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Volunteer’s donation to ‘Rainbows Educare’ Care Project   (published in South Africa)

July 14, 2010 by   Comments(0)

 - A volunteer (wishing to remain anonymous) reflecting on her time in Cape Town...


I arrived in Cape Town in January 2008 to start a work placement in the Women's Legal Centre in the middle of the city. This proved to be a fantastic opportunity; there was a whole range of issues that the staff dealt with in their work that would be very unlikely to appear in the British legal system. For instance work was being done on cases involving customary marriage which, because of the diverse South African heritage, is a particularly complex issue. Also I found that a lot of the work that was undertaken by the Centre was distinctly influenced by apartheid, with the WLC attempting to promote not just women's, but racial equality in the law. 

(The view from the rooftop of Rainbows Educare, overlooking the Capricorn/Vrygrond township)

Despite working on such a fascinating placement, I was aware that my daily routine was a very comfortable one, with a commute from a lovely host family to the city centre being a lot of what I was seeing of Cape Town life during my working hours. I decided to book myself onto a township tour so I could understand what life was like for a lot of South Africans. I was wary of being yet another 'gawping tourist', but the tour enabled me to interact with people that live in townships, and highlighted that there was a great opportunity to help out to different degrees.

(Faranaaz, in pink, the Principal and owner of Rainbows Educare Centre, has been involved with children in the Vrygrond/Capricorn community for seventeen years.  Pictured here with her are more of the staff members from the community, as well as some of the Projects Abroad volunteers from all over the world)


After a period spent ...

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Volunteer’s donation to ‘Rainbows Educare’ Care Project
Volunteer’s donation to ‘Rainbows Educare’ Care Project

Donations by Marlies Barsingerhorn (HOLLAND - Care & Medicine Project)   (published in Argentina)

July 14, 2010 by   Comments(0)

Before I came to Argentina, I read about fundraising on myprojectsabroad website. It sounded really cool so I decided to try it at home before my departure. At that time I was in Spain so I couldn’t do a lot of things but I sent an email to all my family, friends, neighbours and so on. I told them about my upcoming trip, the volunteering and my idea to collect money in Holland which I could use to buy school supplies or toys in Argentina. I chose to not buy the things in Holland because I didn’t really know what my placement needed and it was also easier because my suitcase was big, but not that big!


My family and friends all replied very positively and almost everyone gave some money; some of them a lot and some of them just a few euros. For my goodbye party I also asked my friends not to bring presents but to bring the money which they would have spent for a present otherwise. I put a big Argentina-box at the table in which they could put the money.

This is how I collected the money; it took me such a little time but by the time I went to Argentina, I had collected a lot of money!  The first month in Argentina I didn’t really think about the money. I was too busy with learning Spanish, getting to know the other volunteers, my volunteering placement and all the other things Argentina has to offer! But after that month I started to talk with the helpful staff of Projects Abroad. They all helped me very much and we decided to give the money to different placements. There were a lot of placements which needed something; some paint, chairs, clothes and so on. So it was better to give a little bit to every placement instead of everything to one placement. We wanted to help as many people as possible! That week the staff helped me to ...

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Donations by Marlies Barsingerhorn (HOLLAND - Care & Medicine Project)
Donations by Marlies Barsingerhorn (HOLLAND - Care & Medicine Project)

Medical Outreach in Kumasi   (published in Ghana)

July 14, 2010 by   Comments(0)

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              The medical outreach sessions in Kumasi are often the volunteers’ favourite activity in their time here. They take place every Thursdays and Fridays and volunteers have a chance to treat the children first-hand.

              The process is straightforward – the volunteers go and visit a school or an orphanage to treat the children there. They treat the children who have small wounds, ringworm, infections and heat rash. The medical supplies that are available to us are limited, and so we can only attempt to treat the basic things. If a child has a serious problem, then they would be advised to go and see a doctor. There are no set guidelines to these outreach sessions, and volunteers are welcome to come out with any ideas to discuss with the medical coordinator, Enoch.

              One of the best things about going to visit a school is the reception you get upon entering the school. Hundreds of children start shouting and coming up to you and chants of “Obroni, Obroni!” start around the school. Not all the schools have the same vibe and energy, but the excitement the children have when they see white people is characteristic of Ghana. It is funny because that they are loud and crazy as a group, but if you pick them out individually, they are as tame as a lamb.

              It is amazing to see how many children with ringworm or heat rashes are left untreated and it is often the case that the problems have worsened to something ...

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Medical Outreach in Kumasi
Medical Outreach in Kumasi

A classroom transformed   (published in Ghana)

July 14, 2010 by   Comments(0)

From this...



             just 2 weeks!

Thanks to the hard work of 15 volunteers: Francesca Brady, Nikki Barrett, Catherine White, Elizabeth Surprenant, Kara McClain, Kathryn Fahey, Jean-Patrick Clancy, Elena Bianco, Caroline Bratt, Kaitlyn Fitzgerald, Kerri Lammas, Mariama Turner, Laurene Bernard, Michelle Millasseua and Emma Andersson, the nursery class at Kwamoso Presbytarian School, who formerly used a tree for shelter, can now have a roof over their heads and a bright and colourful classroom to learn in.  Not only this, but in the two weeks they were here these volunteers spent their afternoons playing with the children at Mt Zion Foster home and Adom Daycare, they visited the local bead and wood markets, helped with weeding at the Projects Abroad Demonstration Farm, and fitted in a weekend trip to Cape Coast.  Thanks for being a great group and for working so hard.  I think you all deserve a well-earned rest!

By Anne Buglass

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A classroom transformed
A classroom transformed

Kumasi Zoo   (published in Ghana)

July 14, 2010 by   Comments(0)

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              The Bradt guide to Ghana describes the Kumasi Zoo to contain “a few depressingly cramped cages harbouring various primates (many are in solitary confinement, a fate as cruel to a chimp or a monkey as to a person)”.

              When a description of a zoo starts off like this in a guide, it really doesn’t give anyone the incentive to go there! However I waited until the veterinary volunteers were to be taken there so that I could go with them for free. (Yes!)

              The Bradt guide was accurate about the primates and cramped cages. The cages were far too small for the chimps and one male chimp was particularly annoyed and frustrated. It continued to bang on the cage and when we were watching it from close by, it came up to us and sprayed us with water from its mouth!

              The elephant in the zoo had died recently, probably due to the lack of space and slowly wasted away. The ears of the hyenas were infected and the lions did not have an awful amount of space either.

              All this sounds rather morbid, but it only highlights the state of affairs in Ghana. The zoo keepers are doing what they can to help these animals and fully acknowledge the problems that they have in the zoo, but need support and funding.                            


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Kumasi Zoo
Kumasi Zoo

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