Comhlámh > SERVE - Code of Good Practice Sending Agencies Directory

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Work Scala Castle Road Blackrock Cork Work Phone: (021) 4358800 Ext. 204 Website:


Photo of SERVE

Mission Statement
SERVE is a development and volunteering organisation committed to tackling poverty in the majority world. We strive to do this by working in solidarity, service and partnership with marginalised and oppressed communities, empowering them to tackle the root causes of poverty and injustice. SERVE’s specific focus is towards gender equality, children and young people. SERVE achieves this by: Offering volunteering projects in Ireland, Brazil, India, the Philippines, Thailand, South Africa, Zambia and Mozambique; fostering global citizenship by opening opportunities for volunteers from developing countries to participate in service projects in Ireland; offering a Development Education Programme to all participants; and providing an outreach service to youth organisations helping them to creatively engage with Development Issues; engaging in advocacy initiatives, and supporting Fair Trade projects.



Is Irish
Non Profit

Organisation Type

Age Requirements
Minimum of 18 years, maximum age is flexible.

Language Requirements

No. Portuguese is beneficial for Mozambique but not required. Some placements may be influenced by language skills

Disability Access
Depends on placement. Please contact the organisation for further details.

Education Requirement
No. Some specialist professions are sought and will be beneficial, but application is open to all skill levels and backgrounds. A flexible, get up and go attitude is essential.

Other Requirements

Volunteers must have a spirit of adventure; be a team player; be committed to the entire programme including mandatory pre-departure training and a post placement de-briefing weekend; be willing to fundraise; be interested in international development; be ready to rough it; be willing to learn from another culture and respect the traditions and customs of our host partners; be willing to learn and participate in Development Education and challenging your perspectives.

As many host partners will be linked to the Catholic Church, it is important that volunteers are comfortable with this. They must be willing to enter into a Volunteer Contract with SERVE and adhere to all of SERVE’s policies and procedures.

For more information on country specific requirements click this link

Application Procedure
Our volunteer recruitment runs from October – November every year. During this time, you can apply online via our website. You must attend an information session, submit an application form, attend an interview and undergo garda vetting and reference checks. Successful applicants are offered a placement overseas and enter an agreement with SERVE to attend mandatory pre-departure training and a post placement de-briefing weekend called the ‘Next Steps Weekend’.

Yes. The Programme Fee is €2,995/£2,650. Once you have been offered a place you will be provided with a list of instalment dates to pay this fee. Each volunteer is encouraged to contribute to this fee and to raise these funds through their own fundraising initiatives. Volunteers have access to SERVE branded fundraising materials such as bibs, buckets and posters etc. The organisation of fundraising events will be the responsibility of the volunteer. Volunteers raising money on behalf of SERVE must comply with SERVE Fundraising Policies and Procedures.


The Programme Fee covers the following;

  • Return flights.
  • In-country accommodation, transport and main meals.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Pre-departure training.
  • Materials used on the programme such as craft materials, paint, bricks etc.
  • It contributes to the overheads incurred by SERVE in running the volunteer programme.
  • It provides grants to partners to build on the work undertaken as part of the volunteer programme.
  • Cost of the accommodation and meals provided at the de-briefing ‘Next Steps Weekend’ in Ireland.

Work Individually/In Teams
In teams

Code Of Practice
SERVE has been a signatory to the Comhlamh Code of Good Practice in Volunteering since 2005 and subscribes to the Dochas Code of Conduct for the Use of Images and Messages.

Volunteer Charter
SERVE promotes Comhlámh’s Volunteer Charter.

In Country Support
Yes; available full-time.

Pre Programme Training
3 mandatory pre-departure training days,  in-country orientation and evaluation.

Contact with Returned Volunteers


Sub-Saharan Africa


Bangalore, India

Beira, Mozambique

Cebu, Philippines

Hanoi, Vietnam

Mazabuka, Zambia


SERVE’s volunteers play a very important role in building the capacity of our local partners to sustain and improve the services they offer. Our volunteers work with the local community to encourage dialogue. By sharing and working together the SERVE volunteers and the local communities learn from each other. Safety is our priority and we go to every effort to ensure the safety of our volunteers. The programme will be led by experienced Leaders, who accompany the group throughout the placement, and provide supervision and support. SERVE’s partners in country also provide any necessary support. A 24-hour helpline is operated throughout the programme. Health, Safety and Security is covered extensively during the pre-departure training.

SERVE also offers other tailored Programmes for groups and schools:

1) Solidarity Programme: Tailored short-term overseas solidarity programmes for young adults, communities or parishes. SERVE works with individuals and groups across different faith backgrounds to encourage solidarity, diversity and understanding. This programme includes; publicising the project, information evenings, recruitment and selection, pre-departure training, post-project evaluation, establishment of local services and local Solidarity Group.

2) School Immersion Programme: Tailored short-term overseas school immersion programmes for school groups to encourage students to be active global citizens. The experience enables the students to witness the harsh reality of poverty while living in solidarity with families and communities in the developing world. This programme includes; publicising the project around the school, parent information evenings, recruitment and selection, pre-departure training and post-project evaluation.


The work of a SERVE volunteer varies from country to country and from partner to partner but is always in response to the needs of our partner communities. All our partner projects involve engagement with children and young people. Some examples of work previously undertaken include:

  • Community development projects.
  • Assisting with classes and school events.
  • Music, art, drama and dance workshops.
  • Youth leadership programmes, teaching English.
  • Disability/Special Needs assistance.
  • Refurbishment, light construction and building projects and much more!

0-4 Weeks