Palms’ community connections initiative connects Australian and overseas communities. It’s a simple, effective opportunity for those who are unable to volunteer to make a sustainable contribution, create lasting friendships, and strengthen their local community, without having to leave home.

Connecting your community involves providing a portion of the financial support required to place a skilled volunteer in a placement for two years. The in-kind value of a volunteer is as much as the wage they would be paid in the same position in Australia. For every dollar you contribute to send and support a Palms mentor on assignment you leverage 10 times that value of support to the community in which s/he goes to work.

After the project, your community partnership will continue to serve the overseas community for years to come. Your community will have given the time and expertise that is essential to making lasting change. By exchanging skills and building capacity, Palms Australia mentors reduce the community’s dependence on future aid.

Your Australian community provides:

  • Financial support to help support the volunteer: The overseas community cannot afford to cover the costs of getting a qualified volunteer to work in their community. The funds raised by Australian partner communities help cover these costs.
  • Support for the community during the volunteer placement: Knowing you support their initiative¬†demonstrates to a remote community that there are organisations who trust them to be independent instigators of their own future.
  • Solidarity with a volunteer: Working in a new culture is not easy. Often a volunteer can feel lost and alone in their new setting. Knowing that communities in Australia support what they are doing can make these challenges easier to overcome. Your partnership also gives the volunteer the opportunity to discuss their experiences when they return.
  • An opportunity to achieve true sustainable development: A major part of Palms Australia volunteers’ mission is to transfer their skills to local staff. This reduces dependence and maintains the dignity and agency of the overseas community.

Your Australian community receives:

Recognition of being part of a peaceful global mission: Palms Australia’s global mission is a peaceful alternative to the often invasive approaches taken by governments and other organisations. Working relationships are developed, the dignity of all parties is respected and a greater cross-cultural understanding is achieved.

Just as we support communities abroad, Palms is here to support you connect your community. We can offer fundraising materials and give advice on best engaging your members. We can also send a representative to speak with your community about Palms and the work we do overseas.

Your community group might:

  • Run fundraising activities such as trivia nights, movie nights, market stalls, fetes, fun-runs, concerts, raffles, or come up with your own unique ways to have fun while making a difference.
  • Meet to discuss issues of justice, equity, conflict and peace and appropriate ways of approaching them.
  • Join an Encounter to visit the project you are supporting and see the volunteer in action.

Community partnerships provide a unique opportunity for Australian communities to open their hands to the world. To view the communities currently seeking Australian support, please visit our Projects page.