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Author: Dianne Ashman

It’s a hard life being programme advisor for people and places – I’m just back from beautiful Saint Lucia!

It’s a hard life being programme advisor for people and places – I’m just back from beautiful Saint Lucia!

Saint Lucia – what a stunning place to volunteer!  And there are several rewarding projects we support there, requiring a range of different skills, which enables us us to match volunteers to projects where they are really needed. I was last in Saint Lucia in 2013, right at the start of our volunteer programme there, so a return visit was long overdue.  I was delighted to go back and spend time with our local partner, Nova.  Together we visited all…

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Gill and Mandy-their volunteering experience at Treak , Cambodia

Gill and Mandy-their volunteering experience at Treak , Cambodia

Gill and Mandy have recently returned from their placements in Cambodia.  This is what they told us. We were known as Teacher Mandy and Teacher Gill (although we are both nurses) and we led teaching Yoga to most classes in the library. We did this to a story – We are going on a bear hunt and Yoga actions complemented this story and encouraged active learning of English. Both children and staff enjoyed the experience as did we and we…

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a Royal visit to the project we support in Morocco . . . and an MBE for one of our local partners!

a Royal visit to the project we support in Morocco . . . and an MBE for one of our local partners!

On February 24th the Duke and Duchess of Sussex visited two of the Education For All boarding houses in Morocco.  This was a day of great excitement for the girls, the house mothers and everyone else associated with Education For All.  Dressed in traditional Berber clothes some of the girls sang to welcome Harry and Meghan, they were offered delicious Moroccan cakes and pastries, and one girl was chosen to paint a henna tattoo on Meghan’s hand, a traditional practice…

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Learning from Cor and his work in The Solomon Islands

Learning from Cor and his work in The Solomon Islands

by Dianne – Volunteer Programme Advisor We are always learning . . . all sorts of people provide us with useful insights about volunteering in other countries and other cultures and about the issues we discuss in our campaigns.  In the last couple of years I have got to know Father Cornelis Hooijmaijers a Catholic priest, originally from the Netherlands but who worked for 56 years of his ministry in the Solomon Islands – since his retirement Cor has come…

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good news – we can now place a wider range of volunteers in Morocco

good news – we can now place a wider range of volunteers in Morocco

A few weeks ago I went to Morocco to visit the project we support there, the Education For All boarding houses for girls, the project recently visited by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as described in an earlier article in this newsletter.  I had not been there since 2011 and wow! – what amazing progress has been made in the intervening 8 years!  I thought I had kept up to date with developments there through reading their newsletter, but…

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

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

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…

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

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

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

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working to make our support for volunteer projects worthwhile and sustainable

working to make our support for volunteer projects worthwhile and sustainable

One of our core values at people and places is to make sure that the work our volunteers do is of real use to the communities where we work and forms part of an initiative that can and will be continued after the volunteer goes home.  We are determined to avoid the kind of volunteering where someone goes into a community with an idea we think is good but which is in fact irrelevant to the way things work in…

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be careful what you share on social media-you might unknowingly break the law!

be careful what you share on social media-you might unknowingly break the law!

This is a cautionary tale. Sharing images of abuse, even when the goal is to question those images and promote best practice, could be a criminal offence in the letter of the law. Recently I (Dianne) was sent a video via social media by someone who works at one of the projects we support.  The film showed shocking scenes of violence towards children.  It was sent to me with the best of intentions by someone with whom I had have…

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

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

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…

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