Our first in-country volunteers since March 2020 are arriving at their placements! “Every day here is a present…”

Our first in-country volunteers since March 2020 are arriving at their placements! “Every day here is a present…”

Our volunteers are on the move again!  Our first in-country volunteer, Eva, is in Morocco, teaching mindfulness and relaxation skills to girls and house-mothers from the Education for All boarding houses.  Eva says:

Already one week has passed!!! And I’m even more excited than I was before coming here. Every day here is a present for me. Every day, not just a new experience, but many new experiences, and all of them wonderful, deep, fun, moving, special, enriching… Honestly I need a lifetime to digest it all. People here (Latifa, Aicha, Khadija, Asma, Abdelgani, Najat… I cannot name them all!) have received me with open arms and warm hearts and made me feel one of them from the very beginning, especially the girls! They are teaching me so many things. Talking about teaching, my mindfulness and meditation sessions just started and I can see how we are all curious about them. And the place, beautiful Atlas mountains surrounding all this, I just can’t ask for anything else… well, yes, maybe a delicious tajin. But, wait a minute, I also have that! Definitely paradise exists. So I have only one more word to add: shukran!

Aicha (house-mother, Eva, and some of the girls from Dar Asni 2

Meanwhile Brinje and Kristen are on their way to Cambodia – their placement at Treak Community Centre starts next week.  Dara (head-teacher at Treak) says:

I am so excited to work with volunteers again.  I know kids and staff will have amazing improvement through their presence in my school.

We look forward to hearing all about their placements working with the children at Treak – and to receiving lots of photographs of course! Here, hot off the press, are some photos taken on their first day on their placement

Dara welcoming Brinje and Kristin to Treak

Three other volunteers, Tilly, Hannah and Zara, are also planning to leave for Cambodia very soon – it will be so good to see them arrive at Treak because their placements were originally planned for 2020 – after a 2 year delay and the intervention of a pandemic we are so pleased their placements can now finally take place.

A number of other volunteers are also dusting off their suitcases and completing the matching process to travel very soon.  These include a number of new volunteers eager to take the opportunity to make a real difference by volunteering abroad, and also some who started to work with our partners abroad as e-volunteers during the pandemic – having established great relationships with staff at the projects online they now can’t wait to meet each other in real life!

Sallie and I are also making preparations to travel again – we have our tickets booked to fly to The Gambia in the next week or so, and later in the year we also plan to visit our partners in Morocco, South Africa and Cambodia, if the pandemic and other world events allow.  These are the people we have worked with closely through the last two turbulent years, establishing the e-volunteer programme and providing mutual support for each other.  We can’t wait to see you all again – not on a screen this time!

If you would also like to get travelling and volunteering in-country again, take a look at these links to learn more about some of the projects we work with in Cambodia, Morocco, South Africa and The Gambia – education and business projects, and check out the project page on our website for more details.  We would love to hear from you.

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