In urban Australia fresh water seems so abundant we use it to flush toilets. It is easy to forget how precious water is in the majority world. In Maliana, Timor Leste, fresh drinking/cooking water is obtained in bottles or from natural springs, yet for other purposes any running water will do. Volunteer Paul Tan reflects […]
Balibo Community Learning Centre (CLC) in Timor Leste is based around the Australia Flag House memorial to the Balibo Five. The Learning Centre provides several services to the local community, including computer training, mechanical workshops, English classes and mentoring of rural women’s cooperatives. Leanne Hayes from Brisbane has volunteered as Institutional Development Officer at Balibo […]
Volunteer Samantha Haddin opts to stay in Dili, Timor Leste, over the holidays, finding very different celebrations as well as time to reflect and plan ahead- I spent Christmas Day at a teacher’s home celebrating her daughter’s First Holy Communion which was lovely. If not for the First Communion, I don’t think much celebrating would […]
Palms volunteer Guida Cabrita writes of the excitement in returning home for Christmas, and finds the same excitement when heading back to her host community in Dili, Timor Leste- When most people think of Christmas, they think of spending time with their family. Family is really important in Timor Leste and the extended family is […]
With the recent Soccer World Cup we have seen again much debate on the relationship between sport, commercialism and mass media. Many of us would like to get back to basics and just enjoy play for its own sake! Ian Gray, at IT professional recently returned from Atabae, Timor Leste, gives his report of such […]
Following independence the people of Timor Leste quickly recognised that growth in education was key to the development of their communities and nation. Almost without exception, Timorese students express an insistent determination to learn and improve their English skills as an avenue to further education and employment. Heather Henderson, a teacher from Kelvin Grove, Brisbane, […]
Almost 4 in 10 primary school students in Timor-Leste drop out before completing primary school and those in rural areas often find it difficult to reach a school (source: UNDP in Timor Leste). While there have been major improvements in the last decade, volunteers like Heather Henderson are still essential to assist the poorest of […]
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, the Australian Embassy in Dili invited children of primary school age, in Timor Leste, to design a Christmas card. The winning design would be used for the official Embassy card. I saw this as an opportunity for the children to engage in a creative activity that introduced them […]
Palms Encounter group visiting a women’s cooperative in Morobo, Timor-Leste, July 2012 I’m often asked why Palms runs Encounters to Timor-Leste and Kiribati. After all, Palms isn’t a travel company and the communities that we visit are often not well equipped to accommodate tourists. I absolutely agree with these two statements and strangely enough they […]
We have another wonderful group of volunteers, ready to depart for Timor-Leste, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea and South Africa.
Returning to Baucau years after she’d finished her placement, Monica Morrison came to the conclusion that “change can move so slowly when one is in the midst of volunteering. It almost seems imperceptible, but it can and does occur. “
“The approach of Palms volunteers was noticeably different to other volunteer sending organisations.”
While reading our volunteer stories in each edition of Palms Post, have you ever wanted to just fly over and see for yourself?
Marilyn is volunteering at Instituto Profissional De Canossa, providing training in administration and English language education. This is her second placement with Palms in Timor-Leste.