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Sample Volunteer Abroad Projects — Ireland

VIP works with a number of NGOs and host organizations all over Ireland. Available Host Projects reflect changing needs and priorities and may vary from those shown. After you apply, we work closely with your Sending Country and our Host Project organizations to find an appropriate placement that best matches your skills, preferences and capabilities. In some cases your volunteer placement will not be finalized until after you have visited on-going projects during your in-country orientation.

"This has been the best experience of my life. I've met so many new people and learned so much about a completely different culture. I never thought I would have been able to do something like this on my own but I am so glad that I did. I've realized that I'm stronger than I thought." Dearbhla, volunteered in Ghana

Assisting those with Disabilities

VIP works with one of the longest established organisations offering services to those with physical disabilities in Ireland – Cheshire Ireland which has 19 service centres throughout Ireland. Cheshire Ireland, in partnership with service users and statutory and voluntary agencies, provide quality accommodation and support services to adults with primarily physical disabilities.

Two of the centres have been hosting volunteers for many years and have strong volunteer policies and trained staff in place – St. Laurence Cheshire Home, Glanmire, Co.Cork and O’Dwyer Cheshire Home, Bohola, Co.Mayo. Volunteers will most likely be placed in one of these two centres, though the possibility of placements in Kerry and Dublin also exists. Programme Length: 3 months

Sample Project

The O’Dwyer Cheshire Home was founded in 1976 and was set up by the late Hon. Paul O’ Dwyer, lawyer, long time activist and human rights campaigner in the United States . The home is built on the grounds of his ancestral home. The Cheshire Home is home to over 30 service users with varying degrees of physical disability.

Expected tasks

This purpose of this volunteer project is to support the social integration of adults with physical disabilities. This will involve the volunteer assisting the service users to increase their social activities and to integrate into the local community. Service users attend courses locally and need assistance from volunteers daily.

Additionally, the home has an activities and excursions programme, mainly led by volunteers. Some typical programmes include computer, music and cooking classes, speech therapy, drama and art workshops (including displays), gardening and life skills coaching.

Ideal volunteer

Cheshire Ireland is an equal opportunities employer and this extends to volunteer recruitment. Volunteer would need to satisfy the following criteria:

Minimum Length of Stay:  8 weeks

Environmental and Conservation Projects

 

VIP offers placements in a range of environmental and conservation organisations whose aims range from increasing environmental awareness to actual conservation of buildings, gardens and the protection of natural heritage. Volunteering in one of these projects means that those passionate about conservation and the environment can make a real difference. Programme length : 1-3 months

Sample Project

Leades Environmental Awareness Project. The 250-acre Leades House estate was owned by the Woodley family from the mid-17th century to 1981, when it was purchased by the Wolfe family. In 1997 work began on the deteriorating house and gardens to restore them to their former grandeur. The main activities at Leades House focus on environmental awareness and programmes are offered to visitors to learn about the related topics.

As one volunteer from France stated about his stay in Ireland:

"Volunteering in Ireland taught me new ways of life and many other positive things. I improved my linguistic skills, I met friendly people such as the Leades House's community and I learned the Irish culture. It was for sure one of the best experiences of my life."-Pierre, from France (2014)

Expected tasks

A variety of tasks depending on which area (listed below) that the volunteer is placed in.

Ideal volunteer

Needs to be an adaptable flexible type of person. They would need to enjoy teamwork and also workwell as an individual, as well as outdoor work and rural living.

Possible duration of stay: 3-24 weeks

Community Work in Bookshops and Resource Hubs

Volunteers can be placed in bookshops and resource hubs which act as bases for local Christian organizations and which provide funds for charitable work with communities.

Sample Project

These bookshops are run by staff and volunteers from various backgrounds and nations. These projects are run by faith-based organisations (Christian) but the only requirement regarding faith is that volunteers are asked to respect the ethos of the organisation. 

Most centres run diverse activities including: bookshop and resource hub, outreach events with youth and community groups, farming etc.

Expected Tasks

The focus of the volunteer work can vary significantly according to the period of the year.  Generally speaking, volunteers should expect to spend the majority of their volunteering time in activities directly related to the bookshop (administration, sales, fundraising, etc.). In some periods of the year, the outreach, children and youth work might be limited (e.g. August to December) while more opportunities to volunteer in these fields generally come up in other periods (e.g. from January to July).  The project helps run childrens' camps in July and volunteers generally get involved in the organisation of these camps. Farming work is also seasonal and there is generally more farming work during the winter than during the summer.

Ideal Volunteer

Volunteers are required to be adaptable, flexible people.  They will join a group of volunteers comprised of people from different backgrounds, countries and cultures. All the people involved in the project live in a community.  One of the main goals of the project is to become aware and open to different ways of living and thinking.  Volunteers need to be able to partake in teamwork, but personal motivation, maturity and responsibility are also important.

Minimum Length of Stay:  8 weeks

 

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