Responding to a request to assist English Teaching in Mae Ramat, Thailand, Frances Hayes arrived in June and is pictured here with Karen Students & Sr Marie Emie.
Once again Australians are able to be offered Palms Australia’s unique program of deep engagement with our partner communities globally. COVID made reaching beyond more difficult, but we now rejoice in renewed opportunities abroad.
Such opportunities offered by the Palms program since 1961 might have been lost but for our supporters identifying the importance of getting through the hiatus to again Reach Beyond our own small world. Renewing face-to-face engagement at the grass roots is at the core of enabling people of diverse cultures to develop relationships of understanding, acceptance and care. This is crucial in giving effect to Palms’ Vision of contributing to a peaceful world free of poverty.
Enquirers may be looking for adventure, but the program gives them so much more. It begins with a request from an overseas community who identify developments that will foster and build on the strengths of their people. Looking to develop health, education, technical trade and administrative skills they ask Palms to find appropriately qualified and experienced Australians who can volunteer to assist.
Palms not only prepare and support Australians who respond to the call to share their skills; to mentor those with little other opportunity; but prepare them for creating foundations that underpin mutual development. Being immersed in resilient communities enables program participants to learn from their wisdom. They are equipped to become conduits that encourage communities here and there to discern together, so that we all can develop and grow in ways that enable a sustainable world.
An Energising Exploration
Despite perhaps being well-meaning, the paternal or patronising approaches of old stifled the energising exploration of this important mutual growth. Clearly we have an obligation to share with those who live with less, but if we engage humbly there is at least as much to learn. More Australians responding again to the many requests from communities abroad allows us to rediscover alternatives to the “Western” development model that provides misleading short-term comforts while taking us down a path of unsustainable resource depletion and damaging climate change.
You are invited to share the excitement of the re-engagement by joining us at 7pm Monday, August 1, 2022. At this Webinar you will meet with Palms partner organisations abroad and the program participants recently dispatched to their communities. The stories will inspire.