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Author: Kate Stefanko

caring for vulnerable children – Dianne & local partner Sarah share inspiring developments

caring for vulnerable children – Dianne & local partner Sarah share inspiring developments

This article is written jointly by Dianne Ashman, voluntary programme advisor for people and places and Sarah Corley, director of volunteer and student travel at AOA.  AOA is people and places’ local partner in Swaziland. This is the story of six Neighbourhood Care Points (NCPs) in the Ezulwini Valley in Swaziland. NCPs were first started by UNICEF to provide support and care for children whose families were struggling with poverty and the effects of the HIV/AIDs epidemic. Their over-riding aim…

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meet three teachers from Swaziland-could you share your skills with them?

meet three teachers from Swaziland-could you share your skills with them?

this from Dianne, just back from working with the NCPs in Swaziland: I would like to introduce you to three teachers from the Neighbourhood Care Points we support in Swaziland, working hard to give pre-school children the knowledge and skills they need to give them a good start at school. These teachers receive a small allowance but not a full salary – they work more or less as volunteers because they genuinely care about the children in their care.

Kenya – a return to familiar territory – this time, as volunteers !

Kenya – a return to familiar territory – this time, as volunteers !

The following extracts are from volunteer Kathy’s report following her 2 month placement at Gede House – a school for children with special needs. My son, Joe, and I decided to volunteer for different projects in Kenya this year and we were lucky enough to come across People and Places through our search for potential placements. Joe worked at Sita Community Snake Farm on a conservation placement and I volunteered at Gede Special School. The whole process and experience was…

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Dianne reports on her recent visit to our education and community volunteer programme near Kruger, South Africa

Dianne reports on her recent visit to our education and community volunteer programme near Kruger, South Africa

I have recently returned from a visit to the project we support at Hazyview, run by our local partners Good Work Foundation.  They have been developing a revolutionary model of learning for rural Africa – Digital Learning Campuses, designed to bring children and young adults from rural areas into the 21st century by showing them how to access to the world’s body of knowledge and opportunities available through digital technology. I was last at the Hazyview Digital Learning Centre in…

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Cambodia – a volunteer stresses the importance of flexibility

Cambodia – a volunteer stresses the importance of flexibility

people and places’ volunteers have so many skills and experiences to share with local communities – the following from Stephanie, an American social worker with a particular interest in nutrition. I had an incredibly wonderful experience with Treak Community Centre . I enjoyed my time immensely and was able to quickly integrate into their work in the community! The staff members at  Treak Community Centre were very supportive, kind and welcoming. During my time there, I assisted the head teacher with…

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just saying … I love my job :)

just saying … I love my job :)

Every now and again I feel especially proud of how we work here at ‘people and places’ … and welcome the appreciation of people we work with … This just in from Hannah, who won’t be able to volunteer this year, but will be back ! “As you may have deduced, I have been extremely busy recently. So busy in fact that it may not be possible for me to go to Cambodia as I wished. Thank you so much…

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Paul defined the word “authentic”

Paul defined the word “authentic”

Paul Miedema changed our lives. It is through Paul that we connected with the A.V. Bukani Primary School community, a wonderful place we now consider our second home. But Paul did more than connect us – he was our support, our mentor, our ally, and our friend. Just a few weeks ago, we had a long conversation with Paul about a possible sixth volunteer trip to Nomathomsanqa.   Paul defined the word “authentic.” He had no tolerance for BS and…

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how I became a volunteer with Paul at Calabash

how I became a volunteer with Paul at Calabash

(the following is a story from volunteer, Anke) Paul and I met more than three years ago, when he left a short message on a people and places Facebook post about my volunteer placement in The Gambia. His comment turned out to be the beginning of an exciting chapter of the lives Paul and I shared for a while as colleagues, passionate advocates for responsible tourism and social justice, co-authors, and friends. It seems appropriate telling our story through the…

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