Volunteering abroad made us friends for life

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

Read Amanda and Sophie’s story about their volunteer experience in Saint Lucia

To learn more about the project they supported – take a look here

November 4th 12.00 to 17.00

Put it in your diaries – more news in a few weeks time.

Saturday 4th November

Come and meet previous, present and co volunteers – and some of our local partners – as well as the people and places team.

A chance to learn more if you plan to volunteer – and a chance to meet old friends if you are a previous volunteer.

We have not confirmed our location yet – and we appreciate that this is important! but we wanted you to get the date in your diaries (we know you are busy people!) as soon as possible.

 

We are working in Nepal again!

As many of you know we stopped working in Nepal a few years ago – firstly because of the legal issues of volunteers needing ( almost impossible to obtain ) work permits – and then post the devastation of the earthquake we felt it was inappropriate to send volunteers

Well HOORAY we can now announce that we are working again in Nepal.

Our programme causes no problem with work permits because all our volunteers are self funding skills-share volunteers

So take a look at the projects we are working with in Nepal

Education Support

Nursery school support

Business Skills

Business support in Patan

Child development in rural Nepal

Nursery support in Kathmandu 

Community Support

 

 

 

Dianne, our Volunteer Programme Adviser, has made a number of presentations about how to volunteer responsibly – here is one that she recently gave … and it’s not a sales pitch for people and places – rather a guide to the challenges of making sure you do more good than harm when you volunteer or donate. Dianne discusses building projects, wealth creation projects, education – as well as why it’s so important to avoid orphanages, and what alternatives are available to volunteers and donors.

see the video here

 

We do not ask or expect volunteers to donate more to the project they work with, other than the initial sum detailed in their placement costs.

But we are constantly humbled by the number of volunteers and their friends and families who wish to give additional support.

We are thrilled that now we have an easy, cost effective and safe way to help with those donations.

Our sister charity, Travel Philanthropy (Charity No 1122270), now enables us to offer this opportunity for each project and community where we work.

We are working with Total Giving – a CSR initiative – no fees are charged – much more money reaches the projects than through other traditional donation sites such as Just Giving.

HOW – simply visit the Travel Philanthropy page on Total Giving

Scan down the page to find your project – click on the image – and follow the donation instruction. Each project has an individual link, so you can give that link to your family and  friends – and they can find out more about the project and donate themselves.

 

This from a volunteer whose placement in Cambodia has been confirmed:

“Thank you so much for your help and attentiveness throughout this process! I really enjoyed reading the testimonies from previous volunteers- they are very useful.”

Every now and again I feel especially proud of how we work here at ‘people and places’ … and welcome the appreciation of people we work with …
This just in from Hannah, who won’t be able to volunteer this year, but will be back !

“As you may have deduced, I have been extremely busy recently. So busy in fact that it may not be possible for me to go to Cambodia as I wished. Thank you so much for your help. Your website and guidance has been excellent. Very professional and informative. … I would absolutely go back to your website and recommend it to anyone I meet who is interested. … Best of luck with everything you have planned.
Thank you for all of your help.”

A huge thank you to everyone who has donated to Calabash Trust in Paul’s memory. We know how
important this money is to help Calabash Trust continue the work Paul started.

We appreciate that many of you reading this newsletter may want to do similar  – so here are some ways we can recommend. We know the money you donate will be used well if you use these methods.

Donate to:

Calabash Trust here

AV Bukani School here

Joe Slovo School here

Emafini School here

Charles Duna School here

WB Thsume School here

Emmanuel Community Programme here 

And of course – perhaps the greatest way you could help is to volunteer your time and skills with either Emmanuel Community Care or with the Schools Support programme in Port Elizabeth –

It has taken me some time to put pen to paper – well digit to keyboard –  to write about the horrible loss of my friend and our partner, Paul Miedema.

My first reaction was to write about the loss – huge loss – for his family and friends and colleagues at Calabash; the communities they work with; volunteers; and indeed to me as a friend and people and places as a partner – but I wasn’t comfortable with writing that way –  it took me a while to work out why.

 

Paul was – a gladiator – a huge force for good – a passionate advocate for the people he worked with – confrontational – an inspiration.

For me he was a loyal friend – a teacher – a partner – a mentor.

That’s what I want to remember – what I gained by knowing him – not what I have lost.

When Harold, Kate and I decided we wanted to develop a responsible volunteering programme Harold told me that all his experience in responsible travel led him to believe that Paul Miedema at Calabash had to be one of our first partners. I was quickly convinced……Paul wasn’t….. Read the remainder of this entry »

by Dianne

The partnership between people and places and Calabash was already well established by the time I

Dianne with Joe Slovo principal Mr. Gqunta -on her most recent visit

came onto the people and places team and one of the first visits I made in my role as education advisor was to Port Elizabeth.  Paul and I worked well together from the very start and it was immediately apparent how much Paul cared about our partnership work at the different township schools and at Emmanuel, and how committed he was to using volunteering and tourism as a force for good.

 
Paul was always my role model for what a local partner should be.  Whenever I have visited other countries to help set up new partnerships I have found myself using descriptions of the way Paul worked as examples of good practice.  Even when I was asking him to do potentially boring administrative work for us, such as updating our support plans for the projects or chasing questionnaires from the schools, he totally understood the reasons for doing such tasks.  With Paul, I feel we had a genuine partnership, all of us on the same wave-length, with each of us contributing our knowledge and ideas to the work we were doing together.

Every volunteer I have met who has volunteered in Port Elizabeth, at Emmanuel or on the Schools Support programme, has spoken very highly of the support they received from Paul and the Calabash team.  They certainly set high standards for others to live up to!  I hope Paul realised how very much he was loved and respected.

It is so hard to believe that Paul is no longer here, but I look forward to continuing to work with our partners at Calabash as we continue his work.

The way Paul conducted weekly meetings so impressed me