Time to say Thank You

Time to say Thank You

It’s not possible!!!

It is 5 years since our first volunteer returned from the very first placement we arranged. Kate and I thought this was the ideal opportunity to say a big thank you to all the people who have supported people and places. We can’t name everyone individually – so if you are not personally named – we still say THANKYOU!”

So here are our BAFYA ‘s (Blooming Amazing Five Year Awards) 

The Silver BadgerProfessor Harold Goodwin – for his wisdom and pessimism (Kate and I need bringing down to earth often! Harold is our co founder and non-exec chair of our advisory committee)


The Platinum Pal – joint winners Paul Miedema our partner in Port Elizabeth


and Marnie and Jeremy Stafford our partners in Gauteng

Jeremy and Marnie with Pastor Peter

Paul, Marnie and Jeremy were our very first partners – who guided us from the outset.

Highly commended – all our other local partners. The work you guys do is humbling – it’s a joy (really!!!) to work with and learn from you.

The Velvet Volunteer – jointly to  Nick Leader who was that first volunteer and has since volunteered 3 times with us and  recently talked his wife Jill

Jill Hari Nick

into joining him on his latest trip to Nepal – Anything to do with his gorgeous co volunteer Lorraine last year in India Jill?

and Dianne Ashman – who has volunteered with us in The Gambia and India – and now –  bless her –  has visited the new education project in Morocco and is visiting Cambodia and Thailand in May. Dianne has agreed to serve on our advisory committee and is already invaluable, as a professional educator, in helping us support the education projects.

Dianne and Lisong

Highly Commended – each and every one of the hundreds of volunteers – all of you have made a difference – your stories have been inspirational – you, together with the projects, are the heroes of our story.

The Golden Geek – jointly to Kerry and Dan the guys who designed our website and our clever administration system that enables Kate and me to work wherever we are in the world (internet connection allowing – YEH!)…and answering all the silly questions we ask with such good humour.


The Brilliant Blogger – jointly to Bob and Penny Wolfson

Bob and Penny

and the Kugler family for inspirational and honest accounts of volunteering.

Larry Nomthle and Eileen

Highly commended – all our volunteer bloggers – take a look at the right hand panel on the home page of this blog to see a list of all those we know about – and please send us any we are missing!

Marvellous MotherMiki our homestay host in Port Elizabeth – Miki has supported us from the very beginning.

Highly commended – all our homestay, guesthouse and hotel hosts – the friendly support and peaceful havens you give our volunteers are so important for the success of the programme.
The Inquisitive Idealist – Jenn Bobbin – who did the independent audit we are so proud of – thanks Jenn – it’s a great initiative – it has certainly helped us identify where we need to improve.

Power to the People – joint winners – every one of the local project staff – heroes who work for nothing or little, under hugely challenging conditions.

Kids from Chitardai school representing all the projects!

Their welcome and friendship for the volunteer programme is extraordinary – without exception all our returned volunteers say that they gained more than they gave. A volunteer says it better than us – read it here

And finally

Unsung Hero – jointly awarded to Nigel Pegler and Nick Chaffe

Nigel started the Bokamosa Bike Project in Mapoch. He is the volunteer editor of this newsletter (bet we have problems getting this by him!) – that entails sorting, sifting and loading tons  of information – and then emailing it all out – manually, cos we are too mean to pay for an automatic mailing programme! Nigel has supported us at just about every show or exhibition we have done, although pathologically shy he gives talks to anyone who will listen about people and places – he is always cheerful and never says “no” when we ask for his help – and as if that weren’t enough he is off to The Gambia in August to volunteer with GIG – “thank you Nigel” just does’nt cover it.

Chris and Nigel

Nick Chaffe is the Director of  TravelPledge – he is a volunteer – unpaid – he gives up huge chunks of his spare time to manage and develop TravelPledge. TravelPledge now manages all people and places volunteer donations together with the charitable giving of many other travel industry organisations. It really is not easy giving other people’s money away, ethically and transparently – Nick has worked incredibly hard on systems and audit trails – the complication is the lack of capacity within the projects to report accurately or on time! Read the latest TravelPledge report here

It is difficult to overestimate Nick’s contribution to people and places and our core values of transparency and sustainability. Kudos Nick.

and finally….no really, finally

The Life Saver Award ….   A well known supermarket chain for their cheap and cheerful Cava – without which there would definitely be no people and places – because Sallie and Kate would be unable to function without the knowledge that a glass awaits at the end of the working day!!

Cheers and heres to the next 5 years!

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