Watch a very short video ( less than a minute!)  - where our local partner Adama Bah talks about why hwe chose to work with us on our volunteer programme. Click the image to watch


Watch a very  short video ( just one minute ) from Paul Miedema – our local partner in Port Elizabeth South Africa – click on the image to watch


volunteers work so hard …

By kate | Filed in newsletters, volunteer stories | 5 comments

… that sometimes a nap is required.

Nigel works very hard in full-time employment as site manager for two schools in Norfolk … he also works with ‘people and places’ on a voluntary basis as the marvellous editor of our newsletter.

Many of you will also have followed his most recent volunteer placement in Peru through his frequent blog posts – where Nigel occasionally mentioned how hard he was working there (during his long summer ‘holiday’!)

contemplating the next job !

contemplating the next job !


And sometimes, just sometimes …

Now here’s an opportunity to write a review of your volunteer placement – this just in from Go Overseas:

volunteer experience? you may win a prize !

volunteer experience? you may win a prize !

Read the remainder of this entry »

Variety’s the very spice of life, that gives it all it’s flavour”, William Cowper variety

For each newsletter, I (Kate) usually focus on one volunteer’s story of their placement experience …

This time, my post includes extracts from the reports of two volunteers – Annie and Nigel – who brought varied skills and experiences to their equally varied projects.

Each of their placements demonstrates the ‘win-win’ situation and real benefits when volunteers and projects are well-matched. Read the remainder of this entry »

As many as you will know, we have been lucky enough to be winners of The World Responsible Travel Awards twice – once for our campaigning and once as best volunteering organisationpeopleChoice-fbpost-peopleandplaces

We are so proud of the awards – we are with some very special company.

AND now this year we have been short listed for the People’s Choice award

We don’t expect to win – the competition is fierce and there are many very deserving potential winners. (a couple of our particular favourites are Village Ways and TUI)

BUT we do want to say a huge thankyou to each and every one of you who took the time to vote for us – we so appreciate it.

Social networks can provide lots of really useful information for potential volunteers simplythebest

Here are our 5 favourites:

outbounding not just important discussions on volunteer travel -great travel articles and advise too.

pearltrees this is where Sallie stores all the links she finds about volunteer travel

better volunteering a page created by us but lots of great contributions from others

@VickySmith a masters in responsible travel – specialising in volunteer travel but lots of insight into travel generally

passenger shaming its funny and cringe rendering at the same time – we all travel … are we guilty?




We read lots of blogs during the course of our work – we encourage volunteers to do as much research as they can beforesimplythebest they travel.

Here are our top 5  FAVS ( as they say)

Kick Start Ghana  Ruth’s posts are an important read for all of us – whatever our age

Lessons I learned  Daniela shares her journey – from volunteering to development work – and what she has learnt along the way

How matters written by an international aid worker that has worked with many grass roots organisations -

Go Overseas varied and interesting post on travel and often volunteer travel  passionate about community-driven development

Do you have favourites that we should add to our list?



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