There is nothing quite like volunteers telling their own stories to encourage other volunteers to travel with us. Pink Pangea flyer

Would you tell your story for us ?- your story will recruit more volunteers for your project

Please post on


or write a review for us that we can share when we are asked -





……….Sallie contributed.

This publication - Adventures Less Ordinary: How to Travel and Do Good - is  due out in January and promises to be an important read, drawing on the combined expertise of two dozen leading voices advocating for travel that makes a difference. It’s for travellers,volunteers, volunteer sending and receiving organisations and academics. The list of contributors is impressive – people who have a wealth of knowledge about volunteer travel. Register for  a copy on publication here


Here is  Sallie’s contribution -


While You Act: Make Bullied Communities and Disappointed Volunteers Things of the Past

By Sallie Graysonsallie headshotSMALL


While many have celebrated the merging of community service with tourism, others are highly critical and correctly so. Three particular issues need close investigation:


(1) Where does the money go?

(2) Do the negative impacts outweigh the positives for local communities?

(3) How much do the local communities know?


In search of clarity about these issues and more, potential volunteers and fundraising motivators need to ask questions. But they need to be the right questions!

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from Dianne – volunteer programme advisor    Latest News(1)
We hope to include a regular slot in our newsletters giving updates on things that have been happening at the projects where you volunteer.

This time we have news from five countries – Morocco, India, Swaziland, The Gambia and Peru. We hope to be able to include news from the other countries where we volunteer in future newsletters.

If you have news from the project you have worked with that you haven’t shared with us – please do – we would love to share it with other volunteers!

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Here at people and places, we constantly try to raise the bar to ensure volunteering is the best it can be for the projects we

a win-win situation

a win-win situation

work with and you the volunteer.

Our latest initiative is to publish on our site the goals and achievements for our volunteer programmes.

Each project on our site has a link to what we call, grandly, the development plan. Dianne has worked closely with the projects to design these – they outline the goals (as set by the projects) of the volunteer programme and how volunteers can and do contribute.

We believe we are the first volunteer organisation to do this – are we wrong?

Here is an example Schools Support South Africa



This post is written by Dianne – our volunteer programme advisor.

Peru was the only country on our volunteering list that I hadn’t visited, so in September I set off to South America to put this right.  Our project here is in the Amazonian rainforest and I made no secret of the fact that I was apprehensive about going there – how would I cope with the heat, the humidity and most importantly the huge variety of insects I knew I would find there?  Well . . . . . IT WAS A GREAT TRIP!

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Everyone who already knows me (Kate) will also know that I have a bit of a reputation for being something of a pedant



(!), so I thought I’d start this post with a definition of ‘media’:

“Communication channels through which news, entertainment, education, data, or promotional messages are disseminated.”

Well – that certainly explains the buzz at our latest people and places social event, when there was plenty of communication among previous and future volunteers, local partners, and us!


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We’ve been working with Calabash since the very beginning of ‘people and places – responsible volunteering in 2005 … this is why !

mutual learning, sharing, hugging!

mutual learning, sharing & appreciation!




and here’s a link to their end-of-year newsletter, packed with positive stories of achievements and ongoing community development.


responsible volunteering - that’s what Calabash & people and places believe in … and that’s how we work! read more below …

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The project where our volunteers work in Siem Reap, Cambodia, celebrates 6 years of hard work …

sustainability through education

supporting children and families



Read about their development and achievements here - Happy Birthday Grace House

Love this opening sentence: “Grace House was 6 years old on the 7th November but due to the Water Festival we did not celebrate until 20th …”

At people and places, we always encourage volunteers to ask questions

Some people find asking questions easier than others … but asking the questions and assessing the answers is VITAL when starting to think about options to volunteer abroad, and helps volunteers to make informed decisions.

Q&A may be in person, by phone or in writing …

So, to show what I mean, I’m going to share some recent email questions with you – AND – my answers !

ask the questions - get the answers

ask the questions – get the answers

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We want to say a huge thankyou to everyone of our volunteers, past present and future,

And here’s a little tune we hope you enjoy