“Peopleandplaces” pioneered responsible volunteering abroad, benefitting local communities in the developing world with skills shared by people with proven skills. They have never provided classroom teachers, they have placed experienced professional teachers to work alongside the local professionals. Unlike many other voluntourism businesses Peopleandplaces did not charge volunteers to replace paid teachers in local schools. Peopleandplaces’s volunteers rejected the voluntourism label, they were there to work and share their experience and skills.
The pandemic put an end, at least temporarily, to placing skill sharing volunteers abroad but they still needed to continue to work with, and support, their partners overseas. Covid-19 did not remove the need for volunteer support, it stopped delivery. Over the early months of 2020 – working with their partners and volunteers – they devised a solution: e-volunteering.
Peopleandplaces pioneered e-volunteering enabling those with skills to share them with the programmes they work with in Cambodia, Morocco, South Africa, Swaziland and The Gambia. E-volunteering is a way that people can volunteer from home – it suits volunteers who want to use their skills and experiences to support a project abroad but are not able or do not wish to travel. Peopleandplaces has developed a range of ways in which volunteers can work with communities remotely depending on how much time they are able to give – just an hour every couple of weeks (or even just a one off) will enable a volunteer to create a story video. For those with more time to give peopleandplaces can structure a placement by matching skills to project needs in the same way as for a travelling volunteer, and the placement can be structured to provide regular online meetings with the people the volunteer works with at the project.
E-volunteering will enables people to give the time they are able to give to support a community project or school from the volunteer’s own home – when it’s convenient for them. E-volunteering has been developed in response to the Covid pandemic, one of the very few positive things to emerge from it. Peopleandplaces’s initiative has been well received – a great success.
One year on with a proven new delivery model they are seeking new volunteers – all the local partner programmes are eager to host more e-volunteers.
Over and over again people from the communities we support have told us how much they value the personal contact an e-volunteer placement provides – although we are many miles and sometimes many hours apart we have continued to work together on a one-to-one basis – and many e-volunteers have told us of their surprise and delight at how personal a connection can be formed on-screen.
You can read about some of their partners and programmes – learn more and volunteer here.
- Working with students and house mothers in Morocco our volunteers have helped to build confidence and language skills….you can help too …take a look here
- Our first book club – why is it so important? Book clubs encourage teamwork, foster the ability to listen and react, create a sense of community and an ability to critique. Read more about our first book club in South Africa here -how could you help?
- Exploding volcanoes and Covid healthcare training for Cambodia- do you have skills you could share? – we need business and life skills too take a look here to read more