Established in 1975, Comhlámh is the Irish Association of International Development Workers and Volunteers. As a membership organization, we build and mobilise community around global justice issues. Comhlámh nurtures and supports work for change, locally and globally, and advocates for a world beyond injustice.

Comhlámh has almost 50 years experience of solidarity-based engagement that addresses the most pressing issues of our time. We support people and organisations to mobilise for global justice, including through values-led volunteering, humanitarian responses, and active citizenship. All Comhlámh’s work is underpinned by a commitment to Global Citizenship Education (GCE), which deepens understanding of the structural causes of inequality, unsustainability, as well as the connections between local and global challenges. Overall, Comhlámh provides a unique and vital space to work in solidarity with others towards a shared goal of a world beyond injustice.

Our Community

Our community is made up of:

  • Comhlámh members, member groups and the people and organisations they connect with.
  • Volunteer Sending Agencies (VSAs) and organisations that support Comhlámh’s Code of Good Practice for VSAs
  • People who volunteer, work, or act in solidarity with communities in the Global South
  • Migrant solidarity responders and humanitarian responders
  • Irish national volunteering sector (Volunteer Centres and Volunteer Ireland)
  • Networks, educators, institutions and groups working to achieve local and global justice

Our Members

Comhlámh members are typically volunteers, returned development workers, and activists who believe that the causes of global inequality, poverty and who believe that different ways of being and doing are needed to address the unprecedented global challenges facing our interconnected world.

Thinking of becoming a Comhlámh member?

Solidarity in Action

Together with our community, we are committed to achieving local and global justice through cultivating:

    • A solidarity-based movement that draws on our history to create new responses to the unprecedented challenges the world is facing.
    • The skills, dispositions, and stamina to stay involved in generating opportunities for change at a time of deep uncertainty and challenges.

Comhlámh believes that by providing the space for people to come together to collaborate, learn and share, ideas and possibilities for achieving common goals will emerge

How We See the World

The current decade began with unprecedented global challenges. COVID-19, escalating wars, the climate emergency, and large-scale human migration have highlighted the uncertain, fragile, and complex nature of our interconnected world. No longer will the traditional development narrative of ‘us and them’, ‘global north and global south’, ‘developed and developing’ suffice for a world that is so evidently interdependent. The scale of the challenges we are facing requires radically different ways of being and doing. It is vital that, in our efforts to rise to such challenges, we dig into the root causes of global injustice including colonialism and earth-harming economic models.
The wider development sector is beginning to grapple with this need for different ways of being and doing. With discussions emerging around unequal power dynamics, development trends are beginning to shift towards localisation, and development agencies are engaging with the concept of decolonising aid. The Global Citizenship Education (GCE) sector is also drawing upon decolonial perspectives which cast a light on the coloniality of existing GCE frames and approaches to teaching and facilitation. Ecological sustainability is being given increasing prominence in different sectors, with increasing emphasis on responding to the climate crisis through reconnecting with the earth and caring for all living systems. This isn’t easy or comfortable work, but it provides possibilities for truly transformative approaches.
As we grapple with this rapidly changing global context, Comhlámh believes there is a pressing need for transformative models that create space for inquiry, for exploration of the complex, interdependent and unequal world of which we are part, and for the envisaging of a more just and sustainable future for all.

Comhlámh aims to create spaces within which different ways of being and doing can be nurtured, and from which new possibilities for action might emerge. We aim to provide the spaces for transformative thinking, practice, and action, and believe this is key to establishing the conditions for innovation and change.

Want to Dig Deeper?

Become a Member

Join the growing Comhlámh community of like-minded people interested in activism.

Join Member Groups

Join us as a Member and get involved in one of our groups active on global and social justice issues.

Watch First Wednesdays

Join our First Wednesdays conversations, explore the linkages between local and global justice issues.