Comhlámh Annual Report 2022:
Foreward by the Chairperson, John Durcan


Dear Members and Supporters of Comhlámh,

2022 was an exciting and fruitful year for Comhlámh. It was a year that saw us welcome our new CEO, Dr Caroline Murphy, and develop a five-year strategic plan, ‘Global Solidarity in Action: Comhlámh Strategic Plan 2023-2028’. The strategy sets out Comhlámh’s vision and mission for the coming years and provides the context for a new multi-annual strategic programme of work funded by Irish Aid. Responding to the scale and urgency of challenges facing our interdependent world, our new strategy supports transformative volunteering, active citizenship and activism based on global solidarity and ecological sustainability.

Comhlámh continued to see the success of the First Wednesday discussions, with participants and audiences expressing increased understanding and awareness of the topics we addressed. They also reported a sense of connection and solidarity with the people directly impacted by the issues.

Key achievements for 2022:

  • Increased collaboration with existing strategic partners, through engaged research into models of global citizenship and accompaniment for VSAs as they emerged from covid-related restrictions;
  • Developing, adapting, and running new online and in-person courses for adult educators and learners, based on depth-education pedagogies;
  • Deepening strategic engagement with partners from the national volunteering sector, within the framework of the National Volunteering Strategy;
  • Supporting migrant solidarity responders across Europe through the development and launch of significant new psychosocial resources and standing in solidarity with humanitarian volunteers facing criminalization within Europe.

As you read through this annual report, you will see how our member groups continued to grow and develop as they worked on addressing their relevant issues.

Member groups included:

  • Access to Medicines Ireland
  • Trade Justice Group
  • Justice For Palestine Group
  • Ireland Says Welcome Group
  • Dympna Meaney Women’s Leadership Fund

These groups are a cornerstone of Comhlámh, run by members and funded solely through your membership and donations. As with many organisations, funding is a challenge, so I put out a call to encourage you to sign up/renew your membership or make a small donation. All of this helps keep these excellent member groups active and supports their great causes. Any support given is greatly appreciated by the board, staff, and member groups.

I would like to acknowledge our institutional funders: Irish Aid, the Erasmus+ programme (managed in Ireland by Léargas), Concern Worldwide and the Training Links programme of the Wheel. I’d also like to thank our Solidarity Partners: Action Aid Ireland, Arab Irish Intercultural Centre, Brighter Communities Worldwide, Department of International Development–Maynooth University, EIL, Fairtrade Ireland, Plan International Ireland, Scouting Ireland, Tearfund, UCD Volunteers Overseas, Viatores Christi, Vincentian Lay Missionaries and Voluntary Service International.

A special thanks to those who contributed to the Dympna Meaney fund, to our individual donors in our Solidarity Circle and to you, our members. Through all this support, Comhlámh can continue its work. This support is greatly appreciated by the board.

Finally, this will be my last address as Chair of Comhlámh. 2023 will see me step down from the board after five wonderful years. I would like to say a special thank you to all staff, Board members and those connected with Comhlámh for their remarkable commitment to the work for global justice. As I move on, I know that my successor will have the privilege of working with a phenomenal Board and wider Comhlámh team to drive the new strategic vision and mission forward.

Read the Annual Report 2022