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Author: Dianne Ashman

people and places present at largest responsible travel show – and UN make an important declaration

people and places present at largest responsible travel show – and UN make an important declaration

Written by Luci Gardner-O’Brien -people and places Young Professional Advisor On 18th December 2019, for the first time ever, all 193 member states of the United Nations have formally recognised that orphanages do not protect children, that they are in fact harmful and have called for them to be eliminated. This comes weeks after the WTM Responsible Tourism panel – “Child Protection – What Is Better Than Orphanages?” – that we were so proud to be a part of. The…

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working alongside Lisong – in the Gambia this time

working alongside Lisong – in the Gambia this time

In our last newsletter Lisong (from the Gambia) told us about her visit to a British nursery school run by Joanne.  This is the second episode of that story – Joanne tells us about her time volunteering at Lisong’s nursery school in the Gambia. A great example of a real two-way partnership….. ‘I was fortunate enough to meet Lisong (Owner of Mary’s Little Lambs) in August whilst she was visiting the UK and this really helped me in my preparation….

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International Teaching Volunteers Wanted – Open to All???

International Teaching Volunteers Wanted – Open to All???

This is an article I wrote recently for our blog. As an ex-teacher, I of course hope lots of people will volunteer to improve the educational opportunities for children around the world. However it is important that this is done responsibly and thoughtfully to make sure these volunteers don’t do more harm than good. The article is designed to give some guidelines – it was included in discussions by the panel looking at alternatives to orphanage volunteering at the 2019…

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volunteer story from Cambodia

volunteer story from Cambodia

We work hard to ensure that all volunteers are carefully matched to the needs of the projects where they carry out their placements.  But it is not until we get feedback from the volunteer and from the project that we really know whether or not the placement has been a success.  Volunteer Kate went to Treak Community Centre in Siem Reap in June and we were delighted to read her positive comments about her volunteering experience in the report she…

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Sharing experiences works both ways!

Sharing experiences works both ways!

We often include articles in our newsletter written by volunteers describing a visit their experiences in schools abroad. This time we are taking the opposite point of view!  Lisong is the founder and manager of Mary’s Little Lambs, a nursery and prep school in The Gambia.  Joanne is a volunteer whose skills and experience have been matched to Mary’s Little Lambs, where she will be carrying out her volunteer placement in October.  But this article does not describe Joanne’s visit…

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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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