Comhlámh > Training and Courses

Training and Courses

Volunteering for the future


‘Volunteering for the Future’ is a project that was developed by Comhlámh and three of our partner organisations across Europe, Volunteering Matters in the UK, INEX in Czech Republic and finep in Germany. Collectively we believe in the power and importance of returned volunteers taking action when they return to their home community. The aim of this project was to explore how to support returned volunteers become active citizens while using the knowledge and experience they gained while in the global south to create actions for social justice at home.


Johanna Macey is an American environmental activist and author, talks about how hoping for a better world is not enough. It needs to be active. This is what she calls “Active hope” and as she says it is our gift for a better world.



“It is no longer appropriate to think only in terms of even my nation or my country, let alone my village. If we are to overcome the problems we face, we need what I have called a sense of universal responsibility rooted in love and kindness for our human brothers and sisters. In our present state of affairs, the very survival of humankind depends on people developing concern for the whole of humanity, not just their own community or nation. The reality of our situation impels us to act and think more clearly. Narrow-mindedness and self-centered thinking may have served us well in the past, but today will only lead to disaster. We can overcome such attitudes through the combination of education and training.”
Johanna Macy, Coming Back to Life: The Updated Guide to the Work that Reconnects




As part of this, we developed a number of supports to help organisations work with their returned voluneters. This includes research into how to support active citizenship, a number of training manuals and a companion/reflection manaul to help trainers explore their practice. They are available here


For the volunteer developed an online course available here This aims to inspire motivate people to take actions for a more justice world. We also ran a number of training courses. We will host another one on the 24th of this month in the Comhlámh offices. It will support people to develop their ideas into actions so they can play their part in “active hope”


Some of the actions that have been developed by returnees as part of this project are a urban garden in Germany, a fair deal for young people following Brexit, a nature based social enterprise in the Czech Republic and a reusable cup campaign in Ireland. If you are interested in getting invovled you can sign up below.



Comhlámh Coming Home Weekend




The next Comhlámh Coming Home Weekend will take place on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 December 2018, at the Emmaus Centre in Swords.


Volunteers and development workers who have been on overseas placements for at least three months or more, are invited to attend this two day residential event in the relaxing surroundings of the Emmaus Centre. The weekend is a chance to discuss the challenges and positive aspects of the overseas placement, with experience de-briefers and other returned volunteer development workers, from a range of different organisations.


Participants are given time to reflect on the overseas placement, and to begin to plan for future reengagement with development related matters here at home. Time is given to assist people with the “coming home” stage of their volunteering and development work experience in a safe and relaxing environment.


The price for the weekend is 100 euro for non-members of Comhlámh and 50 euro for members of Comhlámh. The price includes overnight accommodation, meals, snacks and soft drinks all through the weekend. For further information contact:

Book your place today.


‘Where do I start?’ Comhlamh Webinar Series, November 2018

Join our next ‘Where do I start?’ November Webinar series (November 13th, 15th, 20th and 22nd from 1pm – 1.45pm)


Our Webinar Series will:

Provide you with an introductory framework for understanding development and the interconnectedness of global justice issues;

Guide and encourage you to think critically about your motivations for volunteering overseas;

Invite you to engage with the ‘Volunteer Charter’, the Code of Good Practice for Volunteer Sending Agencies and the debate around responsible volunteering;

Invite you to explore how action for development can happen at home.

Throughout the webinar series, participants can offer their thoughts and reflections on topics raised, engage with fellow participants in a community of learning and receive feedback from a skilled facilitator.

To register, email


Here is some feedback from past participants:


‘The webinar series raised interesting questions and topics that I wouldn’t have thought of before. The last session was particularly motivating, just knowing that we can be a tool or an educator at home in order to create positive change.’ (Jacob, Dec 2016)


‘I thought the webinar series was really useful and very informative. It covers a lot of ground and has given me more focus and direction for my future volunteering plans.’ (Ruth, Dec 2016)


‘I have recently developed an urge to volunteer abroad and help those less fortunate than myself. The Comhlamh webinar helped me to explore why and how.’ (Amy, Nov 2017)


The 4th session on development at home was excellent. It evoked further awareness as to what my values really were and not to forget that we can do a lot daily at home (Peter, Nov 2017)


‘The webinars were well organised and presented. I loved the opportunity to make contributions and to hear from others’ (Lee, Nov 2017)