News from 2012
If you are thinking about completing your elective overseas but are unsure how to raise the funds, then we may have just the solution. By taking part in the Royal Society of Medicine’s Global Health Young Leaders Award you could win a grant of up to £500 to put towards a medical elective or overseas project.
Projects Abroad is excited to begin work on a special Water & Sanitation project in Tanzania and has found the volunteers to do the work. Following the success of several Water & Sanitation Projects worldwide, Projects Abroad and partner BridgIT Water are returning to Tanzania in January 2013 to continue with their life changing work. The six volunteers needed to make the project a reality quickly came forward after the project was announced this autumn.
Last month our Conservation Project in Peru was blessed with the birth of little Theo, a baby tapir! Theo is the first tapir to be born at Taricaya Animal Rescue Centre as part of our captive breeding programme. He is doing very well and his mother, Isabella, is taking good care of him.
Projects Abroad volunteers have been working alongside archaeologist Zenobio Valencia on the Incan & Wari Archaeology in Peru. Recently, they have uncovered a number of indentations which they believe to be a form of Incan rock art-work.
At the end of November all Projects Abroad volunteers in Romania were involved in the Drama Mini Project in Brasov. The project was directed by American volunteer Victoria Waldthausen, who adapted the classic story of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ for everyone to perform.
Over the past month Projects Abroad volunteers have been very busy helping improve the quality of life of the Talibés in Senegal. Projects Abroad volunteers work with several Talibé centres throughout the year and we fund a variety of programmes, from free breakfast schemes to Micro-finance loan projects for older Talibé students.
A group of students and teachers from Grangemouth High School are joining Projects Abroad to volunteer in Ghana next summer. Since their application forms arrived at Projects Abroad they haven’t stopped fundraising for their trip. They have used many ingenious and innovative ways of raising the money to go away.
An infographic showing stats on the incredible work performed by Projects Abroad sports coaching volunteers overseas.
Projects Abroad has teamed up again with the BridgIT Water Foundation to investigate water issues in the Endulen Maasai community in Ngorongoro Conservation Park. Endulen School is located within this community and has around 800 students. Currently there is no water at the school, not even a working water tank. We are looking for volunteers to help solve this problem.
Volunteers in Argentina have been coming up with some ingenious ways of fundraising to support one of our Care projects recently. One Saturday in October three teams of volunteers set out to the green parks of Cordoba to sell homemade cakes to the locals.
On the 16th October 2012 Projects Abroad Peru celebrated World Food Day with a fantastic food festival in the heart of the Sacred Valley.
Projects Abroad offers a wide variety of tailor-made elective placements overseas in developing countries. These have been designed specifically to meet the elective requirements and specific specialities of students training to be doctors, dentists, nurses, midwives, physiotherapists and occupational therapists.
Conservation volunteers in Cambodia join us throughout the year and often stay for many months, however, staff on the Conservation project are keen to get some extra help to complete a children’s playground on the island before the end of this year. We are therefore also offering a special 2-week long project from the 9th – 22nd December 2012.
If you are reassessing your plans after getting your exam results, then make sure that you consider a gap year. More and more people are taking time out from study and finding it to be an incredibly worthwhile experience.
Projects Abroad is proud to launch our new Micro-finance project in Senegal. We asked Dr Peter Slowe, Director of Projects Abroad, to tell us a bit more about the project.
In June 2012 Projects Abroad sent two of the UK’s leading seahorse experts to Cambodia to visit our Marine Conservation project. Thanks to their help we have come up with some really interesting conclusions.
The Campaign Against Child Trafficking organised by Projects Abroad Human Rights volunteers in Ghana has been gaining momentum in recent weeks. Two Projects Abroad PRO social workers have been working in Kete Krachi with the children of a rescue shelter called ‘Village for Life.’
Peru Conservation Director, Stuart Timson, updates us on all the news from Taricaya. "My apologies for such a long delay in getting you updated on the latest from the Peruvian Amazon. A long business trip, a lodge full to bursting and exciting expansion plans have meant time has just flown by and I will try and do justice to all that has been going on over the last three months."
This month Projects Abroad funded a visit to the Cambodia Conservation Project for two of the UKs leading seahorse experts, Neil Garrick-Maidment from the Seahorse Trust and Kealan Doyle from Save Our Seahorses. The pair spent a week out in Cambodia.
As the school term comes to a close and more and more students are getting time to enjoy the sunshine rather than revsion, lots of teachers are starting to think about organising school trips overseas.
Thailand Conservation Director, Ingrid Sprake tells us about the great reforestation work our Conservation volunteers are involved in: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with APE (Association for the Protection of the Environment) and FORRU (Forrest Restoration Research Unit) on this incredibly important forest restoration project.
Projects Abroad wants to bring the work of the Bone Marrow Donor Programme (BMDP) to our volunteers’ attention with some urgency. Sadly, one of our former Ghana Human Rights volunteers is suffering from Hodgkin's Lymphoma, a blood cancer, and has not responded to chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Things are now at a critical stage and it is imperative that a matching bone marrow donor is found.
With the launch of our Conservation Project in Kenya comes the unique chance to work with one of the most endangered giraffe subspecies in the world. There are sadly only around 450 Rothschild giraffes in the wild. Our Conservation volunteers in Kenya are able to contribute to a project which aims to protect this species in order to see that number increase.
Projects Abroad’s Teaching volunteers in Thailand have been busy helping local adults improve their spoken English. They have just finished running a week-long intensive course in conjunction with the Labour Skill Development Centre of Krabi Province.
On 22nd July 2011, Tore Eikeland was murdered on Utøya Island, Norway, along with 68 of his friends. In April 2010, Projects Abroad founder and Director, Peter Slowe, met with Tore's socialist delegation and worked together on the funding of an anti-fascist youth conference. In Tore’s memory, Projects Abroad has now established the Tore Eikeland Memorial Fund. Projects Abroad has donated two free places a year for three years for volunteering in Africa.
Not everyone relishes getting older but at Projects Abroad we’re over the moon at turning 20 years old! Projects Abroad was founded in 1992 with a small group of volunteers joining Teaching projects in Moldova. Two decades later and we now run projects in 28 destinations and annually support more than 8000 volunteers on our projects.
Projects Abroad Care volunteers in Senegal have been doing a great job in one of the local Talibé Centres. Noticing that the children’s feet were bare and injured Naomi from the US, Christina from Norway and Coby from Germany resolved to club together and buy some shoes.
In January, Projects Abroad started a new project at a primary school in Steenberg, Cape Town. We revisited the school last week and interviewed some students. They had some interesting things to say about our volunteers!
Projects Abroad PRO volunteer, Dr Jennifer Caplin, has been working with us since November on an intensive eight month dentistry project in Shanghai. Having completed four years of university and a further four years of dental school, Dr Caplin told us of her need for a change before entering the workforce!
Projects Abroad’s volunteers in Fiji have made an exceptional effort with their Flood Relief Donation Campaign in aiding local Fijians who have been affected by the recent flooding. Volunteers had a brilliant idea of setting up a camp at Nadi International Airport where they had a very successful day collecting donations.
Lizzie Bendle volunteered on a Medicine project with Projects Abroad as a pre-university student in Togo and Ghana in 2001. After deferring her university entry for a year Lizzie decided to use her gap year to gain some worthwhile experience in her chosen field of study - medicine.
I had recently graduated when I saw a small advert in a magazine advertising “Teaching in Moldavia” in 1992. I was slightly intrigued. I didn’t know much about Moldavia but liked the idea of combining some travel and teaching overseas.
Projects Abroad volunteers in Tanzania have had a busy year! They are coming to the end of a building project in a school in Engikarat, near Kilimanjaro, and in the next month we hope to see its grand opening… Following on from this success we now have even more ambitious plans to build a primary school in the Maasai village of Meserani, south of Arusha.
Projects Abroad has launched Ghana’s first ever campaign in Kete Krachi, in order to raise awareness about the brutal reality of Child Trafficking. It is estimated that 26,000 children are trafficked in Ghana each year, most of which are held in the fishing industry as modern day slaves. Trafficking is characterised by the movement of children from one area to another, and often sees children as young as 3 years old subjected to conditions of forced labour.
Staff at our pioneering Conservation project in Cambodia are keen to have the help of more volunteers this April. We’ve had a record breaking start to 2012, with 40 volunteers joining the project between January and March; however, we need to keep the momentum and consistency going!
Following on from a 3 month placement in Ghana, Harriet Walker has been inspired to take on a new challenge, a round the world yacht race! Here she tells us more: ‘This time last year I had just arrived in Cape Coast, Ghana and given half the chance I would get on a flight back over there tomorrow! It was my three month trip of a lifetime that inspired me to take on my next big adventure – The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.
Projects Abroad volunteer, Virginie Thouvenin, from France, has made an unusual and inventive donation to her care placement in Senegal. Noticing the need for a more organised way of storing the children’s books, she sought out a carpenter in order to install four bookshelves.
Conservation Manager, Richard Munday updates us on the exciting Scarlet Macaw project, which forms part of our Conservation Project in Costa Rica: ‘As each month passes we are gradually increasing the rhythm of the Macaw project so that eventually, when we reach April/May we are there 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
Our international, community-focused journalism project, Voices of the World is gaining momentum. We have now established Voices of the World clubs in India, Romania, South Africa and Senegal, thus giving the chance to local young people to attend free workshops on journalism and publish their articles in our online publication – www.voices-of-the-world.org.
Our first donations from the Bring-A-Book programme were presented to Apostolic Preparatory School in Ghana last month by volunteers, Hannah Pascoe-Smith, Harrison Swaine and Thomas Haynes. Bring-A-Book is a programme in which volunteers are asked to bring English children’s books with them when they arrive in their destination countries.
Volunteering on a Care project requires lots of enthusiasm, energy and, of course, ideas! Why not dust off the memories of your old childhood games, and share these with the children on your project? Former care volunteer in Argentina, Line Christensen, did just this and revealed her simple but brilliant idea of making play dough!
Due to the success of our placements in Phnom Penh we have now expanded to Siem Reap. Siem Reap is a large town about 5 hours' drive from Phnom Penh and is famous for being the closest town to the incredible temple complexes of Angkor Wat.
The Projects Abroad team in Kenya are thrilled to have welcomed their first volunteers onto our Care project - Takuya Yamanaka from Japan and Victoria Strømsodd from Norway! Our Kenya Country Director, Karanja BK, has expressed great excitement about the future of our projects in Nakuru.
Volunteers often return from their projects overseas inspired to do more. Many stay in touch with their placements and host families, some raise money to make donations of books or toys and some volunteers even start planning their return trip.
Projects Abroad is currently carrying out a survey in conjunction with Massey University in New Zealand in order to find out the motivations of our volunteers. Whether you are on a gap year, at university, on a career break, or even a retiree, we would like to know what made you decide to volunteer!
Projects Abroad volunteer, Lauren Brant, had a unique opportunity during her Music Project to make an appearance on one of Bolivia's biggest television channels. Lauren volunteered with us last year and after 3 months of teaching music to blind children, both hers and the student's hard work was recognised.
Projects Abroad's Conservation team in Costa Rica has embarked on an exciting and essential mission to help save the Scarlet Macaws. These beautiful birds are at grave risk of extinction and our aim is to put an end to this devastation.
The Royal Society of Medicine (RSM) is giving a £700 grant to two volunteers taking an elective placement in the near future. The Royal Society of Medicine gives a series of grants throughout the year and they are now looking to award grants to two elective students to tie in with their campaign on Global Health.
Booked your project? Thinking about fundraising? Your journey with Projects Abroad is on the horizon, you are just wondering how to get there... Do not be overwhelmed by the money you need to raise! This is the first challenge that you will encounter as a volunteer, and raising money is a great way to utilise your creative skills.
Alexandra Ichim, Projects Manager in Romania tells us about a recent charity show that the Projects Abroad Romania staff team and volunteers from a variety of projects, helped to arrange.