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Irish Aid Volunteering Fair 2017

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We are delighted to announce that this year’s Irish Aid Volunteering Fair will take place on Saturday 07 October, from 11.00am – 5.00pm at the Hibernia Conference Centre in Dublin Castle.



Once again we welcome 35 volunteer sending agencies and other interested organisations, who will showcase their overseas placements and be available to answer your questions about volunteering and development work.  There will also be two interactive, participatory workshops and a keynote speech, followed by a panel discussion, made-up of returned volunteers and development workers.


In addition to meeting representatives from over 30 volunteer sending organisations, and other interested groups, there will also be two interactive and participatory workshops, a panel discussion and a number of experienced staff and returned volunteers to talk you through your volunteering options.


Venue: La Touche Room  

12pm: Key-note speech, Minister of State Ciarán Cannon.

12.30pm- 1.30pm: Panel Discussion

The panel includes;

Sinéad Hayes

Sinéad has been a volunteer in Ireland with Trócaire for two years working predominantly with their schools outreach delivering talks and facilitating workshops in the areas of climate change, climate justice and Trócaire’s work overseas. She was involved in Trócaire’s Divestment campaign from its launch in Buswells to the passing of the Divestment Bill in the Dáil in January 2017. She recently returned from a study visit to Sierra Leone where she visited with Trócaire’s country staff and partners to see the broad spectrum of work and programmes delivered in Freetown, Makeni and Kambia. Last year, Sinéad took part in Development Perspectives ‘Insight’ Programme which included a month-long visit to Tanzania. She has just finished her MA in International Development at Kimmage Development Studies Centre and recently submitted her thesis on ‘Psycho-Social Motivations of Individuals with Sustainable Lifestyles and Lessons for Climate Action Campaigns’. She currently works as a facilitator for Suas in the Irish Aid Centre.

Carmel Gallagher

Carmel Gallagher has volunteered with VLM in Ethiopia in 2015 and 2016. On both occasions she completed five-week placements in community development projects with the Daughters of Charity in Addis Ababa. Originally from Donegal, Carmel is a Senior Lecturer at Dublin Institute of Technology in the Social Sciences Department, teaching on both undergraduate and postgraduate courses in social care, and coordinating an MA in Child, Family and Community Studies.

Karen Jeffares

Karen Jeffares is a human rights activist who spent five years (2008 – 2013) working and volunteering in Latin America with different projects and organizations.  While studying Nonviolent Conflict Resolution as part of an M.Phil in Peace Studies at Trinity College she became particularly interested in international protective accompaniment – a model of social activism inspired by Ghandian nonviolent philosophy.  Later in Nicaragua, Guatemala and Colombia she volunteered with local organizations who were putting this theory into practice by inviting internationals to accompany them in their campaigns in order to bring attention to their cases and importantly, to deter attacks against them.  From 2011 until the end of 2013 Karen volunteered with the  NGO Peace Brigades International (PBI) on their field projects in Colombia and Guatemala.  PBI is an international organization that works to protect local human rights defenders working in conflict and post-conflict settings through protective accompaniment.   On return to Ireland in 2014 she founded the Irish branch of PBI and has been coordinating it on a voluntary basis ever since.  The organization is run by a team of volunteers dedicated to “making space for peace” from here in Ireland, in support of PBI’s vision and mission.  They regularly receive delegations of HRDs and WHRDs to raise awareness about their work and to contribute towards an effective international protection network for these individuals.  Karen is also a member of Comhlámh, the Latin America Solidarity Centre, and Amnesty International.

Cillian Quinn

Cillian has studied in Ireland, the UK and Sweden. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Trinity College Dublin and has a MSc in ‘Managing and Implementing International Development Projects’ from the University of Manchester. He is trained as a trainer of trainer for campaigning for gender equality and tax justice with Action Aid Ireland. Cillian has worked with vulnerable populations in the past through his work with Granby Merchants Quay Medical and as a youth worker in London with The Challenge. He has previously worked for different international development agencies in Asia and Africa in different capacities. Cillian has volunteered with EIL Ireland in India and most recently with VSO Ireland where he held the role of Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor for an Irish Aid project in Northern Zambia. Cillian currently works as the Projects and Logistics Coordinator for Safetynet Primary Care.


Venue: Conference Room  11.00am – 5.00pm: 35 volunteer sending agencies will be showcasing their programmes and projects throughout the day.


The workshops details are as follows:

2.00 – 3.00pm President’s Room

‘Humanitarian Volunteering through the EU Aid Volunteering Initiative’

An interactive session to find out what humanitarian volunteering entails, and how to become an EU Aid volunteer. An opportunity to meet other organisations from Europe working on good practice standards as part of the EU Aid Volunteer Initiative and hear about where volunteers are currently being deployed.  There will also be a chance to ask any questions you may have about the EU Aid volunteering initiative.

3.30pm – 4.30pm President’s Room

Fundraising tips for volunteers: with Simon Scriver

More and more often, volunteers are requested to raise funds before they travel on behalf of their volunteer sending agency, and this can be daunting, intimidating and grim! This one hour workshop will take you through some tips for fundraising and equip you with some fresh ideas and new impetus to raise your target amount before you travel.

Come along if you want to find out more about volunteering overseas, and….start your journey here!

#IrishAidVolFair @Irish_Aid @Comhlamh #VolOps

Keep your eye on our social media platforms for more information about the sending organisations involved, the panel speakers and the interactive workshops!

Contact ruth@comhlamh.org for more information.


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