In this issue of Palms Post we celebrate some new beginnings. We have the joy of working again with people experienced in implementing Palms mission. We also need to consider how Palms will continue to encourage new beginnings in future.
Working with those who come to Palms means staff get to work with the most courageous, adventurous and generous people. The ones who come back to do it again are the true pilgrims prepared always for new beginnings. As you read the first stories of their new placements I think you will appreciate the immediate benefits to a receiving community.
The benefits are not confined to the receiving community. I expect you as a reader might be inspired, as I was, by the way our pilgrims value embracing new beginnings when the accepted wisdom of our culture suggests we seek comfort and avoid risk. Also, the demands on Palms are less.
Placements still need scoping, but like a second year in placement, a second placement requires no recruitment, less preparation and less call on the phone, text, email and Skype counselling Christine can be called on to do from pre-departure through to the end of the first year.
The receiving community does still have the cost of hosting the volunteer and many need assistance with this. When you read about those doing a second placement you might consider how you can help the communities to cover the cost of accommodation and a small living allowance. As AusAID has decided that the Pilot Volunteer Fund will be discontinued Palms ability to support new beginnings for the many communities requesting our volunteers will need most generous donors.
Yes new beginnings have a way of coming to us whether we seek them or not. If the richness of Palms vision and values is to be realised into the future we too need to heed the prophetic message of the individual volunteers so willingly embracing their new beginnings.
Below is a letter I have written to the Foreign Minister. The slimest chance of reversing AusAID’s decision only exists if Mr Carr’s office registers many calls of support for this letter.
Also, completing the enclosed membership form will give the staff the confidence to continue their good work and a generous donation before the end of this financial year will give us the capacity to send volunteers in 2014.