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Gregory (FCPA, FCAANZ)

The Partner

Global Association for People and the Environment

GAPE aim to produce rural communities that live in harmony with one another and with nature, their work is educate people how to live off the land without destroying it and in turn help to preserve the beautiful landscape of Laos.


The primary focus of GAPE is to provide education for the inhabitants for rural villages, many of whom are indigenous people and do not come into contact with the outside world very often, but GAPE aim to support them by infusing their local cultures with modern farming and land management techniques in order to make their environment more sustainable. This in turn helps to increase the longevity of these cultures and preserves them and their rights.

Global Association for People and the Environment

The Volunteer

Gregory (FCPA, FCAANZ) Name
Gregory (FCPA, FCAANZ)

Following a wide & diverse accounting career with considerable experience in London, Johannesburg, Hong Kong, Malaysia & Singapore, Gregory wanted a new professional challenge and a chance to travel and share his expertise with a non-profit.


He was soon on his way to Laos, where he would spend 3 weeks supporting Global Association for People and the Environment. We caught up with Gregory ....


"I spent three weeks in Paksé in Laos where I was made welcome by the lovely team of people at the organisation and found accommodation in the centre of the city where I was able to meet a number of people including both tourists and locals."


"While I enjoy trying new places and new food, I am also the sort of traveller who enjoys being recognised as a regular in a different environment and sharing a joke, for instance about finding a beer in the display fridge that is cold."


"My work colleagues had a good grasp of accounting but were very pleased to talk to me about aspects of the accounting, for instance the reports available on Quickbooks, that they had not had occasion to use or familiarise themselves with.   We had some debate about a number of processes.  I may have had some influence on them but there were obviously cultural priorities that I did not fully appreciate."


"The respect for my comments and genuine interest from my colleagues was flattering.  I believe that I made some contribution; the contribution was to a team whose competence was such that my advice was carefully tested before being accepted."


"Of course, this is a wonderful way of travelling.  Going out for lunch with people in the office, not only the accounting staff, gives you a huge insight that is not available to the normal traveller as indeed does talking with the staff."


"It is possible to identify certain specific things that I learnt such as some of the functionality of Quickbooks.  But these are insignificant compared to the insight into a place that is very remote from my normal life."


"I plan to undertake another AfID assignment.  As much as I would love to return to Paksé, there would be an element of trying to revisit the past that I know is impossible.  However, I am still in contact with people who I met there and exchanging jokes about the coffee and other shared priorities."