Since 2010, Palms Australia has been taking Australians interested in global development on authentic and intimate immersive tours of Timor-Leste. These trips have helped countless Australians engage in a genuine cultural exchange in a relatively unexplored part of the world. They provide opportunities to appreciate the impact of Australian volunteers who work for sustainable development.
In May 2018, we’ll be taking our first ever Encounter group to Samoa; a country we’ve been placing development volunteers in for almost 40 years. We’re also excited to announce that in addition to Timor-Leste and Samoa, in 2019 we’ll be taking our first ever Encounter in Myanmar.
Our Executive Director, Roger O’Halloran, made the decision to offer an Encounter to Myanmar after visiting the recently liberated country late last year.
“I visited Myanmar last November to better understand requests of communities for volunteers. I was blown away by the enthusiastic engagement of all in the process of discerning needs. Grassroots organisations are doing life-changing work. The humble acumen of the people complemented by the scenic beauty made me realise that Myanmar offers a unique opportunity for an Encounter trip to anyone interested in global development.”
Since opening the borders to tourists in 2010, Myanmar has seen a steady growth in tourism. Pro-democracy advocate group, Voices for Burma states:
“We believe that small-scale, responsible tourism can create more benefits than harm. Responsible tourists can help Burma primarily by bringing money to local communities and small businesses, and by raising awareness of the situation worldwide.”
Palms Australia has been preparing people to work in international development since 1961. As an experienced development agency with expertise in sustainable development and mutual cultural exchange, we’re experts in responsible tourism.
Our Myanmar Encounter will take participants off the beaten path to experience some of the world’s last untouched treasures. Participants will gain insight into the daily life of people, an understanding of sustainable approaches to development, and an insight into the life and work of Palms Australia’s development volunteers.
Working closely with our partner communities ensures our visits are mutually beneficial. The communities we visit plan the activities, and participants are given cross-cultural preparation complemented by expert guided support on the journey.
In addition to Myanmar, we’ve also announced the dates for several other Encounter trips to Timor-Leste and Samoa in 2019. If you’re interested in joining us on one of these life-changing journeys in 2019, please enquire now.