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Swedish veterinary nurse Amanda Uppenberg really deserves the accolade of Volunteer of the Month for May.
Amanda became an invaluable member of the SPCA Horse Care Unit almost immediately, and by the time she was due to leave the staff started begging us not to take her away!
Alan Perrins, CEO of the SPCA, described Amanda as "head and shoulders above the rest", going so far as to call her "one of the best volunteers yet."
Volunteer Coordinator Juan August lamented the fact that she was leaving, fretting about what the team would do without her.
The head of the Horse Care Unit described Amanda as her "right hand woman" - an honour she has certainly never bestowed upon a volunteer.
Well done Amanda, and thank you for all the amazing work you did at your animal care project. We are proud to be associated with you.
After completing an LLM in Human Rights Law from Giffith College Dublin, Ciaran Finn (24) wanted to gain experience and give back so he decided to volunteer abroad.
Finn searched on the internet for volunteer opportunities and discovered Projects Abroad, a global volunteering organization with placements in over 30 destinations all over the world. He was placed at the Human Rights project in Arusha, Tanzania where he would assist Inherit Your Rights, a local NGO.
“It needs help as it is a small organization with huge ambition and a lot of different projects that are very worthwhile. They primarily assist local Maasai widows who have little knowledge of the legal rights to the land and property once their spouse dies.”
While in Tanzania, Finn lived with a local host family with other volunteers and reported to work five days a week from 9am – 1pm. The volunteers engaged in research, preparing radio scripts, developing educational lectures, interviewing the Maasai widows and assisting them with the greeting card project which provided income for the women and funding for the NGO.
“I learned a lot about the general difficulties in law in the region and specifically the plight of widowed Maasai women. I feel particularly my contribution to the education research definitely made a difference and their feedback reflects this! Volunteers can have as much responsibility as they wish to take on. Jana, the co-founder of Inherit Your Rights, is very open to new ideas and change and the use of initiative is highly encouraged.”
Finn had always intended to make a career in Africa in either development or law and found his three months as a volunteer very useful. A few weeks after finishing his placement, Finn learned that Projects Abroad wanted to hire ...
Hanoi is stepping into its hot and humid season, but despite the sweating and sticky feeling and the sunshiny morning, our volunteer team spent a whole morning contributing their creativity and enthusiasm to drawing and painting a colorful and children-inspiring wall of the kindergarten classroom at Bo De placement - where our care and physio volunteers have been working.
The theme of the decoration is the flying hot balloons of various sizes and colors. It's pretty easy so the volunteers can design and paint their own hot balloons themselves, just needed a pencil to sketch on the wall, mix the colors from the 5 basic colors provided and start their painting. We also repainted the foot of the wall which had been dirty. Care volunteers Louisa also had an excellent idea of getting the kids' colorful handprints stamped on the wall. Let's check out some good photos we had during the day:
Lots of Volunteers are arriving in their destinations to start their new projects. Here are some of their thoughts:
Argentina: “I've been in Cordoba for three weeks now and I feel good about the progress I'm making each day. My host family says my Spanish is improving and that is nice to hear. Each day I try to speak as much as I can and learn some new words. Practicing my Spanish with the family and my friends has been really great and I'm having a lot of fun with it!” – Evan LaRocque
Ghana: “The radiologist, Daniel, is probably one of my favorite people at the hospital … He's been doing this for 17 yrs and sees tons of patients a day. The ultrasound equipment is, of course, not of such great quality... but I think that's what makes him a better radiologist. He says that many Western doctors rely on their technology too much, and that without it, they wouldn't be able to see and pick up the things that he can. I'd believe it.” – Yelin
India: “As I watch the sun set, hazy and pink, behind Thiruparankundram mountain, I think back to my arrival in Chennai. I clung nervously to the Western familiarity of my American chain-hotel like an overwhelmed child clings to his mother. Now nerves have turned to excitement, the maternal bond with the life I know has been broken and I’m enveloped by the searing embrace of Madurai.” –Mathew Haigh
Nepal: “Got up at 6.00am the next day to head to the top of the hills in Pokhera and see a Buddhist temple it was amazing up there and we had our first glimpse of the Hymalayas which had been hiding behind the clouds the day before, the mountains are absolutely massive and equally as stunning, there now seems to be a ...