Solidarity Volunteering: Strong Relationships, Mutual Development

50 years infographic

50 years infographic, click for a larger image.

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

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.

Sometimes it’s just about saving lives

Fr Tom, Lawrence and Edith in their down-time, walking to Sipi falls

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.

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.

Teaching in Tanzania

Regina, Jenny and Lucy

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.

Life is never boring

A White Rhino, one of the Big Five animals in Kruger National Park.

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.

Growing in understanding

Mana Angelina, a tiny dynamo cook and member of the Church Women's group, has taught Mim a lot about Timorese humour and kitchen life.

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.

Sharing food, sharing skills

Fran’s friends: Florah, Nomsa, Florah, Emma and Lucy

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.

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.


The future of every community lies in capturing the passion, the imagination and the resources of its people. - Ernesto Sirolli