In Maliana, where Palms has had three volunteers working over the last four years, the partner commented very enthusiastically, that the approach of Palms volunteers was noticeably different to other volunteer sending organisations.
Her observations, and experience in working with a few different volunteering organisations had led her to an understanding, that because Palms volunteers do not only focus on ‘capacity building’, but see the importance of ‘building relationship’ as equally important, that Palms volunteers were in less of a hurry to achieve ‘outcomes’ within a short time-frame.
She concluded that this approach allowed the transfer of skills to happen more easily and over a longer period of time. She had also observed, that as our volunteers come with ‘less’ money, and are encouraged to utilise the resources that exist within the organisation or community, highlighting ‘strengths’ that already exist, a sense of acknowledgement and respect for what the organisation had already achieved is created.
Leanne Hayes, who is working with Balibo Community Learning Centre, provided the following endorsement:
“I had dinner with the nuns last night and they were singing your praises. They wanted to know all about the xefe (that’s you Christine) and said that you are a good and beautiful person. And “Mr Barry” definitely won them over, they enjoyed talking about all the things you said, how funny you are and that they are looking forward to you coming back with your children.
“Thanks again to you both for taking the time to speak with me, listen to me and answer my questions. While I do talk to Heather sometimes and email you, Christine, it was great to be able to talk through some of my experiences/observations with you. I know you both have a great deal of experience in this area and I really value your comments, insights and advice.
“You’re a good team and your personalities really complement one another so I felt very comfortable talking openly with you both and enjoyed catching up.”