Solidarity Volunteering: Strong Relationships, Mutual Development

Exercising Freedom

Walking is the most common form of exercise. Pictured here is the “road” from Fran’s house to her workplace, Edmund Rice Sinon School.

Sport and exercise isn’t seen to be necessary or proper for girls/women in many African cultures. But Pascal and Nestory can see the benefits of me role-modelling for the girls, and so one afternoon I even played on the staff football (soccer) team against the Form 5 students.

From Limpopo to Arusha

Fran on laundry day

Fran Hewitt recently finished her first Palms’ placement in South Africa. She is now volunteering at Edmund Rice School in Engosengiu, Arusha, Tanzania.

Help us find our next volunteers

Communities across Africa, Asia and the Pacific are asking us for volunteers in 2013.

Can you help us by sharing the following requests at work, in your industry or union journal, in your parish newsletter, or through social media?

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.

A generous spirit

Kathy, James and Lilian in Tanzania

I had a feeling that I had met someone rather special one day when in the staffroom one of the teachers, James Kissima, was talking to me passionately about the responsibility of teachers to do their absolute best given the sacrifice that some families make to send their students to school.

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.

Once more into the fray

Pedro, Monica, Mariano and Adison (front) at a graduation at CTC Baucau

Volunteering can be both a challenging and immensely rewarding experience. Few returnees would claim to remain unchanged by the experience. Some, such as Des Hansen and Monica Morrison, value the experience so much that they return for another placement.

Greetings from Arusha

Kathy Brick with her English class

Kathy Brick, from Melbourne, is three months into a placement with Edmund Rice Sinon School in Arusha, Tanzania. As with schools in Australia, ERSS is valued for providing a well-rounded education to its students. Kathy is contributing through her work helping students transition into an English language learning environment.

Tanzania Field Trip

Kathy, Wilson and Ian

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.

The volunteer bug (new placements)

Peter and Elaine Smyth

Peter and Elaine Smyth In 2010, Palms Australia will place Peter and Elaine Smyth at Divine Word University in Madang, PNG. They will work as a Legal Advisor and Personnel Manager respectively, training local staff to implement new legal, administrative and personnel policies. Their work will increase DWU’s capacity in building effective global partnership, improving […]

Letter from the field (12 months)

Rosaleen's students with Josephine Mrope (centre)

The RUCO students (with the usual exceptions) are quite inspiring in the way that they cope with the kind of problems not faced by students I have taught at universities in Australia, Dubai and Taiwan.

Hope Through Education

We are amazed at the indomitable spirit of our students and the people in the local area, and their resilience in adversity. One of our students, coming to our small 2-bedroom home on the school property, remarked, “What a big house! Don’t you get lonely here?”


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