Archive for the 'project news' Category

local partners talk about our volunteers

Monday, December 17th, 2018

We love hearing from local partners about our volunteers and their work … below are some recent updates from Treak in Cambodia and Hazyview in South Africa.

First of all, here’s a brief synopsis of the varied skills and experience they brought to their projects and placements: Chris, Paul & Lynne worked in Treak and Katherine in Hazyview.

Chris has worked for years in engineering and other practical projects, in the UK and overseas, as well as having coaching & training qualifications for his voluntary work with young people.

Husband and wife, Paul and Lynne, worked in the same community as Chris, though their own placements focused on their teaching skills in their own specialist subjects.

Katherine has a background in business and project management as well as being a trained counsellor.

You can read more about their various projects in the website
education & community support in Treak, Cambodia
business development support for young adults, Hazyview, South Africa

Chris with teachers Chhlat & Chhuer

Find out what our local partners say … (more…)

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

Monday, December 17th, 2018

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 primary education in the next school year – what an achievement!

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We are proud of the support some of our volunteers have given to the pre-school teachers at both of these projects, helping with teacher training and the development of games and activities to help the children learn. Both projects are run by local volunteers and help families in very disadvantaged areas, where there is little spare money for educational resources.  However the children are looked after by dedicated and caring members of staff, and the pre-school education they have received should give them a flying start at school.  We wish them all good luck!

Find out more about volunteering at these projects here and here.

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

Thursday, December 6th, 2018

Yvonne has recently returned from her second volunteering placement at Gede.  Here are some of the things she told us.

Yvonne with Patience and class 2HI

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 to see me too.  As this is a special school some of the classes are for children with multiple physical handicaps and other classes are for the hearing impaired – I was assigned to Hearing Impaired Class 2, with Patience as the teacher – I remembered her well.  Previously I had worked with teachers teaching older children but they were preparing for and taking mock exams – these are taken very seriously.  The results of these exams dictate what is taught for the rest of the school year, to help children do the best they possibly can in the final end of year exams.  Good exam results help build the children’s confidence and are used by the teachers to show parents that although their child may have a disability this does not mean they cannot succeed.  One of the school’s mottos is ‘Disability is not Inability’, a very important message in a country where disabled children are regarded as a shame and are often abandoned. (more…)

seventeen girls in Morocco – first in their families to go to university

Monday, September 17th, 2018

Very few girls from the rural communities of the High Atlas Mountains get the opportunity of continuing their education beyond primary school. Secondary schools, mostly several kilometres away in larger towns, are not accessible to them because:

  1. Their parents can’t afford to pay for lodgings or transport near secondary schools
  2. Their parents don’t have the confidence in existing facilities to entrust their daughters to be away from home.

One of the programmes we work with is Education for All in Morocco – and we are thrilled to share this news from them with you:

“We got the exam results in yesterday for the ‘A’ Level equivalent and wanted to let you know that 17 girls have passed and are University-bound! Here they are with their certificates.

“Six more will resit their exams so we expect we will have more who will pass.

“We are of course all very proud of them. They are the first in their families to go to University and therefore this will have a significant impact on their lives and their families and communities.

“Thank you for supporting us so these kind of results can happen.”

 

To learn more about how you could volunteer on this programme take a look here

To learn about how you could donate to this programme take a look here

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

Wednesday, September 12th, 2018

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 placement in that the idea for what I should do came from us at people and places rather than coming directly from the project and our local partner, which would be the normal approach. However I had visited Emmanuel several times in my role as programme advisor for people and places and knew that what I was proposing did fit in with one of the project’s stated aims on the support plan, ‘to support the staff at Emmanuel in their work with children in the crèche and preschool, helping them develop appropriate play and educational activities for the children.’ The plan for my placement was see if the curriculum project for pre-school children we helped to set up in Swaziland, which has been so successful there in raising children’s achievement and developing teachers’ skills, could usefully be transferred to Emmanuel. Although the Swaziland project is set in a rural area and Emmanuel is in the middle of one of the townships, the communities have many similarities. They are both very economically poor communities, with high levels of unemployment and ill health, largely due to the high incidence of HIV/Aids and TB, and the projects in both countries aim to provide holistic family support to vulnerable families.  In addition, the structured programme now offered in Swaziland has enabled our local partners there to use unskilled volunteer groups in a much more useful, relevant and focused way, and our hope was that if a more structured programme was offered at Emmanuel this might provide our local partners in Port Elizabeth with an additional project, focused on responsible tourism, for the school and university groups they often host. (more…)

trade not aid – we need your business skills

Friday, June 22nd, 2018

“trade not aid” we hear this all the time from so many development experts but what does it mean?

Should I volunteer abroad?

For us at people and places it’s pretty straight forward – we have worked hard to ensure that our business support programmes give the communities we work with the skills they want and need to earn money – and we all know in our own lives that thats what we need to do – it’s all about the money.

No we are not talking about fundraising – nor are we talking about grandiose business plans – we need volunteers that can share skills such as

building spreadsheets

simple cash accounting

researching opportunity and risk

building a blog

holding a meeting

making sure  my product has a place in the market ( we grandly call this marketing – but sometimes it’s as simple as is the soap my village cooperative sells the right colour for the tourist hotel we hope to supply – can we produce enough lettuce for the big restaurant or should we be building a relationship with smaller organisations

Often when we talk to potential business volunteers they are sceptical about how they can help – we need to explain that it is all about transferable skills

Here`s an example …volunteer Marvin contacted us – he is a insolvency accountant – he wanted to volunteer – he wanted to do it responsibly – he wanted to share his skills but he felt his “field” was just too narrow and inappropriate….we ( well Kate) suggested a project in The Gambia which would “turn your experience in insolvency on its head. And although it is a cliché I really liked the fact that she was able to think outside the box.”

Kate discussed with Marvin that he knew all about businesses going bust – so he knew a lot about why they went bust – so Kate said  let’s take those skills and use them to help people avoid going bust…..that’s exactly what he did in The Gambia

So please -if you have business skills we can and will use those skills….

here are a few programmes we work with that need your skills – there are lots more

Building livelihoods in The Gambia

Business development support for businesses in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Business development support for young adults in a learning centre near Kruger Park

 

 

teachers and community carers explain why they want to work with volunteers

Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

click on the videos to view

 

Mrs Rita Dyantyi from Tshume school explains why they welcome volunteers watch to the end – the children are epic!-

 

 

Watch a video by Mrs Thembekha Klaasen and Mrs Anita Hutton from Emmanuel Advice and Care Centre 

 

                                       Mr Thembalethu Hopa of Mboniselo school welcomes volunteers

 

Mr Thambo of AV Bukani School talks about how volunteers have helped his children become the NO1 readers in his area

 

to learn more about how you can support these programmes take a look here Education Support and Community Care

 

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

Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

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 you are doing, look after you and make sure you have a good time, and lots to do in your free time.

(more…)

so proud of our partners -Tiger Mountain, Nepal

Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

We are thrilled to announce that our partners at Tiger Mountain Nepal have just won a prestigious award that recognises their commitment to the environment and the communities they work with and in.

Well done and well deserved all at Tiger Mountain

To learn more about the volunteer programme we work on in partnership with Tiger Mountain – take a look here 

Fatima’s journey to school in Morocco

Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

When you watch this short video about one girl’s journey from school to her village, you will understand why we support this life changing initiative. The boarding houses are so important. (**switch on subtitles**).

 

no more words … we will let Fatima explain

but if you want to learn more about how you can support girls like Fatima take a look here.