CommUNITY is an initiative of Palms Australia aimed at connecting Australian and global communities through our volunteer program.
It is an opportunity for those who are unable to volunteer, to support those who have chosen to give two years of their life to developing communities. CommUNITY provides an opportunity for Australians to benefit from the experience of volunteers and other cultures.
CommUNITY provides most of the financial support required to keep a volunteer in placement for two years. Palms can place a teacher in Papua New Guinea for two years by raising as little as $13,250 through CommUNITY Support.
Compare this amount to what this teacher would earn over two years in Australia and the value is obvious. CommUNITY contributions are spent only on program costs (all administration costs are covered by grants from our Australian Global Volunteer Network (AGVN)), so you know that your money is used wisely.
In addition, CommUNITY contributes to long-term sustainability for the overseas communities hosting a volunteer. By exchanging skills, Palms’ volunteers reduce the community’s dependence on future aid.
Palms CommUNITY Partnerships are a unique opportunity for Australian communities to open their hands to the world. To see the sort of work a Partnership can support, visit Friends and Partners with East Timor who provide support for Palms volunteers in Atabae, Timor Leste. To become part of a Palms CommUNITY Partnership contact Roger O’Halloran.
The CommUNITY Partner provides:
- Support for the volunteer during their placement
- Working in another 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 and are with them in solidarity can make these difficulties easier to overcome.
- Financial support to help recruit, prepare, send and support the volunteer
- The overseas community cannot afford to cover the costs of getting a qualified doctor, teacher, nurse, agriculturalist, business manager, etc. to work in their community. The funds raised by Palms CommUNITY Partners go part of the way to covering these costs.
- An opportunity to achieve true sustainable development
- A major part of Palms volunteers’ mission is to transfer their skills to local staff. This reduces dependence and maintains the dignity of the overseas community.
The CommUNITY Partner receives:
- Regular updates of the volunteer’s progress
- The support given from Australia is not forgotten. The volunteer will send regular updates of their work, life, successes and trials, so that those still in Australia can learn about the issues facing the materially poor, life in another culture and the way development should work.
- Food for thought
- As part of the volunteer’s regular newsletters key points for reflection will be highlighted focusing on a variety of topics from personal to global issues. These can be discussed as part of a group or just used for personal reflection.
- The satisfaction of being part of a peaceful global mission
- Palms 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.
- The best value aid that money can buy
- It may sound strange, but it is true. The value of your donation is magnified through expertise donated by the volunteer. By assisting Palms to raise as little as $10,000 to keep a volunteer in placement, you can help provide expertise to the value of more than $80,000.
Your CommUNITY Partnership group might:
- Run fundraising activities such as trivia nights, movie nights, market stalls, fetes, fun-runs, concerts, raffles, just pass a hat around once a month, season or year or come up with your own unique ways to have fun while helping out.
- Host a returned volunteer to hear first-hand about their experiences in the field
- Meet to discuss issues of justice, equity, conflict and peace and appropriate ways of approaching them
- Be made up of people from your parish, school, work or family or just a group of friends who want to make a difference.
Contact us if you would like more information on becoming a Palms Australia CommUNITY member.