Congratulations to the 2020 Go Back<>Give Back initiative winners

Discover the eight successful partner organisations and projects.

About the initiative:

The RAVN Go Back<>Give Back initiative is a celebration of the ongoing connections between returned volunteers and their partner organisations. Returned volunteers are supported to go and give back to their partner organisation by co-designing and delivering a small project with the help of a $6,000 grant.

In 2020, the initiative didn't go exactly according to plan. With the postponement of the Australian Volunteer Program's Make an Impact | International Volunteering Conference 2020 due to COVID-19, the eight finalists were unable to pitch their project ideas to delegates for their vote. The three finalists with the most votes would have been selected as winners and the returned volunteers would have travelled back their partner organisation to complete their project together with their partner organisation.

Out of this challenge, we were able to adjust the initiative and offer all of the eight high-quality finalists' grants. The winner's projects were tailored to allow each of the returned volunteers to support the delivery of their projects remotely from Australia, while ensuring these fantastic partner organisations receive both technical and financial support for their essential projects.

Congratulations to the 2020 RAVN Go Back <> Give Back winners: 

Cambodia - Department of Social Work, Royal University of Phnom Penh, supported by returned volunteer Mara Schneiders

Support for Cambodian cancer patients: Developing information to understand and manage the cancer journey

This project will support the Department of Social Work's ‘Partnering For Health' initiative which is developing a model of social work in oncology and palliative care. The work in this area is complex as the understanding of cancer by patients is limited, and cultural norms around illness and dying impact on the approaches that can be taken. The grant will be used to develop, produce and distribute information materials that the social workers can use when providing information to cancer patients, their caregivers and families on five topics, including: ‘What is Cancer?’, ‘Chemotherapy treatment’, ‘Radiation treatment’, and ‘Nutrition’.

Fiji - Gymnastics Federation of FijiGymnastics Australia supported by returned volunteer Caitlin Lyons

AeroGym Women's Leadership Workshop for Vanua Levu

This project will allow the AeroGym program to expand to the second largest island in Fiji, Vanua Levu. The funds will allow for the running of a three day AeroGym Leadership Workshop which includes leadership and mentor training alongside AeroGym program content and experience in delivery. This trains and equips participants with the leadership skills to facilitate the program in their own communities, prepare and manage a regional event and provide modifications for inclusion of people living with a disability in their community. This program is also specifically targeted at women (although men are encouraged to also participate), who disproportionately present with physical inactivity and obesity in Fiji.

Indonesia - Friends of National Parks Foundation supported by returned volunteer Le-Anne Arane

Water-well project for conservation foundation, Nusa Penida Island, Bali

Limited water supply on Nusa Penida Island is a major concern. Local villages are experiencing extended periods with no water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, crops or small livestock. The goal of this project is to install a cost effective, independent water supply source by constructing a well to access underground water. At present, the Friends of the National Park Foundation (FNPF) site relies entirely on water bought and trucked onto site. As well as a supplying cost-efficient water for FNPF and their income-producing programs, it will help protect the micro-climate of the island and provide water for the bird sanctuary, nursery, organic gardens, fruit trees and tree planting program.

Nepal - Kathmandu University School of Medical Science, Dhulikhel Hospital

Procurement of personal protective equipment to support Nepal’s COVID19 response

Originally it was planned to use the grant to help to establish the first Human Milk Bank in Nepal and to promote the health benefits of breastfeeding. However, COVID-19 travel and social distancing restrictions prohibited this project from going ahead. Therefore, these funds will be used to increase the preparedness and management of COVID-19 at Dhulikhel Hospital by purchasing personal protective equipment for hospital staff to support in the management of this health crisis in Nepal.

Philippines - Bahatala Rehabilitation Centre supported by returned volunteer Udo Foerster

Strengthening capacity of the Bahatala Rehabilitation Centre Workshop

Bahatala’s manufacturing workshop is the only one of its kind in the whole of Palawan Province. It manufactures devices essential for mobility, such as prosthetics, orthotics, positional chairs and standing frames and special tricycles for the disabled. Bahatala employs two experienced prosthetists/orthotists who have trained with Australian volunteers in both fields. In this project, a series of webinars will be provided by the returned volunteer on the basic theoretical knowledge to prescribe, manufacture and fit ankle-foot orthoses. In addition, the grant will be used to address the current needs for repairs and renovations of the workshop building, as well as the provision of essential materials and tools for the production of prosthetics, orthotics and other essential assistive devices. This project aims to augment and strengthen the capacity of this workshop, unique in Palawan, with the goal of ultimately contributing to the inclusion of people with disabilities.

Tonga - Ministry of Health supported by returned volunteer Jenna Brown

Enhanced resources for Tonga’s COVID19 Risk Communication and Community Engagement Plan

This project supports Tonga’s COVID-19 Risk Communication and Community Engagement Plan being led by the Ministry of Health through the purchasing of film and photography equipment, and using this to create public health messaging. Once the threat of COVID-19 has passed, the communications equipment will be used by the Ministry of Health to develop health promotion content supporting the 'Healthy Weight' program.

Vanuatu - Vanuatu Disability Promotion and Advocacy Association supported by returned volunteer Sky Fosbrooke

Rebuild of the Marian Paia Disability and Health Centre after Cyclone Harold

The grant will be used for purchasing building materials to assist in the rebuilding of the Marian Paia Disability and Health Centre, which was heavily damaged by Cyclone Harold in early 2020. The rebuilding will focus on replacing the heavily damaged roof of the centre. Online workshops will also be trialled on disability advocacy, and COVID-19 control measures with specially designed resources.

Vietnam - Swim Vietnam supported by returned volunteer David Hurt

Royal Life Saving Society Australia training for Swim Vietnam

The main goal this project is to empower the Vietnamese community and government agencies with water safety education and technical skills to reduce drowning and improve the overall standards of swimming skills on a national level. Swim Vietnam provides high quality survival swimming lessons and classroom-based water safety education to Vietnamese children, and trains Vietnamese locals as internationally accredited swimming and water safety teachers and trainers. Their mission is to reduce the rates of drowning in Vietnam. This grant will be used to provide recognised life saving training equipment to help educate and train the community in emergency care procedures. Royal Life Saving Society Australia is providing discounts on purchases to support the project.


Nursing matron in white Bishnu Singh Head of first year midwives Subasna Shrestha Geeta Kamal Strestha associate Proff Coordinator of Masters Prog and NSG coordinator of obs with Maxine Hardinge Midwife and Australian Volunteer
Kathmandu University Hospital will use their grant to purchase personal protective equipment for front-line health workers.
Australian volunteer Tanya Carmont works with her Swim Vietnam colleague on rescue skills
Swim Vietnam will increase their team's life-saving and rescue skills and update their equipment.
Rizky Anggita Anggi at the Friends of the National Park Foundation in Nusa Penida
The Friends of the National Park Foundation in Nusa Penida will establish their own fresh-water supply with their grant.
Tim Cleasby volunteer Physiotherapist Trainer with Sitani Folau physiotherapy department sharing knowledge about correct wheelchair set up and customisation at the Hospital Physio department.
The Tongan Ministry of Health will purchase communications equipment and create public health messaging.
Vanuatu disability
The Vanuatu Disability Promotion and Advocacy Association will use their grant to rebuild after Cyclone Harold.