I had the wonderful opportunity of visiting the UK in November and attend one of the Road Shows that
was hosted in Chippenham. Sallie and Kate often say how fortunate we as local teams are, because we have direct contact with the projects we serve, as well as working with volunteers on site.
Attending a Road Show was very special though, because I was able to get a glimpse of the energy that remains with returned volunteers, and those considering volunteering. I also got an insight into how much time and effort Sallie, Kate and others like Nigel and Dianne put into this.
It was wonderful to meet past volunteers and hear from them about their experiences. It was great to meet volunteers who had volunteered in other destinations with people and places, and I really got a strong sense of the “bigness” of it all.
That afternoon in the meeting room, there was a constant buzz of energy. I could feel it. people and places has created something that many of us are passionate about, volunteers, local partners and p&p themselves.
I returned back to South Africa with warm greetings from past volunteers to our projects. Visiting the projects and telling them who I saw, what messages they had and how much energy still exists for our work was a delight.
As we move into 2013 with our School Partners (click here to read more) and Emmanuel (click here to read more) we know it’s not going to be easy. The economy remains in recession, South Africa is confronting many teething problems as an emerging democracy, and poverty and inequality still abound. But when times get really hard, we all know now, from first-hand experience that we are not alone. We are part of a global network of people who understand the importance of responsible volunteering, and who really care about the outcomes. What an eye opening experience! What a blessing!