Have you sent a volunteering enquiry and (seem to have) heard nothing us? Please believe us – we’ve DEFINITELY sent you an email or two!

If your email address is one of these: @gmail … @hotmail … @yahoo … you are more than likely to find our emails in the ‘spam’ ‘trash’ or ‘junk’ folder !

NOT spam

NOT spam

While we’re delighted to know that your service provider is avoiding your being spammed, this has recently presented recurrent problems … but the projects need you and don’t want to lose you!

We’ve posted the following message on our own website – both the contact us & register pages …

Important: In order to ensure you receive emails from people & places please add kate@travel-peopleandplaces.co.uk

to your safe sender or contact list on mail providers such as GMail, Yahoo and Hotmail/Live”

So – please check your ’spam’ or ‘junk’ folder.

 

And if you send an email to kate@travel-peopleandplaces.co.uk directly , she will definitely reply to you and the link will be made :)

 

 

 

Sometimes, and rightly so volunteers question whether they have made a meaningful contribution. IMG_1649

This extract from a report from Gede School in Kenya says it all!

“ Better Performance posting from last year’s exams

This time round, good performance was posted by the school in regard to the students that were admitted into secondary school. Nearly 50% of the students who sat their Kenya certificate for Primary education exams were admitted into high school with three hearing impaired students from the school joining national school.

This performance was a reflection of improvements noted from March of last year. Attribution was given to new teaching technical and adoption of storytelling as a way of reaching to the students. This method was introduced by Mrs. Coulson on her visit in February of 2014.”

Respect and thankyou Yvonne Coulson.

Learn more abour Gede School and the volunteer programme here.

One of our hard-working volunteers, currently in Saint Lucia, is a retired civil engineer … using his experience to support the historic restoration work of the Saint Lucia National Trust

Here’s yesterday’s video and report in the local media:

“Apostles’ Battery Restoration”

The Saint Lucia National Trust has undertaken a major restoration exercise at Apostles battery on Morne Fortune. The project is being executed under the expert supervision of Godfrey Weir who is a civil engineer from People and Places. The Saint Lucia tourist board sees the activity as part of a major development project which will take place at various sites on Morne Fortune.”

Watch the video report here.

Just goes to show that even if you’re not a teacher or a health care worker, there’s likely to be a project with people and places where your skills and experience could be be put to good use!

“Our programs are not designed to meet the expectations of volunteers to do ‘something new’.

Our programs meet the needspaul of the communities in which we work.”

Paul Miedema, our local partner at Calabash in South Africa, wrote this excellent article about the priorities for ethical volunteering.

http://www.tourism-watch.de/content/entwicklungsprioritaeten-verteidigen

The article is in German, but there’s a translate button at the top right of the article,

Well said, Paul :)

We thought that it would be a good idea to let you know how things are going in Port Elizabeth.  We are now into our second week in the school.  Inevitably there was a lot to learn during week one but, with a refreshing week-end of rest and some sight-seeing, we were ready to face the challenges of the second week. 

 

a win-win situation

a win-win situation

We had a very useful meeting with Paul last Friday and he has helped sort out a few teething difficulties, underlining the fact that we are here to work with the teachers rather than instead of them. It is a bit of a culture shock when teachers walk in and out of the classroom with some frequency! We also did some target-setting (e.g. organising meetings with parents and teacher groups).   

We are so glad that we have made it here after so many delays.  A month appears such a short time now to make an impact but we are getting there and everyone, especially the new principal, is extremely welcoming and helpful.  

Best wishes to you and all your P & P colleagues.

This from Latifa, house mother in one of the residential houses for girls in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, where we work with Education for All:

“It was helpful for the girls who made a small progress on French, which is good compared to the time that Pat spent with them. It helped the youngest girls, spending their first year in the house, to express themselves and be more confident. Pat brought a good atmosphere into the house. She was always smiling and always available for the girls or for me.”

Pat spent 4 weeks in Asni, Morocco, and as a fluent French speaker was able to help the girls with their French and English, as well as with their maths, where Sudoku proved to be popular with some of the girls.

To find out more about the project, click here !

just had to share this with you because it reinforces my (Kate) firm belief in that every single person CAN make a real difference … for themselves and for others …

this is without doubt a POSITIVE beginning with one small physical act, the results have unquantifiable positive results … watch and listen … I defy you not to get goosebumps …sunshine 2

We are very excited to announce a new opportunity for  educators,  business people and those with practical skills  to volunteer with us in Peru.

Students at The Institute

Students at The Institute

 

This project is located in the town of Salvación, capital of the Manu Province, and is based at the local further education college, the Instituto de Educacion Superior Tecnológico Público Manu. The Institute is the only source of further education in the Manu Province, but teaching staff lack support and training, and resources are limited and out of date.

The aim of the education programme is to transform the Institute into a centre of excellence in Sustainable Land Management and Responsible Tourism by supporting teacher capacity building, practical skill development and school enterprise. Building the capacity of teachers is vital for long-term success and help is needed to improve their skills, techniques, and resources, particularly in English and industry-specific skills.

The Manu Biosphere Reserve encompasses almost the entire watershed of the Manu river, from tributaries that start high in the Andes down to the lowland Amazonian rainforests that stretch to the Atlantic. Its geography, biodiversity and indigenous communities not only make it a compelling destination but also a valuable cultural, scientific and economic resource. The Manu Biosphere Reserve has remained relatively protected because of limited access routes.

Read more about how you could become involved here

This was first published way back when – sadly – it still holds true!

Here at people and places we are constantly struggling to get enough volunteers for our programmes – there are other sending organisations that manage to attract thousands of volunteers every year – we don’t  and I now know we have got so much wrong - so here’s my proposal – I’m sending it off to our advisory board tonight: time for change

1. We’re going to start talking about our projects – after all, how could they possibly run without us?

2. Forget about getting informed consent from the projects that volunteers will be working with – we will save a huge amount of hassle for ourselves and volunteers if we just send them – and hey – the projects are poor so they’ll be grateful for anyone.

3. From now on, the most important skill any volunteer can possibly have is the ability to give us their credit card details

4. In future, all the expenses of travelling etc., incurred by those of us in the UK, will be allocated to “project development” – how would the projects develop without us – and all marketing will be called volunteer recruitment – and we need volunteers to develop projects so it’s project development – SIMPLE

5. We are discontinuing the bespoke screening and preparation process for volunteers – a one size fits all application form and a pre departure pack has  been developed – we caused too much confusion before – and we are the best ones to judge after all.

6. We aren’t going to allocate any of the fees to pay our local partners on the ground to care for the volunteers – we have 24/7 cover with our UK mobile numbers.

7. In fact we are going to do away with local partners – who needs  ’em? We know all our projects are “community driven” and we got local consent years ago.

8. We are not going to insist that volunteers sign up to and comply with child protection policies  - of course we have the best interests of children at heart – so why complicate things?

9. work permits – don’t worry – you can slip in under the radar on a tourist visa – who will know?

10. talking about work, who cares whether volunteers have the right insurance or not? Insurance is only a problem when there’s a problem.

11. What a time waster all that work we put into ensuring that volunteers are contributing skills the projects needs – so what if the 1000th volunteer is singing “head, shoulders, knees and toes” for the unmpteenth time with the children? They’re all having fun aren’t they? And building programmes – we are going to start those – obviously local people don’t know how to rebuild a bridge or a toilet block over and over again.

12. And most important of all – all children should be loved and hugged – by anyone

13. and finally – perhaps our biggest mistake – none of our volunteers get a T-shirt that says “I saved the world” … well I’ve just put an order for 2000 in – so come on down!

(and I must do a hat tip to Justin Francis at www.responsibletravel.com who wrote a piece many years ago explaining why he was turning his back on responsible travel – sorry Justin can’t find it – if you do Im happy to link to it here!)

Great to see 3 of our volunteer programmes featured in The World Travel Guide

 12 Ethical Experiences for 2015

- and pleased to say that we are in great company!

“Despite the market being swamped with capitalist ventures masquerading as morally sound institutions, there are a number of ethically conscious organisations out there offering both beneficial trips and meaningful volunteer placements.”

worldtravelguide

 

Click here to read the full article.

You can read an article Kate was interviewed for