Solidarity Volunteering: Strong Relationships, Mutual Development

Soccer in Atabae

Ian with Atabaqe Youth Soccer

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 […]

Realising the Dream in Atabae, Timor Leste

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, […]

Timor 12 months on – Heather Henderson

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 […]

Creative Christmas in Atabae by Heather Henderson

heather

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 […]

Encounters: A commitment to action

Encounter Participants Timor-Leste 2012

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 […]

Meet our 10 newest volunteers

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

Change can and does occur

Monica and Anche

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. “

Valuable feedback

Balibo CLC Staff

“The approach of Palms volunteers was noticeably different to other volunteer sending organisations.”

Exploration

While reading our volunteer stories in each edition of Palms Post, have you ever wanted to just fly over and see for yourself?

Learning and teaching

Marilyn, Sr Maria and students

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.

From Buka to Maliana

Kevin with Anaflora and Marcelino

Kevin Wilson, previously volunteered with Palms in Tunaniya, Bougainville. He has now joined the team at OHM which supports people in the Bobonaro District of Timor-Leste.

Inspiring women drive change

Kevin (rear, left) and Margaret (rear, third from left) with Mana Rince (in front of Margaret), Mana Dina (far right) and OHM staff and volunteers

OHM is the only local NGO still to be in operation in the whole of Bobonaro district. We worked diligently on submissions – not knowing if/when the project might be cancelled.

Passing the torch

Anne Chapman and Heather Henderson at Palms' Orientation Course in January 2013.

No longer is the priority receiving a volunteer to focus on classroom teaching. Now, Atabae’s teaching assistants have asked for a teacher to focus on enhancing their skills in program planning, delivery, assessment and evaluation.

A true learning experience

Guida (right) with Frankie and Rodita

When people ask me about how my Encounter to East Timor went, I reply, “It was a true, learning experience” and it really was.
Before you start your Encounter, Palms sends you readings by people who have really walked the walk. Participants are then invited to journal their thoughts and form a plan of action that encompasses before, during and after the experience.

I found this part of the journey so beneficial.


The important thing is this: to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become. - Charles du Bois