Archive for the 'people and places history and info' Category

how did that happen ?! people and places-responsible volunteering is 10 years old –

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

It’s 10 years since we placed our first volunteer!     10

There’s a “curse” that many erroneously believe is Chinese –

“May you live in interesting times.”

There is a wonderful Xhosa word – “Ubuntu” – which has no direct translation into English but portrays the qualities of humanity and compassion – ‘I am because you are’.

Well, boy-oh-boy, have the last 10 years been interesting times for people and places – successes to celebrate  and challenges to overcome – boy, have we been blessed by Ubuntu!

We were going to write some clever 10 point lists (apparently people are more likely to read lists!) – but (more…)

Important message to all volunteers re a BIG email problem

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015

Gee thanks and Happy Christmas to you BT Internet!

IMPORTANT note to all our volunteers and friends who have btinternet email addresses – there is currently a big problem surrounding BT and the service it uses to filter messages – and the vast majority of our emails to btinternet email adresses are being rejected.

Please make sure you add us to your safe sender list – and if you think you should have heard from us – please email – we are getting your emails just cant respond – with either another email address or a phone number.

heavy-sigh1

 

 

We have recieved notification that manyour volunteers and supporters have not recieved our latest newsletter due to this problem  – here is the link to the latest newsletter 

planning & preparation for volunteer visitors … and then …

Sunday, December 20th, 2015

Well … “best-laid plans” and “circumstances beyond our control” combined to create an interesting volunteers’ get-together here in Faversham on 7th November!

We love our ‘people and places’ social meetings and had done as much prep as possible ahead of time so that we could enjoy our guests’ company and lots of time to talk with each other. Lists, signs and name badges had been printed off the day before; food and drinks had been purchased, and with volunteers due to arrive at 1pm, Dianne, Sallie and I (Kate) were enjoying a leisurely start to our day.

Kate

Kate

Dianne

Dianne

Sallie

Sallie

Our morning’s preparations were well-planned over coffee with final tasks allocated (planning and preparation are very important to us here at people and places, you know!) so we were feeling well and truly ready for a lovely afternoon … but then, at about 8a.m. the power went off. No worries – “this isn’t The Gambia”, we joked, “the power will be on again very soon” …

(more…)

to volunteer as a family takes even more planning – but is so rewarding

Sunday, December 20th, 2015

We love hearing from families who want to travel and volunteer together – especially as we know that, to people in the projects and communities where we work, ‘FAMILY’ is so important !

Tim, Rosalind and Millie  came along to our November meeting here in Faversham to meet us and other volunteers as they begin to make plans for their family volunteer experience in 2017, and it was so good to meet each other!

Kate had something to say ...

Kate had something to say …

 

This from Tim: “We just wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed meeting you, Harold, Sallie, Dianne, Nigel and all the volunteers. The whole session really brought to life our ideas for volunteering so we have much to think of over the next few months.”

and here’s a video of Tim, Rosalind and Millie talking with our very own Harold Goodwin.

Really looking forward to our working together !

our next volunteer social – April 23rd

Sunday, December 20th, 2015

Even as I write this, I can hear you saying “What? It’s not even Christmas yet, and you’re talking about April.”

Saturday 23rd April

Saturday 23rd April

 

Please bear with us, as there’s a very good reason: April 23rd will be our next volunteers’ get-together, and we know that your busy diaries fill up quickly after New Year, so we’re trying to beat the rush !

Lots of you know that we’ve been hosting November social meetings here in Faversham for years, but thanks to a previous volunteer’s generous offer to host a meeting for us, we’re now delighted to invite you all to our spring meeting – a different season and in a different place: Val’s home in Hemel Hempstead.
Everyone who’s attended any of our previous social meetings knows how useful it is to get together with other volunteers and talk about their experiences and the realities of volunteering overseas, and these informal occasions are always thoroughly enjoyable.

As previous volunteer Bob wrote:
“I was able to talk directly to the staff and to people who had been  before.  These conversations were very helpful.  I also met another volunteer who would be in the school at the same time … so a potential ‘team’ identity was established.”

So, whether you’ve already volunteered with us or you’re thinking about the possibilities of volunteering in the future, you will be welcome to come along.

We’ll send full details early next year, but meanwhile, please let us know whether you will be planning to join us for a spring afternoon in Hemel Hempstead.

As you’ll understand, Val will need a good idea of how many people to expect, so please
email: kate@travel-peopleandplaces.co.uk – by 20th February. Thanks.

We look forward to another opportunity to meet and hope to hear from you soon!

orphanage volunteering – there is a better way

Sunday, December 20th, 2015

In November Sallie paid a flying visit to Bangkok to participate in an important child protection workshop.

Sallie far right( and Paul back row far left) attend child protection workshop

Sallie (far right) and Paul (back row far left) attend child protection workshop

(and our local partner Paul from Calabash Tours in Port Elizabeth was there – so an additional treat!)

Volunteering in orphanages is a hugely popular way for many to “give back” but child protection experts have been telling us for some years that there are many dangers in this well meaning practice. A whole “industry” – that would horrify well-meaning volunteers – has grown from this desire to work with orphans.

To learn more take a look at the links at the end of this post

We at people and places are passionate about child protection and we have listened and learnt a huge amount from child protection and child rights experts – so we have been advocating against volunteering in orphanages for a number of years.

We are therefore very pleased and proud to be involved with an initiative that seeks to highlight these issues and help a greater understanding of the issues involved.

The Better Volunteering Better Care Network is an initiative supported by Oak Foundation and the Human Dignity Foundation, and led by actors in the child protection sector, to better understand the issues associated with international volunteering in residential care centres –  aiming to  discourage international volunteering in residential care centres whilst promoting ethical volunteering alternatives supporting children and families.

 people and places were invited to participate in the network due to our internationally recognised role in campaigning for and managing responsible volunteer travel  – and our contribution to the debate on volunteering in residential care centres. Sallie is a member of the steering group

BVBCN

 

Much has been written on the potential harm caused by orphanage tourism

The Better Volunteering Better Care Network 

Better-Volunteering-Better-Care-research-and-articles

http://www.nextgenerationnepal.org/File/The-Paradox-of-Orphanage-Volunteering.pdf
UNICEF 
Orphanage tourism: Who are foreign volunteers actually helping?
‘Making mistakes with people’s lives’: the ethics of orphanages and voluntourism

Better Child Protection

for an example of volunteer programmes that work to keep children in families – a better alternative to orphanage volunteering in our opinion –  take a look here

If you would like to talk with us about this issue or learn about how you can volunteer to help keep children in families please do email

sallie@travel-peopleandplaces.co.uk


Sallie and Adama talk about being changemakers

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

Sallie and Adama ( our partner in The Gambia) were asked to talk about their  experience of and advice for change  at a recent conference.

( Adama goes first and Sallie is last at about 43 minutes in)

Watch it here

 

Sallie and Adama

Sallie and Adama

volunteer meetings without Kate or Sallie – SHOCK! – you can do it too!

Friday, July 17th, 2015

By Dianne

dianne

Whenever we have a people and places social, people always comment on how well we all get on with each other and what a lovely group of people our volunteers are.  Last summer we held the social at my home in West Dorset, and this gave those of us who live in the south west an opportunity to get to know each other and to share contact details.  Since then, a number of us have met up socially, usually in twos or threes, sometimes at someone’s house but more often, as in this picture, at one of our favourite coffee shops.  We do talk about our volunteering experiences of course, but we find we have many other things in common and it’s really just a great chance to socialise with other like-minded people.

We are wondering whether those of you who live in other parts of the country would also like to be put in touch with other people and places volunteers who live in your area.

We would not, of course, share your contact details with other volunteers without your permission, but it may be that you too would like the chance to meet up with others who live near you to share your experiences and to socialise.  We would be happy to create a list of regional contact details for those of you who would like this, and I would be happy to facilitate a first meeting in local areas to get this off the ground.  If you would like us to share your contact details with others who live near you please either post a comment or email me at dianne@travel-peopleandplaces.co.uk.  I do hope some of you will take part in this – it’s a great way to make new friends!

PS our next volunteer social where Kate and Sallie will be present is detailed here – it’s in November, please let us know ASAP if you plan to come.

Congratulations to Kate and Harold

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

WOW!kate and Harold wedding ceremony

Look what  Kate, our Volunteer Programme Director and   Harold our Co-Founder and   Non Exec Chair went and did last Friday!

It was a well kept secret – you should have seen everyones faces at their annual summer party….when Kate mentioned “my husband and I”

What fun!!!!!!

wedding cake

latest news from Nepal post earthquake

Friday, May 1st, 2015

 

As promised, we are writing an update to our blog post  on 27th April            Nepal

News is still very sketchy as you can imagine –

but below is the latest we have and also details of how you can donate –

– if you wish

– thanks to all of you who have asked.

 

We have talked with our partners in Nepal and the suggested charities for donations have come from them –  they and we  trust that these mechanisms are the best way to ensure they recieve funds ASAP.

 

 

Shermethang and Yangrima School

The village has been devestated and only yesterday did real assistance reach them – through childreach international – thier incountry director is one of Nima’s brothers and he with Nima was one of the founders of Yangrima – read a very  recent article about him here .

There are a number of photos of the state of Yangrima on our Face Book page these are just a few

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Tshering posted this today May 1st on his Face Book page

“This is Yangrima school in my hometown – Shermathang. The school was closed for 8 years because of the civil war. I promised my people that I would do anything to re-open the school. I was fortunate to started working for Childreach International to raise fund and managed to re-open the school 6 years ago. I was in tear in the first day we re-opened, I was in tear because of villager’s smile, I was in tear seeing children runing around the school yard. This place is not only dear to my heart. It is where my soul lay,it was the reason why I wanted further education, it was the reason why I am who I am today. My heart broken seeing everything we done all gone in a flash. BUT – WE WILL REBUILT THIS SCHOOL, AND MANY OTHER SCHOOLS THAT HAVE COLLAPSED. Like what I promised to people of my village many years ago, today, I promise I will do whatever it take to make this school rise again !”

Nima recommends that you donate to childreach at the moment ( he is unsure when Yangrima will be able to access funds through thier own account. ChildReach has worked closely with Yangrma for a number of years and Tshering is the In Country Director. Childreach is on the ground giving emergency support

click here to donate https://www.childreach.org.uk/fundraise-nepal

If ,however, you would like to donate directly to Yangrima you can donate here – and Yangrima will access the funds as soon as they can – they will need a lot of help rebuilding

Naxal

The orphanage has been seriously damaged but all the children are safe. Dot Coupe ( a long term visitor and volunteer at Naxal is in Kathmandu with the children of Naxal – she was there when the earthquake happened and has stayed on.

The  children….and Dot….. have been sleeping under tarpaulin and even studying!

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You can read an interview – post earthquake with Dot here 

Dot and other volunteers have been fundraising for a new premesis for Naxal and they are nearly at their target – Naxal have asked, if you wish to donate, that you support this initiative – they have found the property – it is safe .

You can donate to Naxal here

 

Tiger Mountain and Amar Jyoti,

Here we have good news! There is no damage at Tiger Mopuntain and no damage at Amar Jyoti  to Amar Jyoti  – but Marcus tells us that Thuloswara village ( home to some Amar Jyoti children) has had  houses destroyed  – so although Pokhara appears to have been very lucky, many  families in the country around Pokhara are homeless and safety  is the most important issue given that the rains are only a few weeks ago. He has asked that if you wish to donate you donate to https://www.shelterbox.org/donate.php

 

Samata

We have heard little news but we do know that it was not a school day – so very few children were at school and the bamboo ensured protection. In fact  Uttam has opened the Samata schools as a refuge to those that have lost thier homes.

If any volunteers have managed to make contact please do let us know – you know at the best of times Uttam is not easy to contact!

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SocialTours

Raj and the Social Tours team are working tirelessly to help people in remote areas find shelter – Raj has set off today to Gati to deliver emergency aid including tarpaulins

If you would like to support Social Tours work please follow this link – again due to lack of clarity about when they can access  funds he has asked that you pledge funds and they will contact you when they have clarity.

Here is the pledge form

If you have even limited computor skills and you want to help but do not know how this is a wonderful initiative – where you can help with some time at your own computer 

There will be many many displaced children during this tragedy – we highly recommend supporting Next Generation Nepal – we know them personally and thier work is so important – they work to keep children in Nepal out of orphanages and in thier families and communities. They are a small NGO – the work will be huge – if you can spare a few pounds for them too it will be well used. Donate to them here

Finally – thankyou everyone – for all your support.

please follow us on faceBook to keep up to date – we try to post when and as we have news

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Responsible-volunteering-people-and-places/109179132471692