Archive for the 'responsible giving' Category

This gift giving advice is spot on!

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

This excellent article  by Jessica Lockhart -about the dangers and challenges of gift giving was first published in Verge Magazine important advice for anyone planning to give or send gifts to thier host family, projects or friends made whilst volunteering…………….

Presents given with the best intentions can have disastrous results.

Four months after Angela McKay* returned from her volunteer placement in Fiji, she decided to send a Christmas package to her host family.

She wanted to say thanks, in some small way. While she was overseas, they had shared meals with her, helped her navigate cultural differences and most importantly, given her with a sense of family in a foreign place. Sending a care package was the very least that she could do.

After boxing up some maple sugar candies and school supplies, McKay slipped some leftover currency in the card. She was unlikely to return to the South Pacific in the near future, so she figured that it was better off in the hands of her host family.

The late night phone calls started shortly afterwards.

“My host mom began calling my parents’ house and asking for money,” she later told me. “She wanted to buy a house.”

It was months before McKay’s family was able to navigate the language and cultural barriers in order to fully explain that they weren’t in the financial position to help. But by then, it was too late—the relationship would never be the same.

Chances are that if you’ve ever visited a developing country, you’ve heard—or experienced—some version of this story. Gifts are almost always given with the best of intentions, but have the potential for disastrous results. The influx of “stuff” into a community can create a sense of dependency on international volunteers. Tension and conflict may arise when some beneficiaries receive gifts and others do not. And more often than not, the gifts that are given are not actually the gifts that are needed. (more…)

Naxal Volunteer Dot is fundraising

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Dot Coupe has now volunteered at Naxal orphanage ( read more here) three times!

As many previous Naxal volunteers know the premesis for the childrens home is very run down and is not owned by Naxal. They are working hard to raise funds to buy and build a new purpose built home for the children. A large tranche of land has already been purchased – now there is the small matter of the building!

If you would like to support Dot please read her newletter here – all her contact details are on the document.

Good luck Dot.

Volunteer videos and so much more!

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

If you haven’t already spotted out you tube channel it’s so worth a look. There are video interviews from volunteers and even Kate and Sallie.If you have videos of your time volunteering or one of the talks you have done – we know many of you talk to groups on your return from volunteering – please send them to us so we can share them.

Take a look at the YouTube videos here

Take a look at slideshare for slide shows from volunteers – again if you have a slide show to share with us please do send it to us

thanks so much to all the volunteers who have contributed to date.

Remember we are on facebook too – follow us here – here in the blog and on facebook are where we tend to post our latest news.

if you like beautiful pictures and funny visuals we are also on pinterest – follow us here

and finally we are tweeting too – follow us here

phew – so there’s lots of info out there from us – please follow us whereever you choose.

And remember if you want automatic notifications for when a new story is posted on the blog you will need to register up in the top left hand corner.

fire makes over 600 homeless –

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

The following came in from our partners Azafady in Madagascar at the beginning of this month

Fire in Amparihy

On Sunday evening at around 9pm a fire broke out in the fokontany of Amparihy. Fanned by extremely strong winds, it quickly spread from house to house and across the dry shrubs in between. People attempted to put out the fire by throwing sand on their houses and breaking a water pipe to use as an extinguisher. Two fire engines also arrived at the scene from the airport and QMM but as there were no roads leading to the houses where the fire was it was very difficult for them to access the area.

A total of 164 houses burnt down and around 640 people are now homeless.

On Monday morning delegations went from the Commune, Ministry of Population and Azafady to Amparihy to assess the damage and see what needs to be done to help those who have lost everything.

The Mayor provided some buckets and several bags of rice and other organisations are now considering their response.

Azafady are setting up a donation fund for anyone who wants to support those affected by the fire that can either be accessed through a link on our facebook site or given in person to the Azafady office in Ambinanlikely.  The proceeds from this will then be used as part of Azafady’s co-ordinated efforts alongside other partners in Fort Dauphin.

We are also collecting clothes that will be distributed to the community so these can also be dropped off at the office over the next couple of weeks.  Further updates and information will be posted on the Azafady facebook site.

Thank you for any support that you can give, for donations please go to

Lisa Bass

Director of Programmes and Operations – Azafady.

Futures Foundation, The Gambia – what a difference a year makes!

Thursday, October 27th, 2011



A long-held ambition of Gambian educator and trainer, Lisong Bah, had been to develop pre-school training for teachers and thus to provide early childhood education of real quality for her country.
To learn about the volunteer programme supporting this project click here
There had been teacher-training through Gambia College for some time, but there was no specialized training available in the field of early childhood development (ECD).
In June 2010, after years of hard work and discussions with donor organisations and national government,Lisong at last had her goal in sight. (more…)

Swaziland children’s feeding programme loses funding

Monday, September 19th, 2011

Many will have read about the crisis in Swaziland – our local partners in Swazi are stuggling but determined to continue their feeding programme –

this from All Out

“It is with great sadness that we announce that World Vision is no longer supplying the staple food for the orphaned and vulnerable children that we support at the six Neighbourhood Care Points surrounding the Ezulwini area. We have relied on their generous donations for the past year, but that has come to an abrupt end, and now we are scrambling to find solutions to this unfortunate situation.

For the short term, we desperately need your help to feed these children over the next six months while we work on a more sustainable solution. We are reaching out to all of our past and current volunteers and friends of All Out Africa – any help you can give will be 100% invested into food for these children. Can you please pass this message along to family, friends, and work colleagues?

We would like to raise $2,500 by the end of September and $10,000 by the end of December. We will not stop in this fight to feed our children and alleviate poverty in Swaziland”

As at today they have raised nearly $4000 dollars.

To learn more about the project click here

To donate contact and they will advise on the best way to help.


The professor, the police, the press and the party – all in one day!

Saturday, April 9th, 2011

Happy Birthday Responsible Tourism

Sallie writes :-

April 6 was a pretty busy day for me  – the launch of our new programme with ITC Giving ( see seperate blog also) and Harold’s (our co founder and chair of our advisory board) party to mark the 10th birthday of Responsible Tourism  in the UK. (more…)

Fresh, fresh water for Chitardai

Monday, February 21st, 2011

What  great pictures of the children at Chitardai enjoying clean water. Take a look at The Wolfsons  blog to learn more

Good drinking water for the children at Chitardai

Friday, February 18th, 2011

The water filtre bought with donations from previous volunteers is up and working! Take a look at the Wolfsons blog to read all about it – so cool –  that they are volunteering at the moment and have been able to help get it up and working.

“We need a revolution….”

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

….in philanthropy.”

One of the aspects of our work at people and places that is most sensitive is advising volunteers about how to support their projects financially on their return home….its so tough to say that investing in things is usually not effective – where investing in people nearly always is!

 I wish I had written this blog written by Daniela Papi of Pepys Tours ( an excellent responsible travel organisation)….I could not have put it better!

Here’s a taster from her blog but please read the whole thing!

“We can’t emblazon our name on a person’s forehead the way we can on a hospital building: Funded by the Smith Family. Investing in people isn’t as rewarding in the short term – you don’t see a space turn from empty to full, a building go up brick by brick, or books lining shelves. But, as we fill people with knowledge and skills, connect them to the ideas and resources they need to make the changes they want to see in the world, and create opportunities that didn’t exist before, we start to fill the real voids we have in the world: people with the skills and passion to go out and make the changes they believe in.”