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Home SAVIO Volunteers, c/o The Salesians of Don Bosco, Salesian College, Pallaskenry, Co. Limerick, Ireland. Work Phone: 087-7762931 Website:


Photo of SAVIO

 SAVIO (Salesian Volunteers Ireland & Overseas) is the volunteering branch of the Salesians of Don Bosco in Ireland. SAVIO provides opportunities for adults to participate in the Salesian Mission in different centres throughout the world. Volunteers are able to ‘learn through action’ about justice and peace issues and the charism Don Bosco has passed on. SAVIO aims to assign volunteers to placements which match their abilities and the needs of young people in the host Salesian Community.


Area of Work
Salesian volunteers work mostly in educational centres with young people. Their work focuses on the young and the poor such as streets children, ex child-labourers and at risk youth. Volunteers are ususally placed in rehabilitation centres for young people, educational centres such as schools and training centres. The volunteer experience with SAVIO also aims to create awareness of global justice issues especially around areas that concern marginalised and underprivileged youth such as child labour, street children and education.

Countries Worked In:
India, Swaziland, Ghana, Philippines. Volunteers with SAVIO have also travelled to various European countries to participate in Youth Summer Camps.

Is Irish

Code of Good Practice
We are a signatory of the Comhlamh Code of Good Practice.

Volunteer Charter
We have subscribed to the Comhlamh Volunteer Charter.

age requirements?

language requirements
Fluent English

Disability Access
Not at present.

Educational or professional qualifications
No. A passion for working with youth is essential.

Other selection criteria
We are a Catholic organisation. We welcome applicants from all traditions but must stress that they should be willing to respect the Christian ethos of the community that they will be working with.

Application procedure
Application forms can be downloaded from our website or through the contacts above. Once this is completed we will be in touch. Two referees are required as well as Garda vetting. Applicants must attend pre-departure training and debrief on return.

We are a non-profit organisation. We ask volunteers to fund their own flights, visas, insurance and vaccinations. Food and accommodation will be provided by the Salesians community in their host country. There is no charge for training and support provided by us throughout the placement and on return.

Accomodation and food is provided. We do not charge for administration costs or training before, during and after the placement. We will provide ongoing support to the volunteer before, during and after their placement. We encourage our volunteers to remain involved in social justice issues and believe that the SAVIO experience abroad is one part of a learning experience in development and justice issues.

Types of activities
Most of our placements involve working with marginalised youth. A typical example would be centers for child labourers or street children, providing basic care and education to them. This can involve many different aspects such as teaching English, sports, music, computers but also ‘presence’ is hugely important. Throughout the placement our volutneers are encouraged to ‘be with’ the young people, to learn from them, to ‘waste time with the young’.

Duration of projects
Ideally we aim for placements between 6 months and 1 year. However, we are willing to consider shorter placements of 2-3 months if necessary.

Policies for the protection of children and vulnerable people

Work individually or in teams?

in-country contact person for volunteers
Yes. Jane Mellett is the contact person and is working on a voluntary basis for SAVIO.

pre-departure training
Yes. In brief the content of our training weekends cover the following areas: Volunteer Charter Comhlamh, Docas Code of Conduct on Images/Messaging, Inculturation Workshop, Development Education workshop, Health and Safety, Child Protection, Input on the Salesians – who they are and what they do, resources for working with young people abroad, Culture Shock – what it is and how to deal with it, Country Specific workshop with returned volunteers.

post-return debriefing
Yes. At the moment this is a one to one meeting with the returned volunteer looking at reverse culture shock as well as exploring how to put their experience into action on return and any issues they may be having. We remain in contact with them for as long as possible.

can you put accepted volunteers in touch with returned volunteers