It wasn’t a lie … honest! We’d been misinformed …




So I apologise to everyone who tuned in to Fake Britain last night …

but I’ve found the original programme about the minefield of ‘orphanage volunteering’ – here’s a link:

Orphanage volunteering … an ever-popular “hit” with many would-be volunteers wanting to ‘work with children’ …

orphanages not the solution

orphanages not the solution


This programme was first aired in May of this year – and for anyone who missed it the first time around – PLEASE try and watch tonight’s repeat at 7.30 p.m. UK time.

We’ve blogged about the issues of child protection, orphanage volunteering, fake orphanages many times … but it is SO IMPORTANT that we’re also repeating ourselves!

To read more about these closely-linked issues, click here


Some weeks ago, I posted about the increase in numbers of volunteers who are discerning and questioning in their approach towards volunteer opportunities …

I’m frequently encouraged by what these potential volunteers say about their searches and researches … and today, my eternal optimism about the tipping point getting closer has been reinforced and rewarded yet again :)

sunshine 2

This from Elaine who has just applied to use her business skills and experience in one of the projects we’re working with:

“Thank you for your prompt response to my registration. I have read with interest the  “about” pages and also faqs  which are very helpful and quite  comprehensive. I came to  People and Places after looking at several other companies offering “volunteering” opportunities – it’s a minefield and very difficult to find out how much if anything actually goes towards benefitting local projects or even whether the project is a genuine volunteering opportunity. Although if you like  mucking out orangutans and elephants you are spoilt for choice! “

So here I go again (repetition is definitely better than omission!) … please, everyone thinking about volunteering in projects abroad … DO YOUR RESEARCH … you’ll be pleased you did !

Experienced UK science teacher, Richard, has volunteered twice in a township school in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

Richard worked closely with the local science teacher, and their mutual learning has enabled the beginning of a ‘roll-out’ programme to other schools in the area …

Today, we received this great news: My friend Simo entered his Grade 7 learners into a Science Expo Competition … They won a Bronze Medal! Most of the other students were from wealthy Independent schools. This is an amazing result!”

Grade 7 - bronze medallists

Grade 7 – bronze medallists


Congratulations to all – this just goes to show what can be achieved by volunteers and local people working together!

thanks for the news, Richard.

Jungle Dad leaves the MLC

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The name given to me by Nica a six month intern at the MLC
nica low

we met at Cusco airport where we were picked up by a crees employee for transfer to our hotel for the night, we both realised that we smoked and have been smoking buddies ever since, terrible habit I know but I have had my most interesting conversations with people whilst having a fag!

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Bio gardens – last visit

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bio last 1

We went to Salvacion on Tuesday morning and arrived at the bio garden we were working on at about 9.30 and worked all day until about 5pm, working in the open with no shade was really hard and we were all worn out by the end of the day.

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Butterfly and pit fall trap survey

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There are various pit fall traps set in the ground around the MLC and as they had been closed for a week we had to check and open them all up, they consist of a length of tarpaulin stretched across the ground with plastic buckets set in the ground at intervals, the idea being that frogs etc. are diverted into the bucket and can be collected for surveys, it was a day’s work to do this and then we spent another day checking butterfly nets.

butt trap pit trap2

butterfly trap                               pit fall trap

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Sallie was interviewed by the daily telegraph recently for this piece sallie headshotSMALL


“Volunteering placements abroad are a popular choice for gap years, but projects need to be chosen wisely or there is a danger participants may end up doing more harm than good.

Kristina is a friendly 19-year-old from the UK, who recently went on a volunteer placement in Cambodia.

“We were told it would involve a mixture of teaching and building water pumps for rural families,” she says. “However, during the placement, only two out of the 14 of us taught English. The rest of us literally dug a road. We moved piles of dirt for six weeks – and right at the end, a digger turned up and finished it in about half an hour, which was fairly infuriating.” The voluntary placement cost £3,500.

“Voluntourism” is big business these days, with well-meaning travellers like Kristina paying thousands of pounds to spend a short time working towards a cause in another country. But how can you be sure your money (and you) will be doing any good? And, more importantly, you won’t be doing any harm?

read the whole article here 


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This is an area at the top of a hill where you can admire the view, we left at 9am and it took nearly 3 hours to walk up to the top, a distance of about 4 miles with a 500 metre gain in height through the rain forest, the view from the top was amazing which is where we ate lunch and then started the long trek down.
As soon as we got back to camp it was a cup of tea and a soak in the hot springs for an hour.
mir low

Thursday 31st


We arrived yesterday late in the morning after stopping in the small town of Salvacion for some shopping but the town was shut!

We met up with the rest of the volunteers from Shipetiari nearly all of whom had the sickness bug, I wonder if you can guess what we renamed SHIPetiari!

In the afternoon we had a 25 minute walk to the waterfall into which we all plunged then we walked back to camp and got into the hot springs which was bliss, we stayed in until we were wrinkled as the water is the temperature of a hot bath!

hot s low


The camp consists of a wooden building containing the kitchen/diner and a larger building we sleep in, two to a room plus four tents inside an open area and two hammocks and a tent outside.

camp low 1

camp low2