ALIVE is here to offer information and support to NUI Galway students considering volunteering internationally. Information offered online provides a starting point and volunteers should visit or email ALIVE to learn more about international volunteering.
What is International Volunteering?In recent years, there has been a growing interest in volunteering abroad, often in developing countries.
International volunteering can be:Short term (2 weeks – 3 months)
Long term (1 – 2 years)
Sending organisations may be:For profit
Not for profit
How do I know if volunteering abroad is right for me?
Only you can know for sure if such an experience is appropriate for you. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
What is my motivation for wanting to volunteer abroad?
How do I expect to contribute/give to the community I will be volunteering with?
How does it work?
You as the Volunteer contact a Sending Organisation that has links around the world with Host volunteering projects.
The Sending Organisation: These are agencies, organisations or commercial companies that arrange volunteer placements in developing countries. Sending Organisations have offices outside the destination country and recruit volunteers through these. Examples include, VSI, VSA, EVS, Habitat for Humanity, Suas, etc. You apply to the sending organisation to volunteer and they support you with training. There are a list of questions you should ask Sending Organisations below and you can check if an organisation has signed the “Code of Good Practice for Volunteer Sending Organisations” which sets out the responsibilities of organisations. The code requires agencies to ensure that volunteers are fully informed about their assignment, cultural, health and safety issues and aware of their responsibilities. Anyone interested in volunteering overseas is encouraged to consult the list of NGOs signed up to the code and the Code of Good Practice on the Comhlámh www.volunteeringoptions.org website.
The Volunteer: That is you! Volunteers need to adopt a learning approach to their volunteering. Volunteers are encouraged to read the “Comhlamh Volunteer Charter” which sets out seven principles that aim to encourage responsible, responsive international volunteering. Each principle contains a list of questions to help you make sure that you have thought about the issues raised, and that you know why they are important.
The Host Project: Host projects are the organisations or community groups in the destination country that receive volunteers. Host communities are the people with whom volunteers work and live while undertaking their overseas placements.
In order to ensure positive volunteering experiences of international volunteers and host communities, volunteers are encouraged to be well informed and prepared in advance of going overseas.
Things to Consider - A list of some vital considerations when volunteering abroad.
Comhlamh – Volunteering Optionswww.volunteeringoptions.org
Visit the Comhlámh Volunteer Programme website to find out everything there is to know about international volunteering.
Galway One World Centre
GOWC is a meeting point for people looking for information on a variety of development topics, including Human Rights, Anti-Racism, and Globalisation. They are located in Galway-drop in for a visit!
Irish Aid – Volunteer Centrewww.irishaid.gov.ie/centre
The Irish Aid website acts as a guide to volunteering, allowing the individual to review all the options available to them - short term, long term, online volunteering or volunteering in Ireland in support of overseas development. This website also helps individuals to start thinking about volunteering, to look at the various options, question why they want to volunteer and what do they want to get out of their assignment.
The Idealist.org International Volunteerism Resource Center (IVRC) is an online resource designed to help you make informed decisions about volunteering in another country.
Washington Ireland Program
The Washington-Ireland Program for Service and Leadership (WIP), is a six-month program of personal and professional development that brings outstanding Protestant and Catholic university students from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to Washington, DC for summer internships and leadership training. The program begins and ends with practical service in Northern Ireland and Ireland.
World Volunteer Web
The World Volunteer Web supports the volunteer community by serving as a global clearinghouse for information and resources linked to volunteerism that can be used for campaigning, advocacy and networking. It is an online hub where the community can meet, share resources and coordinate activities to mobilize volunteer action in support of the Millennium Development Goals.
United Nations Volunteerswww.unv.org
The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is the UN organization that contributes to peace and development through volunteerism worldwide. Volunteerism is a powerful means of engaging people in tackling development challenges, and it can transform the pace and nature of development. Volunteerism benefits both society at large and the individual volunteer by strengthening trust, solidarity and reciprocity among citizens, and by purposefully creating opportunities for participation.
Department of Foreign Affairs
The Department of Foreign Affairs’ website offers a range of information that will be of use to people who are travelling overseas. This includes information on passports, visas and insurance. Read the travel advice!
ALIVE Workshop: International Volunteering: How to get going and things to consider
Hear from fellow volunteers about their international volunteering experiences. Discover all the options available to you. Come along!
Meeting Room 2, Áras na Mac Léinn
Followed by pizza in the Hub!
Wed 1st February 2012
Meeting Room 2, Áras na Mac Léinn
Followed by pizza in the Hub!
NUI Galway does not suggest you volunteer with one particular organisation or another and we do not endorse or sanction any international organisations. We offer support and information so you can decide whether you want to volunteer and if so, which organisation with which you would like to volunteer.
Reasonable precautions have been taken to ensure information in the International Volunteering publication is accurate. However it is not intended to be legally comprehensive; it is designed to provide guidance in good faith without accepting liability.