2012 was another challenging and turbulent year for those working on and interested in development and global justice, both globally and locally here in Ireland.
Although it was a tough year, we see great potential and increasing importance for work that highlights how interconnected the world is, the importance of good practice in volunteering and the local and global connections between communities and movements everywhere working to change the world.
With that in mind we’d like to share with you just some of the highlights of our work in Comhlámh in 2012:
- Thanks to our supporters and global partners we had a trade justice campaign success when the European Parliament voted to reject an unfair EPA ultimatum in favour of more time to negotiate fairer trade agreements.
- We provided support, information and training to hundreds of volunteers, development workers and activists
- We supported Ballyfermot students to create an exhibition of illustration s depicting concepts in global justice
- We published a report and video on Southern Alternatives to EU Trade Policy
- We published a toolkit on how to stay engaged in global justice and development work on return to Ireland from an overseas volunteering placement
- We have been actively engaging with signatories of the Code of Good Practice for Volunteer Sending Agencies to promote good practice in international volunteering. Achievements have included the promotion of development education in international volunteering, increased awareness of the support needs of returned volunteers and development workers, and support in delivering quality pre-departure training, to name a few.
- In partnership with the signatories, this year we also raised the bar in terms of good practice implementation by piloting minimum standards within the Code of Good Practice in 2012. The introduction of the minimum standards, which promote good practice on issues like child and vulnerable adult protection and quality pre-departure training and return support, mean that signatories who adhere to the Code will be able to demonstrate a duty of care for their volunteers and the communities with whom they work.
- Several first Wednesday debates were held running from October to May. Topics included the IMF, social media, gender inequality and poverty tourism. Among the many and great speakers were Dr Edward Lahiff, lecturer in International Development at UCC and anthropology PhD candidate, Anne Fitzgerald. Labour TD Dominic Hannigan and Mbemba Abdulie Jabbi from the Africa Centre Dublin. Tom Campbell, senior lecturer at Kimmage Development Studies Centre and Damien Queally, Head of Programmes for Plan Ireland. Malachy Browne from Politico.ie will chair the debate. Well known social bloggers, tweeters and social campaigners, Darragh Doyle and Suzy Byrne.