News from 2014
Following on from their positive experience at the Projects Abroad Micro-finance Project in Senegal, volunteers Helge and Kina have been instrumental in founding an exciting new micro-finance initiative in conjunction with Khemara, a well-established NGO in Cambodia.
Last week our volunteers in Thailand celebrated the Kings 88th birthday by participating in a dive clean-up organised by the local government. Volunteers cleaned the coral reefs of Koh Hong as part of the “Dive against Debris” initiative.
As we approach Christmas it is a good time to reflect on the work our groups of volunteers have carried out over the past year. Over 300 students joined one of our Group Trip projects, which took place in 15 different countries this year.
Last month marked the one year anniversary of Typhoon Haiyan, which struck the island nation of the Philippines. Projects Abroad began working on Cebu Island at the beginning of 2013, and could not ignore the havoc and devastation that was left behind after Haiyan struck.
Projects Abroad Peru has tracked a group of spider monkeys to discover that they have successfully reintegrated into their natural habitat. Projects Abroad’s reintroduction and rehabilitation project is the only spider monkey release programme in the country that is recognised by the Peruvian government.
The Bolivian government asked Projects Abroad to participate in the opening ceremony of the country’s Plurinational Olympic Games, after seeing our Equine Therapy volunteers participating in a parade on Bolivia’s Independence Day.
Thanks to well over 500 volunteers across 12 countries, this summer our Short-term Special volunteers made a real impact overseas. The following infographic shows just some of the ways they helped out.
The Operation Get Ready competition aims to get residents in vulnerable communities ready for the hurricane season and other natural disasters. Projects Abroad Jamaica offers a Disaster Management Programme which facilitates individuals from across the world.
Projects Abroad has grown to sending over 10,000 volunteers away to 29 different countries every year. We have always taken our projects seriously. The safety of our volunteers and the welfare of our partners overseas are of vital importance.
Today is World Food Day. According to the World Food Programme, over 805 million people do not have enough food to live a healthy life and 66 million primary school children go to school hungry in developing countries every day. The facts speak for themselves.
Volunteers in Bolivia recently embarked on an outreach health programme to assist elderly people in having their blood sugar and pressure tested to commemorate World Heart Day.
Projects Abroad has been presented with the coveted Extraordinary Experience Award at this year’s Global Youth Travel Awards. The award is given in recognition of an extraordinary travel experience, which this year was represented by the Dunshaughlin school group from Ireland, who spent two weeks volunteering on Care & Community projects in Ghana.
Home of Hope is a centre for children and male adults living with disabilities. We are delighted to announce that, after a summer of hard work, our volunteers have finished converting two disused rooms at the centre into a physiotherapy room and a sensory room.
This summer was a busy time for Projects Abroad with more group trips than ever before away in many of our destinations. The focus of each group trip is always slightly different as the schedule is tailored to the needs and preferences of both the group and the community they work in.
A new pen pal initiative to increase literacy levels of children thousands of miles apart from each other has been launched by Projects Abroad in Jamaica and South Africa.
Calling all wanderers, activists, dreamers and adventurers; your next journey is about to begin. You’ve just received your A-level results and you’re suddenly feeling impossibly free. Maybe you need a gap year!
The last few weeks at Taricaya have been busy as usual and, with the floods a distant memory, we have been able to push on in many of our projects and the results have been very rewarding. After nearly 14 years of working with volunteers on our Conservation project, I am still amazed by the levels of dedication they show and their ability to work hard in often unfriendly conditions.
The nutrition, health and wellness project in Fiji is going from strength to strength since it started in May this year. So much so, that even the Prime Minister in Fiji cannot help but notice the incredible work our volunteers are doing.
The spirit of Mandela Day has gone global, with countries around the world celebrating Nelson Mandela’s birthday by donating their time to helping others. In Fiji, Ian Campbell of the WWF joined Projects Abroad to educate local children at the Multi-Cultural School on the importance of protecting sharks. As part of the day, teams of children and volunteers joined forces to clean up the local village and beach, collecting over 20 bags of rubbish.
Ian Campbell, the Programme Manager for the WWF Global Shark Programme, recently tweeted that Projects Abroad have “possibly the most important shark project in the world”. Since the Shark Conservation project started in January, 200 volunteers have signed up to assist the local scientists in Fiji.
The Projects Abroad Building project in South Africa is part of Village Heights’ Friends and Neighbours, a World Design Capital 2014 project. The Friends and Neighbours project has been awarded a Gold Star rating in the City of Cape Town’s Mayor’s Portfolio of Urban Sustainability, which showcases some of the best practice achieved in the development of areas in Cape Town.
The Projects Abroad team in Tanzania has been working alongside the local community in Dar es Salaam to create a sustainable endeavor through the work done by Projects Abroad volunteers. According to the Country Director in Tanzania, Gloria Matoi, the voluntary work done in Tanzania assists in uplifting the local community.
Each year on the 5th of June, World Environment Day is celebrated to create worldwide awareness and encourage action for the conservation of our environment. In light of this day, volunteers on the Conservation in Thailand placement joined the Krabi Provinicial Administrative Organisation and welcomed school students to an educational day.
Projects Abroad’s Disaster Relief project in the Philippines is moving on to its next mission: to reconstruct the grade two section of Banban Elementary School, which was greatly affected by the 2013 Typhoon. Banban Elementary School is 2km away from Bung-aw Elementary School where Projects Abroad volunteers have rebuilt six classrooms.
Earlier in May, the first baby howler monkey was born at the Taricaya Rescue Centre, giving the centre yet another reason to celebrate this month. Yesterday, on May 28th, the Taricaya Rescue Centre celebrated six years of wonderful work in Peru and will add the birth of this little fellow to its already long list of achievements.
World Hunger Day 2014 is upon us, with its aim of celebrating sustainable solutions to ending extreme hunger and poverty. In line with its goal to highlight the positive actions taken by those surviving on very little, we turn the spotlight on our Nutrition Project in Peru and its impact on the community.
Twelve students from New College Nottingham travelled to Madurai, India with Projects Abroad to spend two weeks volunteering on a medical project. As part of their health studies course, the students chose Medicine in India with the aim of gaining the medical experience that is difficult to get in the UK.
The Costa Rica Conservation Project is working with three schools near the Barra Honda National Park in order to gain the Ecological Blue Flag Award. Projects Abroad is assisting in education, training and the building of ecological strategies that will aid the social development of these three communities in an innovative and sustainable way.
To celebrate World Penguin Day, Projects Abroad continued to support SANCCOB in Cape Town. SANCCOB is at the forefront of saving African penguins, as well as other seabirds. Volunteers assist in preparing food, feeding the birds, cleaning out the cages and rehabilitating injured or oiled birds. If the birds are unable to go back into their natural habitat, SANCCOB provides them with a permanent home.
The City of Bogo and the Department of Education in Bogo City organised a dinner party for Projects Abroad volunteers in April 2014 at the City of Bogo Science of Arts and Academics (CBSAA). The event, dubbed as “Mga Pungpong sa Bulak” (Wreath of Flowers), was to acknowledge the volunteers’ dedication to help rebuild classrooms in public elementary schools in the city through Projects Abroad’s Disaster Relief project.
Projects Abroad have been supporting worthwhile projects in Jamaica for the past six years. In order to celebrate their sixth anniversary, the Projects Abroad team in Jamaica will be holding an information week to acknowledge those who contribute to the success of the destination.
With continuous help and support from Projects Abroad over the last six years, Jhon Valencia Cordoba received his professional qualification and became a licensed archaeologist in Peru. Jhon is based at the Inca Project in Peru and has spent a lot time investigating the ruins in the Lucumayo Valley with many Projects Abroad volunteers.
Projects Abroad Tanzania will begin construction of a primary school in March 2014 at Meserani, a Maasai community located just outside of Arusha. In November 2013, Projects Abroad Tanzania purchased 4,046m of land which will provide enough space to build two classes, two toilets, a temporary kitchen and a small playground.
To celebrate the new edition of the Oxford Handbook of Clinical Medicine, Oxford University Press has decided to present one winner with £2000 towards a four week Medicine & Healthcare placement in a destination of their choice in Africa, Asia, Latin America or Eastern Europe with Projects Abroad.
Supported by the Projects Abroad Microfinance Project, a small community soap factory in Ghana produced and sold their first batch of locally made soaps last week. The Obuotumpan Soap Factory in Koforidua was established by the community through the support and direction of the Microfinance Project’s volunteers and staff.
When the Building project in South Africa first started, around 2008, in the impoverished community of Lavender Hill in Cape Town, the site was home to just one small wooden crèche and was surrounded by shacks. The project is now in its third phase of development; a literacy room has been built, as well as a toilet, a wash area and two rooms.
Established in 1991, the Khemara Organisation was the first local NGO in Cambodia which played a significant role in working for the advancement of women and children in Cambodia by working directly with communities. Its goal is to support vulnerable people including women, children and disadvantaged families.
One of the reasons that many volunteers choose Tanzania as their volunteering destination is because of the Maasai tribe. This tribe has maintained their tradition and culture regardless of the encroaching modern world. As the Maasai people are very private, it is rare that foreigners get an insight into their lifestyle and rituals.
Not all English teachers in Peru have the competency in the English language that is required to teach students. Therefore, the Teacher Training Project aims to help teachers in Peru so that there can be a higher standard of English in schools in addition to bringing new teaching techniques into the classrooms.
The myball.ch Project is an initiative which was started by the Steiner family from Switzerland, who wanted to help the many children who do not receive gifts. The aim of the project is to distribute balls to disadvantaged children in developing countries.
Projects Abroad’s Shark Conservation Project has begun in Fiji with 26 volunteers confirmed for the month of January 2014. Currently, 13 volunteers have already begun their dive lessons with Beqa Adventures dive instructors.