News from 2017
Projects Abroad is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2017; in more than two decades, the company has helped connect over 100,000 dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers with communities around the world where they can make a difference. Over the years, volunteers have worked alongside local staff and communities in 38 countries to make a sustainable impact in fields ranging from conservation to medicine to childcare.
In July alone, 1,560 Short-term Special volunteers from all over the world are spending their school holiday volunteering with Projects Abroad. With such a large number of volunteers, we are making huge strides towards achieving our global goals and we are already seeing some exciting successes from the efforts of our Short-term Special groups.
Over 1000 lionfish have been captured and killed by Projects Abroad Conservation volunteers and staff in Belize, during their dives in marine parks near Placencia, between November 2016 and July 2017. This unusual conservation method forms part of an ongoing, worldwide effort to tackle the lionfish invasion that poses a major threat to native fish numbers.
In many rural Jamaican schools, children spend most of their day in overcrowded classrooms with no access to safe, outdoor play facilities. To address this issue, Projects Abroad volunteers began with the construction of a playground at Christiana Leased Primary School in Sedburgh, Jamaica. It will be the biggest playground in the area and the first to be fully equipped to cater for children with physical disabilities.
In 2016, more than 25 000 hours of free legal services were provided by the Projects Abroad Human Rights Office (PAHRO) in South Africa. We sat down with attorney and project manager of the Human Rights Project, Maria Mulindi, to find out what drives her, why her strength lies in the volunteers that join her team and why free legal services are needed in Cape Town, South Africa.
Projects Abroad volunteers have planted over 4000 trees to help with reforestation efforts in Madagascar following the devastation caused by Cyclone Enawo, which struck the eastern part of the island in March 2017.
Abusers and human traffickers work to isolate women by taking away their social support systems and their ability to earn an income. That’s why it’s so important to provide these women with a safe space to learn, build confidence, and heal. Through our new Human Rights Project in Bolivia, Projects Abroad is working in collaboration with the Sayariy Warmi centre in Cochabamba, Bolivia, to provide such a space.
Projects Abroad Conservation Project volunteers and the staff at Taricaya Ecological Reserve have been working to protect Peru’s critically endangered spectacled bear. After three successful bear rescues, in partnership with Animal Defenders International, Projects Abroad staff welcomed a fourth spectacled bear to the reserve in February 2017.
Projects Abroad launched a Disaster Relief Project in Nepal in June 2015, following the devastating earthquakes that hit the country in April and May of that year. In just 20 months after the project started, volunteers from around the world reached the goals set out by Projects Abroad: to rebuild classrooms for children affected by the earthquakes.
The Projects Abroad Micro-finance Project in Ghana will be moving from Akuapem Hills to Cape Coast in April 2017 to provide support to entrepreneurs at a leprosy camp and empower business women in a local fishing community.
The annual Projects Abroad Teacher Training Project in Peru, organised in conjunction with the Peruvian Ministry of Education, has gone from strength to strength, with the January 2017 intake attracting over 700 enrolments – 300 more than in previous years.
This past December marked 10 years since the Cochabanner became the official magazine published by the Projects Abroad Journalism project in Bolivia. The Cochabanner is the only free English-language publication in Cochabamba, and it has taken over a niche in the Cochabamba community among expats, English-language students, and locals simply looking to retain or improve their current language skills.