Crisis Open Christmas, London

Crisis - fighting for hope for homeless peopleOpen house for the homeless at Christmas – I worked the night shifts here during Christmas 2006, welcoming guests, serving food, sorting bedding, keeping fire-watch in the sleeping areas as well as ensuring the safe and effective running of the Centre. The most rewarding part was having the time to sit and listen to the colouful stories shared throughout the night.

Information Centre for Asylum and Refugees, London  

Government-sponsored pilot project Researching Asylum in LondonI interned here summer 2006, working on summarising academic articles and reports for ICAR website; contacting authors for permission to use their work and completing in depth Internet research.

Survival International, London

Survival International- the movement for tribal peopleInternational organization supporting tribal peoples worldwide – Here I volunteered in the Outreach and Education Department for six months in 2006, where I was repsonsible for redesigning, updating and managing the universities database; arranging participation in universities’ Fresher’s and RAG weeks; team working on campaigns; working at fairs; creating and sending out mailings and general administration.

Mother Teresa Mission, Calcutta

Shanti Daan Refuge for abandoned women  During my travels throughout India in 2005 I stopped a while in Calcutta and spent my time befriending and listening to the women being cared for at one of the nine centres run by the sisters of the Missionaries of Charity, as well as helping with housekeeping.

Global Volunteer Network, Kathmandu

Global Volunteer Network - connecting people with communities in needSupporting the work of local community organisations through the placement of international volunteers  As part of the cross-cultural Community Maintenance Project, I got involved in construction work for a new children’s home and also school repair and decoration. Throughout my two-month stay in spring 2005 I stayed with a lovely sexgenarian Nepalese couple.

Rejoice Urban Development Project, Chiang Mai

Rejoice Charity - Supporting people with HIVAIDS and HIV outreach project This welcoming family-run charity allowed me to tag along in autumn 2004, helping out on their daily runs to rural villages with the distribution of medicines and vitamins and listening to communities’ concerns. I witnessed directly how its child sponsorship programme as allowed so many otherwise unfortunate children go to school wearing a uniform, with pens and books and even lunch money.

Casa Alianza, Mexico City

Casa Alianza - Changing Street Children's LivesRefuge for street children in Mexico City I joined this organisation in the new year of 2001 and spent time playing games with the heart-warming but sometimes challenging kids, eating lunch together and listening to their worries as well as their very lively chatter.



Jo Sykes – traveller – writer – humanist. Travel writing, articles, stories, blog, photos, maps and recommendations from Joanne Sykes on www.josykes.com 
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1 comment

Comment by
Claire - UK
16 Sep 2009

Great stuff Jo! Helps enlarge our horizons!