Palms Post: March 2012

March 2012 Palms Post

An issue jam-packed with stories from the field. We’ve got updates from Fran and Carmel in South Africa; Anne, Mim and Damian in Timor-Leste; Jenny in Tanzania; and Lawrence and Edith in Uganda.

This activity in the field is reflected by the activity in the Palms office, with new staff and volunteers contributing to the strategies developed at our organisational review.

Finally we have a volunteering infographic which illustrates some of the achievements of Palms over the last 50 years, and how our stats stack up against other activities.

You can also view and download the complete March 2012 Palms Post in PDF format (1.21 MB).

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What’s that buzzing sound?

As well as strengthening our volunteer program, our new capacity must engage others so enthused in a deeper understanding of Palms. Our challenge now is to make Palms’ buzz heard beyond the office through Encounters and improved business, government and community partnerships.

Sharing food, sharing skills

When they left they made comments like how exciting it was, how it was the first-time they’d been invited to a white persons house, that no one has ever cooked for them before, how kind we were, etc. It is humbling to realise that it is the simplest of things that can make such a difference.

Growing in understanding

The nearest referral hospital is two hours (35 km!) down a bad road in a valley where access to a vehicle is difficult. The ambulance is unreliable and irregular. Despite this, we have had some positive outcomes from referring patients to the hospital.

Life is never boring

I start a teaching program with one of the local staff next week. Basically, I will be showing her how to look after the children’s health needs and to run the clinic. Olga has had some experience as a carer and over the next six months I hope she will gain the knowledge and experience to work in the clinic.

Teaching in Tanzania

I find that I like working with the little children a lot more than I expected. I am especially happy to be working with the teachers, Regina and Lucy.

From the (rice) Field

Many of the paddies were as green as green because they were full of the seedlings. The lushness of this contrasted with the mountains behind, the sea on the other side of the road and the bright colours of all the people bending down.

Sometimes it’s just about saving lives

The boy looked a lot better today, albeit still with some pallor and severe malaria, but I think he will continue to improve. I remembered thinking yesterday that this one success of saving that child’s life would make my trip here all worthwhile.

The only constant is change

As ever, Palms’ work continues and we are happy to welcome two new staff to the office. In addition, our wonderful new office volunteers have already assisted with policy revision, IT support, publications, digitising old photos (stay tuned to our website/facebook for more on this) and re-organising our office.

50 years infographic

The infographic below was first featured in Palms Post, March 2012.  A more complete infographic is available at our recent blog post.


Friendships grow between people of different backgrounds and cultures because they meet as persons, not because they share a common heritage.
Such friendships grow because we all belong to the largest group of all, the human race. - Jean Vanier