A very special part of Christine O’Halloran’s role as Palms’ Overseas Coordinator is visiting our partners and volunteers in the field. Here she sums up her recent trip to Kiribati- Over the years Palms has sent over 70 volunteers to the Pacific athol nation of Kiribati, matching requests in education, administration, health and the trades. […]
Palms Country Program Coodinator, Christine O’Halloran recently took a field trip, visiting our volunteers and partners in Timor Leste. For the volunteer, a visit by Palms staff is often a welcome change from feelings of isolation, however good their placement. These trips provide valuable support, but also produce just as valuable feedback from our volunteers and their […]
“The approach of Palms volunteers was noticeably different to other volunteer sending organisations.”
Each field visit provides the great privilege of meeting our partners and being reminded that our volunteers are only a tiny part of a long-term development story which is driven by Africans. It is a terrific reminder of what Palms Australia is all about – supporting local initiative.
Palms Australia continues to receive requests for volunteers from grass roots communities and organisations to assist build capacities across the health, education and agricultural sectors.
A recent trip to Madang and Kiunga provided many insights into the importance of our volunteers and our approach to volunteering.
Palms undertakes to visit each volunteer at least once during their placement. After each visit, the visiting representative writes a report for members, however this year we let the volunteers themselves report on the value of a Field Visit.
Seeing the assignment locations and meeting the partners firsthand allows Palms’ staff to make some difficult decisions when it comes to prioritising one placement over another when faced with limited numbers of volunteers or limited funds required to send them.
While large-scale projects – roads, mobile phone towers, mines, etc. – prided by governments and corporations, capture our attention from a distance; the small, local activities are most meaningful to people’s lives.
It is really heartening to know all the great work that is being done by inspired people with the most wonderful motives and with few resources.
Palms Australia has three volunteers currently working in Kiribati. Theresa Murphy, at St Dominic’s Pre-School/Child-Care Centre ( Sacred Heart Parish, Teaoraereke), Marlene Rasmussen at the Diocese of Tarawa & Nauru office (Teaoraereke), and Helena Charlesworth at Sacred Heart High School (Bikenibeu).