Archive for the 'people and places in the news' Category

volunteering & ‘voluntourism’ – there’s a difference!

Friday, July 17th, 2015

It’s taken a while, but gradually the media is beginning to recognise and write about the POSITIVE results of volunteering, and how to achieve such results. At ‘people and places‘, we’ve always differentiated between volunteering and ‘voluntourism’ … this understanding is beginning to be expressed in the media … gradually !

people and places‘ was featured in an article in The Guardian in May … with the usual sort of headline, unfortunately … but with a far more positive sub-heading: 

matching-puzzle-pieces-sky

If volunteers are truly to help communities overseas, charities and NGOs must take the time to match their skills with the right projects”

No surprise there for us! Putting the right people in the right places is exactly what we do for each individual volunteer placement … matching is the key for volunteers and projects to benefit from their time together.

 

 

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The Guardian – positives and negatives of ‘voluntourism’

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

Seems to be a ‘media day’ …  this article in The Guardian today asks, yet again, whether ‘voluntourism’ does more harm than good …

“If volunteers are truly to help communities overseas, charities and NGOs must take the time to match their skills with the right projects,” says Matthew Jenkin, editor of Guardian Careers

mutual learning, sharing, hugging!

mutual learning, sharing, hugging!

Key word: “MATCH” …

Our own approach here at ‘people and places is – and always has been – to begin with an understanding of local need in order to match each volunteer’s skills and experience to local need. This matching process – vital in facilitating mutually rewarding and beneficial placements – takes time and is paramount!

Sallie gives a brief synopsis of our approach:

“There are a number of cultural issues – will the local community be comfortable with strangers in their midst? How will they make sure that their culture is protected and respected? They need to make sure that the recruitment organisation has devised a code of conduct and, if there are children present, a child protection policy. A needs assessment must be done.”


Read about our matching process here
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volunteering in projects abroad: how to do it well

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

Really useful tips, advice and pointers in this article to guide your research when you’re beginning to think about volunteering in projects abroad … how to find the right project for you …

tips & advice

 

 

“short-term volunteering – how to do it well”

Begin by asking lots of questions … and expect full answers !

Sallie is quoted, as is Michael, our local partner in Cambodia, where our volunteers work in this community project in Siem Reap.

Michael’s question 1: “Does the project where you’ll be working meet a real need, and is it the appropriate response to that need?”
and from Sallie: “Would I be allowed to do this work in my own country?”

“meaningful volunteer experiences”

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Great to see 3 of our volunteer programmes featured in The World Travel Guide

 12 Ethical Experiences for 2015

- and pleased to say that we are in great company!

“Despite the market being swamped with capitalist ventures masquerading as morally sound institutions, there are a number of ethically conscious organisations out there offering both beneficial trips and meaningful volunteer placements.”

worldtravelguide

 

Click here to read the full article.

You can read an article Kate was interviewed for

“Should I volunteer abroad?” – an article we contributed to

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

people and places placements director, Kate, has been interviewed by World Travel Guide for an article about the plusses and minuses of choosing to volunteer abroad …

Should I volunteer abroad?

Should I volunteer abroad?

 

 

“We believe that a carefully placed, thoroughly screened, well-prepared, skilled volunteer can – and does – have a positive impact,” says Stefanko. 

All volunteers through People and Places have to apply for a position. Then, if accepted, the volunteer is matched with a … project that can benefit from their skill set.”

 

read the full article here

LOVE receiving volunteers’ questions … and answering them!

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

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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volunteers: Go Overseas announces their “leave-a-review” contest !

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

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 !

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thanks to everyone who voted for us in the people’s choice awards

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

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.

people and places interviewed in the Daily Telegraph – about responsible volunteering

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

 

Sallie was interviewed by the Daily Telegraph recently for this piece sallie headshotSMALL

 

“Volunteering placements abroad are a popular choice for gap years, but projects need to be chosen wisely or there is a danger participants may end up doing more harm than good.

Kristina is a friendly 19-year-old from the UK, who recently went on a volunteer placement in Cambodia.

“We were told it would involve a mixture of teaching and building water pumps for rural families,” she says. “However, during the placement, only two out of the 14 of us taught English. The rest of us literally dug a road. We moved piles of dirt for six weeks – and right at the end, a digger turned up and finished it in about half an hour, which was fairly infuriating.” The voluntary placement cost £3,500.

“Voluntourism” is big business these days, with well-meaning travellers like Kristina paying thousands of pounds to spend a short time working towards a cause in another country. But how can you be sure your money (and you) will be doing any good? And, more importantly, you won’t be doing any harm?

read the whole article here 

“orphanages … part of the well-trodden tourist trail” says BBC’s Fake Britain

Sunday, May 11th, 2014

well-meaning holiday-makers [and volunteers] are being conned and are fuelling a dark industry of fake orphanages and orphans”

watch the report, from about 35 minutes into the programme click here to watch 

people and places‘ Kate Stefanko speaks out during the Fake Britain expose about volunteers naively contributing to the abuse of children.watch it here

 

“a need for more orphans … so where are they coming from?”

 

“visiting orphanages and making a donation has become part of the well-trodden tourist trail … ”

 

“well-meaning holiday-makers are being conned and are fuelling a dark industry of fake orphanages and orphans”