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Michelle Prasad (Our Human Right Volunteer from Canada)   (published in Cambodia)

June 10, 2010 by   Comments(0)

I arrived in Phnom Penh on May 1, 2010 from Vancouver, Canada. I had spent the last four months at the University of Victoria researching Cambodia’s turbulent political past, but I had no idea what to expect once I arrived. The city was full of interesting contrasts, particularly since poverty and wealth seemed to co-exist side-by-side. My first day will filled with meeting all of the wonderful volunteers, a great lunch and an afternoon trip to the Tuol Sleng Museum as well as the Killing Fields. Understanding Cambodia’s status as a new democracy helped to place its historical past and current status into perspective, and gives light to the strength of the people living here.

I began my work on Human Rights as an Intern at the Community Legal Education Center (CLEC), working on Labour Law. Research for my report (‘Labour Rights of Cambodian Overseas Workers in Thailand, Malaysia and South Korea’) has allowed me to meet with various lawyers and directors from non-government organizations (NGOs) such as LICHADO and CARAM Cambodia, as well as conduct primary interviews garment factory workers here in Phnom Penh. Understanding the repercussions of poor oversight and monitoring mechanisms as well as the direct role of power-relationships between the government and private sector has contributed significantly to my understanding of why the gap between the rich and the poor in Cambodia continues to grow. The Labour Unit at CLEC has been tremendously helpful and proactive in ensuring that I gain the most from my internship with their organization and I feel very lucky to have received such a great placement.

The weekends allow for time to travel. In the span of a month, I have been to Sihanoukville, Siem Reap and Kratie. The beaches in Sihanoukville ...

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Michelle Prasad (Our Human Right Volunteer from Canada)
Michelle Prasad (Our Human Right Volunteer from Canada)

Chitwan in June   (published in Nepal)

June 10, 2010 by   Comments(0)


Nepal is getting HOT HOT HOT! However, despite this, I was still convinced by the volunteers to take them on a trip to Chtiwan National Park last weekend. So, after a hot and sweaty, 6 hour bus ride, we finally arrived in a little air-conditioned haven in the middle of Chitwan called the Rainforest!

We had a quick walk through the jungle and an introduction to everyone, then headed down to the riverside to watch the sunset. It was pretty beautiful until the sun went behind a cloud! Two of the volunteers Danny and Justin decided to cool off in the river and go for a swim. Less than an hour later, our jungle guide pointed out a huge crocodile hiding in the river plants a few hundred meters up stream of where the boys had been swimming in the same river!

Our second day in Chitwan was fun filled and kicked off with another crocodile close encounter when we were taken down the river in wooden canoes. With everyone still in one piece we "parked" our canoes on the river bank and began our jungle trek, through trees and bushes and balancing along logs to cross over rivers. When the jungle cleared, we came out at the elephant breeding centre of Chitwan where we saw the twin baby elephants feeding with mum and running to greet us flapping their ears...cute!!!

The next activity was definitely the highlight of the whole weekend for me...playing and splashing around with 3 huge elephants in the river. The Mahoots showed us with such balance and skill how to climb up onto the elephants backs, but it provided great entertainment for everyone with each person scrambling up the elephants trunks in a less than graceful fashion! We even had some acrobatics by Danny doing somersaults off the elephants backs. Fun times.

Our last dinner at the Rainforest was, of ...

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Chitwan in June
Chitwan in June

Ethiopia - By Maéva Clement from France - Journalism Volunteer – September 2009   (published in Ethiopia)

June 9, 2010 by   Comments(0)

Ethiopia - By Maéva Clement from France - Journalism Volunteer – September 2009     

When I first discovered Projects Abroad on the Internet and then decided to commit myself, I new I wanted to work in an English-speaking country, and more precisely in an African country. Yet I hesitated almost an entire month whether to go to South Africa or Ethiopia to complete a journalism internship.

 I never regretted my choice to go to Ethiopia. First, it is the safest sub-Saharan country. There are no thefts and as a woman you can travel around without any problem. Sure, people look at you all the time because there are not a lot of white people in the area and especially when you are a young woman. You are often solicited for money, mostly by kids, but also just for a conversation. Since foreigners are rare, people want to hear their stories, learn about other cities, far away in the north. Yet, as I said, I felt really safe in Addis, even walking in the city in the evening. For instance, I travelled alone to the famous city of Lalibela (Northern Ethiopia). People were sometimes surprised, others just indifferent and I simply enjoyed my time visiting the most beautiful Christian orthodox (the religion of the majority of Ethiopian people) churches I have ever seen.

I flew to Ethiopia in September, which turned out to be the perfect month to discover the country: the rainy season was almost over (mid-September) and the dry season had not yet begun. The country was all green and beautiful and the temperature remained average. September is also a great month to discover the Ethiopian culture and way of life because people celebrate New Year (11th of September) and Meskal (the finding of the true cross in the orthodox religion), which are the two ...

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Ethiopia - By Maéva Clement from France - Journalism Volunteer – September 2009
Ethiopia - By Maéva Clement from France - Journalism Volunteer – September 2009

What's cooking good looking?   (published in Sri Lanka)

June 8, 2010 by   Comments(0)

What’s that smell? Roti? Hoppers? Dhal curry?! It’s a flavour explosion here in Sri Lanka! 

Last month we all followed our noses to the Tangerine Beach Hotel in Waskaduwa for a cooking demonstration. Two chefs showed off their culinary skills and we even had a go at pounding out some roti! On the menu we had… chicken curry, dhal, roti, hoppers, egg hoppers and sambol! We all were given recipes so we can try out the cooking on our families and friends back home! Just be gentle on the chili because they aren’t used to it like we are!


After tasting some delicious morsels, we continued onto the banquet hall for… guess… MORE food. Chris, Martin and Sam didn’t meet the dress code in their shorts so luckily the staff gave them some sarongs to wear for the occasion – much to the amusement of all the girls! We stuffed our bellies and enjoyed some live music. Rose from the UK office even jumped up and played the bongo drums - a musical delight for all!


Next month we’ll be trying out those cooking skills at Sukitha Children’s Home so stay tuned and hopefully we won’t burn the roti! 

Bon appétit!

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What's cooking good looking?
What's cooking good looking?

Top 5 weekend trips for volunteers in the Akuapem Hills   (published in Ghana)

June 4, 2010 by   Comments(0)

1) Kokrobite Beach

If you're after a bit of R & R (relaxation and reggae), then Kokrobite beach is a must. Situated just 25km west of Accra it takes about two and a half hours to get there from the Hills (traffic depending!).  There's a choice of cheap and cheerful hotels along the beachfront, and the sea is safe for swimming in areas patrolled by a lifeguard (although caution should still be taken).  There is also an African Drumming School for those who want to learn a new skill.


2) Dodi Princess boat trip on Lake Volta

The boat departs from Akosombo at 10:30am every saturday, sunday and bank holiday.  It takes you across the lake to the Dodi Islands.  A barbeque buffet lunch is served on board, and there is music and dancing to satisfy the more energetic crowd.  Those after a more relaxing experience can relax by the pool with a drink from the well-stocked bar.  It's a lovely way to see a tiny corner of this vast lake.


3) Waterfalls

There are a number of beautiful waterfalls scattered around the Eastern Region. Boti, Begoro, Akaah and many more are accessible all year round, but are undoubtedly at their most beautiful during the rainy season due to the larger flow of water.

4) Shai Hills

Shai Hills because a game reserve in 1962, and is home to large number of baboons, antlope, various species of monkey, and at least 175 species of birds.  It is less than one hour away in tro-tro from Mamfe/Akropong, so is well worth a day trip.  Game drives and guided walks can be arranged locally, and there are a number of hotels outside the reserve in the surrounding area should you wish to make a weekend of it.


5) City life -Accra

As ...

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Top 5 weekend trips for volunteers in the Akuapem Hills
Top 5 weekend trips for volunteers in the Akuapem Hills

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