Archive for the 'people and places in the news' Category
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)
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:
“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.
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
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.”
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 …
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?”
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.”
You can read an article Kate was interviewed for
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 …
“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.”
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 !
Now here’s an opportunity to write a review of your volunteer placement – this just in from Go Overseas:
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.