Our work overseas is well understood by readers of Palms Post, our invaluable volunteers reduce poverty by developing the capacities of overseas communities.
Perhaps less understood is our role at home – to advance the awareness, enthusiasm and involvement of Australian and international communities in shared action to achieve just, sustainable, and peaceful development.
This is why most of our volunteers of the Catholic faith will formally be sent in a sending ceremony in their local parish. Others will hold a special event amongst their community to mark the occasion. Linking their community with the overseas community of their placement helps to educate Australians about the real needs of people in developing countries and importantly that individuals can and do make a sustainable difference. It also support volunteers in their long-term placements to have a network of people interested and actively supporting the work they do in often very difficult circumstances.
But it’s not enough to simply engage with those who already are predisposed to supporting Palms. It is a poor reflection on Australian society that government reductions in overseas aid spending win votes. The only way to change this is through grass-roots community activity and this year Palms is seeking your support to help make this happen through:
Advocates – We have put out the call and received many positive responses from former volunteers to actively engage with the Australian community in any of the following areas to support Palms:
- Speaking at schools, churches and community events
- Volunteer Recruitment
- Hosting Encounters
- Cross-cultural Training
- Fundraising Events
CommUNITY Events – pancake breakfasts, movie nights, quiz nights… – we are looking for people who are willing to organise one of these events to build awareness of Palms and raise funds to support our work.
CoffUP (www.coffup.com.au) – This is a coffee fundraising drive for schools, churches, sports clubs, community organisations and charities – they get half the profits and the other half supports Palms.
With most Parents and Friends Associations and principals setting their fundraising activities for 2014 this month, we ask you to approach your school and introduce Palms to them (ask and we’ll send you more information about CoffUP for your school).
Please remember that your friends, family and work colleagues would support Palms if they understood the work that we do.
If you can help please contact me (Sean Dostal) at [email protected].