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Author: Dianne Ashman

What have some of our volunteers been up to in the last few months?

What have some of our volunteers been up to in the last few months?

Nicola in Cambodia Working in a busy NHS department, with the additional pressures of Covid I was at a point where I was losing my enthusiasm and enjoyment in my role as an A&E nurse. I knew I needed a ‘refresh’ and felt it was a good time to stop and reflect.  I volunteered at Treak Community Centre – my brief was to provide support to teachers with an emphasis on providing practical guidance for health and hygiene for both…

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Update from Morocco – temporary houses are open and e-volunteering resumes

Update from Morocco – temporary houses are open and e-volunteering resumes

It is only 3 months since the devastating earthquake struck the High Atlas region of Morocco, destroying homes, schools and the entire infrastructure of the area.  The town of Asni, location of 4 of the Education for All (EFA) boarding houses supported by our volunteers, was badly very damaged and the small town of Talaat n’Yakoub, location of the other 2 EFA houses, was completely destroyed. When we published our last newsletter in September the earthquake had only just happened…

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Congratulations to our partners in Cambodia – 540.6 km cycled to raise funds for the centre

Congratulations to our partners in Cambodia – 540.6 km cycled to raise funds for the centre

2023 was the fourth occurrence of the Treak Trek – an annual sponsored bike ride around Cambodia which raises money for the school, is a fantastic team-building experience for the staff, and a great opportunity for international cooperation as they are joined on the ride by friends and supporters from various countries around the world. ‘2023 was by far the best Treak Trek yet: financially undoubtedly, but also for the friendships forged, for the messages of encouragement we received, and…

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The best placements are when one friend introduces another

The best placements are when one friend introduces another

In November 2022 volunteer Zara went to Cambodia to volunteer at Treak Community Centre. Zara works in the publishing industry so her placement focused on reading – the activities she did were based on instilling a love of books in the children and she ran a parents’ workshop on helping your child to read at home. On her return to the UK Zara talked to her friend Aimee, who also works in the publishing industry, about what she had been…

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Urgent request – we need a volunteer who can teach children to swim

Urgent request – we need a volunteer who can teach children to swim

This is one of our favourite photos on our website (taken in 2013). The little boy looking at the book is named Robert – he attended Mary’s Little Lambs School until he was 11 years old and those of you who have volunteered there may remember him – I know Yvonne (the volunteer reading the story to him) does. Recently we heard that Robert has tragically died, along with four of his friends. They drowned. Culturally children in The Gambia…

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A great opportunity for girls from the Morocco boarding houses

A great opportunity for girls from the Morocco boarding houses

The Education for All boarding houses (where many of our volunteers work) are not just about enabling girls to go to school and get their qualifications. They are also about preparing the girls for life and for work, giving them the skills and confidence to become independent women. Here is a great initiative from the travel industry to support them in this aim. From the Education for All newsletter: Hays Travel Internships start this Summer We are so excited to…

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Creating work for local women and allowing children to go to school

Creating work for local women and allowing children to go to school

Here’s a great new initiative by Treak Creations, the new social enterprise linked to Treak Community Centre in Cambodia. Treak Creations is run by Salin, the manager of Treak Community Centre – it is a community-based programme which creates work and training opportunities for women from Treak Village. Their first focus has been sewing, making garments to sell both locally and online – take a look at their website to see some of their beautiful creations. One of the things…

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Volunteer Paul explains the importance of doing your research for an ethical volunteer organisation

Volunteer Paul explains the importance of doing your research for an ethical volunteer organisation

My goal in coming to The Gambia was to contribute altruistically to a legitimate cause with a reliable organization. After years of long hours and stressful grafting as a chef and consultant in fast paced kitchens, I felt it was time to step aside for a little while and try to decompress. I’ve always had a keen interest in politics, international development, and travel. In recent years I’ve started volunteering in London and found it extremely rewarding. With those things…

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Women’s empowerment volunteer programme 12 months on

Women’s empowerment volunteer programme 12 months on

We are proud of the work done by our partners in the Gambia at ITTOG (Institute for Travel and Tourism in the Gambia), by the women of the No Woman Left Behind Association, and by our volunteers – this has led to really substantial progress in this women’s empowerment programme over the last 12 months. One year ago Sallie and I visited the Gambia and saw this programme in its early stages. Our partners had obtained funding to provide training…

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Calling all healthcare volunteers – new volunteering opportunities

Calling all healthcare volunteers – new volunteering opportunities

We are always keen to add more opportunities for healthcare volunteers to our list of projects we support. So, when I was visiting The Gambia in February, I was very interested to hear from our local partner that Bijilo Medical Center is looking for volunteers to work alongside local staff and help them develop their skills in a variety of areas of healthcare. Bijilo Medical Center (BMC) is a non governmental health facility with the goal of providing comprehensive and…

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