Solidarity Volunteering: Strong Relationships, Mutual Development

Four Months In

clare-with-kids-selfie

by Clare Lourey, volunteer in Ofcolaco, South Africa- My name is Clare (or Khensani as the local staff and children now call me), I’m a primary school teacher from Sydney, Australia. Through Palms I am volunteering at Holy Family Care Centre, South Africa for twelve months. I’m currently four months into my placement and I […]

Farewell from Africa

Leopard

Now about to complete her placement, our prolific Palms Poster Louisa Cataldo gives her final installment, reflecting on her life at Holy Family Care Centre, Ofcolaco South Africa- Dear Friends This is the fourth time I have tried to begin this final letter. Where do I begin? How about Christmas? It was beautiful, we celebrated Midnight […]

Hello from Africa No.8

Rhinos resized

It can be an uncomfortable chore for the Palms staff to request stories from our Volunteers in the Field for the Palms Post. This is never the case with volunteer Louisa Cataldo, who has provided a constant stream of stories from her placement. Here is her latest Update (No. 8!) from Holy Family Care Centre, […]

Louisa’s Update No. 7

Louisa and FGriends washing Zoe

Louisa Cataldo provides another update from the teaching side of Holy Family Care Centre, South Africa: Life as a volunteer is filled with rewards and equally with some disappointments. And while one certainly does not go looking for the rewards, it is always such a pleasure when they come unexpectedly. And so it happened that […]

Back to reality… Children’s health in South Africa

House

Volunteer Carmel Lawry recently returned to her placement in Holy Family Care Centre, South Africa, after a brief “break” of study, work and exams in Australia to enhance her health qualifications. She provides another update of life for the community -and the young- of Ofcolaco: I have been back in Ofcolaco for 2 weeks and […]

Rebuilding families and hopes in Ofcolaco, South Africa

Holy Family Centre in Ofcolaco, Limpopo Privince, South Africa is hosting two Palms Volunteers -Carmel Lawry, an experienced health care professional from Melbourne, and Louisa Cataldo, a passionate  teacher and musician from Sydney. Working on different ‘front lines’ both women are helping to rebuild life and hope in a region devastated by poverty, abuse, civil […]

Meet our 10 newest volunteers

group

We have another wonderful group of volunteers, ready to depart for Timor-Leste, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea and South Africa.

Why do I volunteer?

Thuy with students at Holy Family Care Centre show off their baking skills

Thuy is now volunteering with Holy Family Care Centre in South Africa, her third placement with Palms Australia, having previously volunteered in Timor-Leste.

News in brief

Fran, a Physical Education teacher from Hobart, leading kids at Holy Family in some star jumps.

Three brief updates from Fran Hewitt in South Africa, John Gartner in Papua New Guinea and Kernah Foster in Kiribati.

Supporting African Initiative

Fulvio and Wogeni fix a cabinet at Holy Family Care Centre, Bushulo, Ethiopia

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.

Volunteer Impacts Infographic

Click on the image above to see the full size infographic

This infographic provides an interesting insight into what a single volunteer can contribute to their hosts over 12 months.

Acceptance, understanding and care

Fran and Gregory work closely together building each others’ understandings of what will work best for their students.

For the next few days I had the local women coming to me to say they heard I can write in Sepedi, congratulating me and asking how I learnt it.

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.

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.


I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all the lands
to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any. - Mohandas Gandhi