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Author: Dianne Ashman

ready for school – local volunteers and our volunteers make a difference

ready for school – local volunteers and our volunteers make a difference

It’s the end of the school year in southern Africa.  At the Emmanuel Advice Care Centre in Port Elizabeth and at the Neighbourhood Care Points in Swaziland many children are finishing their time at pre-school and are excitedly looking forward to starting school in January.  One of the high points of their last few weeks at pre-school has been their graduation ceremony. We have just heard from our partners in Swaziland that 113 children have graduated and will be entering…

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Gede Special School, Kenya – such a lovely place to volunteer!

Gede Special School, Kenya – such a lovely place to volunteer!

Yvonne has recently returned from her second volunteering placement at Gede.  Here are some of the things she told us. On my first morning Ken (our local partner) took me to the school to meet the head and look around the new buildings – the school has expanded a lot since I was last there in 2014.  Most of the staff were still there from my previous visit – it was lovely to see them again and they seemed pleased…

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working to make our support for volunteer projects worthwhile and sustainable

working to make our support for volunteer projects worthwhile and sustainable

One of our core values at people and places is to make sure that the work our volunteers do is of real use to the communities where we work and forms part of an initiative that can and will be continued after the volunteer goes home.  We are determined to avoid the kind of volunteering where someone goes into a community with an idea we think is good but which is in fact irrelevant to the way things work in…

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be careful what you share on social media-you might unknowingly break the law!

be careful what you share on social media-you might unknowingly break the law!

This is a cautionary tale. Sharing images of abuse, even when the goal is to question those images and promote best practice, could be a criminal offence in the letter of the law. Recently I (Dianne) was sent a video via social media by someone who works at one of the projects we support.  The film showed shocking scenes of violence towards children.  It was sent to me with the best of intentions by someone with whom I had have…

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back to Port Elizabeth as a volunteer – not as p+p’s programme advisor!

back to Port Elizabeth as a volunteer – not as p+p’s programme advisor!

Emmanuel Advice Care Centre in one of the Port Elizabeth townships is a project people and places volunteers have been supporting for many years now.  I (Dianne) was last there in October 2017 in my role as programme advisor, but that did not give me enough time to do any meaningful volunteering work myself, so I returned this spring for four weeks as a volunteer.  Here is my report. Placement outline This placement was slightly different to a normal volunteer…

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volunteer socials – “everyone…so helpful and enthusiastic”

volunteer socials – “everyone…so helpful and enthusiastic”

A good time was had by all at our recent volunteer social, held at Leicester University.  New volunteers were able to chat to people who have volunteered in the past, hear about their experiences and learn about what it is really like to be a volunteer on one of the projects we support.  People who had volunteered together years ago were able to have a good catch up chat, and people who had volunteered on the same project at different…

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volunteer junkie

volunteer junkie

This article was written for the Leicester press just before our recent social at Leicester University. SHE’S KNOWN AS GRANDMA ALL ROUND THE WORLD Do you think volunteering in the developing world is something just for young people?  If so, you should talk to Yvonne Coulson!  Yvonne, who lives in Lutterworth, is 77 years old and has been volunteering since 2007.  In that time she has completed ten volunteer placements, in six different countries – South Africa, Nepal, The Gambia,…

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Visiting speakers – thanks to everyone

Visiting speakers – thanks to everyone

It’s hard to find a good speaker, or so I’m told by people faced with the task of booking different speakers for the social groups they belong to.  Well we can help!  A number of people who have volunteered on people and places projects, including myself, regularly give talks to different social groups such as the WI, church and U3A groups – I was once even invited as speaker (to talk about volunteering) to the local gardening club!  This is…

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Dianne’s travels in southern Africa continued . . . on to Port Elizabeth

Dianne’s travels in southern Africa continued . . . on to Port Elizabeth

My recent trip to South Africa culminated in two thoroughly enjoyable weeks spent in Port Elizabeth, working with Calabash, our wonderful local partners.  As always, they could not have been more friendly and welcoming – I immediately felt part of the team and we had a really great time working together.  Port Elizabeth is a fantastic place to volunteer – really worthwhile projects where you will spend your working day, a very supportive team to take an interest in what…

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new projects in Cambodia

new projects in Cambodia

New projects in Cambodia are on our website.  Take a look and see which project interests you in volunteering here. Siem Reap, with its close proximity to the World Heritage temples at Angkor Wat, is a popular destination for volunteers.  The projects we currently support there are two community centres, both doing fantastic work at providing education, training and community support for some of the poorest villages around Siem Reap.  They provide worthwhile and enjoyable placements for volunteers who have…

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