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Author: Dianne Ashman

What makes a good volunteer – the myths and the reality

What makes a good volunteer – the myths and the reality

Myth 1: To be a good volunteer you need to be a teacher It depends what you mean by teaching!  All skills-sharing involves an element of teaching – for example in the last few weeks I have taught a friend how to do a new knitting stitch, been taught by another friend how to fertilize my courgette plants so I get fruit rather than just flowers, and been taught by my brother how to top up the pressure on my…

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One location – different ways to volunteer!

One location – different ways to volunteer!

Mary’s Little Lambs is a nursery and lower basic school in The Gambia.  The Principal, Lisong Bah, also works at national level in The Gambia to run training courses and provide training materials for parents and teachers of pre-school-age children.  people and places volunteers have worked with Lisong for many years – this is how our volunteers have supported Lisong and MLL in the last few months. To see how you could help on this project take a look here…

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Volcanoes to viruses – all taught by e-volunteers at Treak Community Centre

Volcanoes to viruses – all taught by e-volunteers at Treak Community Centre

Two volunteers with very different backgrounds – one a young engineer, the other a retired GP. One had already travelled to Cambodia to volunteer at Treak Community Centre (TCC), the other had a placement planned there which had to be cancelled because of the pandemic. Both determined to use their skills to work as e-volunteers to help teachers from TCC develop their skills and knowledge and help them with their own online teaching. Andy’s e-volunteer placement involved activities based around…

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Could you help us put stories onto Powerpoint?

Could you help us put stories onto Powerpoint?

We have asked you previously to film yourself reading a children’s story, to be watched by children at all the schools and community centres we support.  We would now like your help to produce a different kind of story – on Powerpoint.  Click here to see the full slide show as an example: Our partners in Cambodia and The Gambia love the story videos – but they love the Powerpoint stories too and use them in a very different way. …

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Could you run an online book club?

Could you run an online book club?

Do you enjoy reading and discussing the books you have read with friends?  Are you one of the many people who have held your book club meetings online during lockdown?  If so, you could be just the person we are looking for! Our partners in South Africa have come up with a brilliant suggestion for an e-volunteer placement.  They already run reading circles for their staff, and they would love to meet a volunteer who would link up with them…

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e-volunteers at work

e-volunteers at work

Just like a traditional volunteer placement, e-volunteering covers a wide range of formats – anything from making a simple to story video to a 12 week link-up with local people to share your skills. Listen to some of our e-volunteers talking about the work they have done. If you are interested in an e-volunteer placement take a look here: https://e-volunteer.co.uk/

online volunteer socials – a real success

online volunteer socials – a real success

We have always held regular volunteer socials – a way for volunteers to meet us, each other and any of our local partners able to attend. But what to do during lockdown? Like everything else, we decide to move our social events online – and what a successful move this turned out to be! ‘A very positive afternoon.  It achieved what it set out to do, allowing those familiar with the projects to delve a little deeper and express their…

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e-volunteering -a solution during the pandemic and an opportunity for years to come

e-volunteering -a solution during the pandemic and an opportunity for years to come

The start of the vaccine roll-out!  Of course, like everyone else, we are delighted and keeping our fingers crossed that all goes to plan and volunteers can start travelling again later this year.  But that certainly will not mean the end of our e-volunteer programme. When we started creating opportunities for people to volunteer from home during 2020 it was of course in response to the pandemic – could we find a viable and useful way for volunteers to offer…

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e-volunteering is not “virtual”- it’s volunteering for real!

e-volunteering is not “virtual”- it’s volunteering for real!

It’s January, the time of year when many people’s minds turn to travel plans – maybe a holiday – or maybe a volunteer placement!  At the moment many people are ‘travelling the world’ via their computer screens – and you can volunteer in this way too without leaving the comfort and safety of your own front room. Visiting a tourist destination by viewing it online could accurately be described as ‘virtual travel’ – there’s no physical travelling involved.  Similarly an…

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I’m thrilled to bits – I’ve seen how much the children enjoyed and learned from my video

I’m thrilled to bits – I’ve seen how much the children enjoyed and learned from my video

A couple of weeks ago I decided to fill an idle couple of hours on a rainy Sunday afternoon filming a video which we could send to the education projects supported by people and places volunteers.  Quite a lot of volunteers have contributed to this initiative – we have videos of stories, demonstrations of simple Science experiments, even a walk round a farm to show children the animals.  But so far we didn’t have a video of a volunteer actually…

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