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Author: Dianne Ashman

Promoting mental health – it’s so important……

Promoting mental health – it’s so important……

Since the pandemic there is a real need to focus on supporting people’s mental health as well as their physical well-being.  Our partners in Cambodia, at Treak Community Centre, are well aware of this.  They have introduced a personal, social and health programme for their students and Dara (the head teacher) is now working with one of our volunteers, Paul, on a programme to promote staff well-being.  Read what Dara says in a recent Facebook post: https://www.facebook.com/dara.moeun.1/posts/5039253099521160 Are you a…

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Meditation and mindfulness in the High Atlas Mountains

Meditation and mindfulness in the High Atlas Mountains

Volunteer Eva has just completed a three month placement at the Education for All boarding houses in Morocco.  The aim of her placement was to teach mindfulness and meditation to the girls and house-mothers, in particular focusing on relaxation techniques with the older girls to help them manage their stress levels in the build-up to their Baccalaureate exams.  Eva says – ‘My work was about teaching Mindfulness and Meditation skills to girls and housemothers in Asni 1, Asni 2 and…

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Talking, dancing, music, drama – just a few of the volunteer skills we need right now!

Talking, dancing, music, drama – just a few of the volunteer skills we need right now!

The places we support need volunteers with all kinds of skills – definitely not just professional skills – your hobbies and interests are just as valuable too! Here are just a couple of volunteer skills we are looking for at the moment Our partners in Morocco have recently opened a 6th boarding house for girls, which means they have a new house-mother, Naima.  Naima speaks some English (quite well considering it’s her 4th language!) but she is not as fluent…

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‘A one-of-a kind experience’ – a report from a creative writing volunteer

‘A one-of-a kind experience’ – a report from a creative writing volunteer

Otancia specialises in teaching creative writing – some of her own short stories and poems have been published in her home country of Trinidad. She is currently doing an e-volunteer placement with a group of girls in Morocco. Here is her poem about her experience A breath of fresh air (the pen has power) Journey into Morrocco, with the eager students at  Dar Al Asni Powerful girls like buzzing bees Brilliant minds and willing hands creating lines of poetry and…

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Treak Community Centre welcomes our volunteers

Treak Community Centre welcomes our volunteers

In their most recent newsletter, Treak Community Centre in Cambodia wrote: Volunteers are back in town! What a wonderful feeling to have volunteers back at school for the first time in 2 years. Brinje and Kristin from Norway are with us for 4 weeks, assisting in the classrooms and the library.  They will also run some science and PSHE sessions with our older students. e-volunteering (online volunteering) is here to stay In addition to our volunteers here on the ground,…

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We’re travelling again – back to The Gambia!

We’re travelling again – back to The Gambia!

March 18th – it was two years to the day since I was last at Gatwick Airport.  On this day in 2020 I returned from a volunteer trip to Morocco, cut short as the borders closed and the pandemic took hold, lucky to get a rescue flight home, and Gatwick was dark and deserted.  Now travel is starting to open up again and I was back at Gatwick, with Sallie this time, boarding a flight to The Gambia for our…

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Don’t want to travel? – not a problem – e-volunteering is here to stay

Don’t want to travel? – not a problem – e-volunteering is here to stay

We continue to be heartened by the wonderful work and close relationships that can be achieved through e-volunteering.  Our e-volunteers go from strength to strength and a number of them are now on their second e-volunteer placement.  Here are just a few examples to whet your appetite for this different but very worthwhile way to volunteer with a project overseas. Eileen is about to start her second online book club, working with our partners in South Africa, Good Work Foundation. …

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Our first in-country volunteers since March 2020 are arriving at their placements! “Every day here is a present…”

Our first in-country volunteers since March 2020 are arriving at their placements! “Every day here is a present…”

Our volunteers are on the move again!  Our first in-country volunteer, Eva, is in Morocco, teaching mindfulness and relaxation skills to girls and house-mothers from the Education for All boarding houses.  Eva says: Already one week has passed!!! And I’m even more excited than I was before coming here. Every day here is a present for me. Every day, not just a new experience, but many new experiences, and all of them wonderful, deep, fun, moving, special, enriching… Honestly I…

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It’s been a great year for our e-volunteers

It’s been a great year for our e-volunteers

It’s always great to hear news of our volunteers, especially when their volunteering has contributed to other achievements in their lives. An award winner: One of our volunteers was all set to go to Cambodia on her volunteer trip when Covid struck in 2020.  As part of her day job she hosts travel podcasts so during the last two years, as her contribution to e-volunteering, she has made podcasts for two of our local partners, in Cambodia and Morocco.  In…

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‘You (people and places) are the pioneers of e-volunteering!’

‘You (people and places) are the pioneers of e-volunteering!’

If a volunteer had said this to us two years ago we would not have had the slightest idea what they were talking about.  Even a year ago e-volunteering was not a fully formed concept.  At that stage we had just started working with a few dedicated previous volunteers on placements to support our partners in The Gambia and Morocco – although in both those countries schools and businesses were still closed so we could only work with staff.  We…

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