Yes, it may sound like a cliché, but when volunteers are well-prepared and their placements are well-planned, volunteering can indeed be a life-changing experience … as volunteer Nicki writes below, following her third placement:
“Volunteering in Cambodia was the most amazing experience and SO different to being at the foot of the the Himalayan mountains. I want to return to both AND see more of the world, so what on earth do I do next! I would love to see Marcus, Hari and Amar Jyoti staff again, and yesterday had an email from Siem Reap asking when I was coming home! It was so touching and a lovely email to wake up to.
“I don’t think I did Grace House or Michael (‘people and places’ local partner) justice in my post-placement report. I heaped praise on dear Deb (owner of guest house) but Michael got rather left out – I hope he knows how much I appreciated his kindness, help and support. I also failed to mention Dianne who was incredibly helpful, and ‘always there’ to answer questions about the project prior to my departure.
“I had volunteered twice previously with ‘people and places’ and again Kate and Sallie made sure that I was well prepared. When I had to postpone my planned Cambodia placement, they could not have been more understanding and sympathetic.
I knew from my very first contact with Kate and Sallie that I was in safe hands. Kate builds up close relationships with prospective volunteers, she is careful to match skills and experience to the right project, and is at the end of the phone for support and advice. You will learn about yourself and perhaps be more interested in, and more interesting to others.
“Volunteering with ‘people and places’ leaves a lasting impression and for me it was a life-changing experience – at 65.
“If in doubt, go for it!”