Comhlámh’s 2020 Outreach Programme began on 16 January at the Volunteer Fair in NUI Galway. Comhlámh was one of 30 organisations showcasing their work to students, staff and lecturers in the James Hardiman Library, in Galway.
It was a rainy day outside, but that didn’t prevent warm interactions between the participating organisations and people coming to the Fair.
For our part, we were giving information about responsible and responsive international volunteering practices, which centres around our code of good practice for volunteer sending agencies. We talked about our VolOps social media channels, where we post daily information about vacant international placements. And we talked about our new, FREE, online course, entitled “Where do I start?” This course is aimed at anyone who is interested and curious about international volunteering and development in general, and there is a very engaging topic included in this course about the language we use in the development sector.
We also used the time to talk a little bit about our campaign to stop people volunteering in orphanages. This campaign was launched in the autumn of 2019 after the findings from the Comhlámh Orphanage Working group strongly recommended that we campaign to stop short term volunteers working with vulnerable children.
Keep an eye on our VolOps social media channels for updates about our outreach events this year. Or, if you are trying to keep your social media time to a limit, you can follow VolOps on Facebook and Twitter
Volunteer Fairs are also a great opportunity for us to meet with staff and volunteers from the sending agencies in our code of good practice, and in Galway we were delighted to see our friends and colleagues from VSI Ireland and Brighter Communities. In addition, we have a long standing relationship with Oxfam Ireland, who were looking to recruit volunteers to support their work in Ireland either through their retail opportunities or through campaigns.
This year we plan to attend a number of volunteer fairs in the autumn, union conferences in the spring, and some general public events through the summer, such as Nepal Day and Africa Day. We will also be speaking at volunteer seminars in TCD, Queen’s Belfast and be available for chats at the helpdesk in DCU and at the public information desk in Dublin’s central library in the ILAC Centre.
Keep an eye on our VolOps social media channels for updates about our outreach events this year. Or, if you are trying to keep your social media time to a limit, you can follow VolOps on Facebook and Twitter on our website here: https://comhlamh.org/volunteering-opportunities-overseas/ This means that you can just see the information VolOps is posting, without being tempted to browse and scroll aimlessly for too long!
The 2020 Outreach programme is very exciting and we are always happy to be out and about talking about our activities, our work, our campaigns and our programmes. Hope to see you somewhere along the way!