallie Grayson | Filed in volunteer stories | No comments yet.

Share Your Story

Yep, we are asking for a favour!

When potential volunteers are researching volunteer opportunities they often use sites that post reviews by volunteers.

We’re not allowed to post reviews on your behalf – rightly so! – we need you to post your own review. We know our volunteers are very busy people and may not have a lot of time to do this. However …

We also know, from communications between our previous and future volunteers, that what a volunteer thinks and says about us is SO much more important than anything we could say.

Hence, our asking a favour – would you write consider writhing a short review about your experience with us ? Please contact  sallie@travel-peopleandplaces.co.uk  – and Sallie will be able to send you a link and quick instructions about how to post.

Here are some examples in an attempt to convince you it would not be too onerous:


and here are a couple of longer ones!


thoughts of Aleppo and volunteer travel

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By Sallie Grayson | Filed in good and bad practice | No comments yet.

I just posted the on FaceBook and it made me proud – why? because the first question from the  vast majority of our volunteers is :

“Where can I be of most help”?


“my reaction to the news from Aleppo – I want to go there now and help – but you know what I would be a hinderance not a help – I have no medical skills – I have no counselling skills – i am not an engineeer -I am certainly no peacemaker – I do not speak the language(s) – indeed I have no skills that they need at the moment – BUT I know I have skills that could help somewhere

– these are the rules we should apply when we plan our volunteer travel

a great volunteer story from South Africa

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By Kate Stefanko | Filed in volunteer stories | One comment

Finnish volunteer, Roosa, is a professional in the art of graphic design. She worked for 6 weeks with the  ‘media team’ in Hazyview Digital Learning Campus – and my goodness, her work was hugely appreciated!

“Even with years and years of experience in graphic design, when you ask Roosa if she will be able to help in that field she always replies saying: ‘I will try.’
And then delivers a masterpiece.”

a photoshop session with volunteer Roosa

a photoshop session with volunteer Roosa








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