Come See Us At #IAFair2015!

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The annual Irish Aid Volunteering Fair will take place at the Printworks in Dublin Castle on 10 October between 11.00am and 4.00pm

The Fair is an opportunity for anyone interested in overseas volunteering or development work to meet volunteer sending organisations, chat with returned volunteers in “the hangout zone”, listen to presentations in the Poddle Room and of course, meet Comhlámh and join one of our interactive workshops.

The key note address on the day will be delivered by Minister of State, Seán Sherlock, and there’ll be panel discussion with speakers who’ve volunteered in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Over 20 organisations will have stands showcasing their overseas placements, and LinkedIn will be present on the day to show potential volunteers how to best use social media in order to find suitable placements overseas. The Fair will also feature individual presentations about placements available with the United Nations Volunteering Programme, VSO Ireland, EIL Ireland, Development Perspectives, the EAPPI and Habitat for Humanity.


Comhlámh will also be launching two exciting new resources on the day: the Volunteer Learning Journal, and a dedicated online pre-decision course for people who are thinking about volunteering overseas.

We will be updating our social media closer to the event so keep your eyes on our Facebook pages, and our twitter account. Otherwise, for further information contact [email protected] or telephone (01) 4783490.

Invite your friends here!

Read about our panelists for the day.

Lisa McMahon is a secondary school teacher and head of modern languages, from Warrenpoint, Co. Down. She had always been interested in volunteering overseas as her mum was a volunteer in Kenya 40 years ago. Lisa decided to take a career break in 2013 and volunteered with VSO Ireland for 15 months in Gicumbi District in Rwanda working as a Teaching Methodology Advisor. Lisa worked across 11 rural schools where she helped to develop learner-centred, active methods of education. Key to the project’s success is a simple, tried-and-tested model which involves training and mentoring ‘focus teachers’ who then go on to share what they’ve learned with their fellow teachers. These focus teachers include the remarkable Jeanne Barundinka (pictured with Lisa) who Lisa describes as ‘one of the stars’.

Sarah (centre) pictured with North and Loyce, rehabilitation assistants at COU Kisiizi Hospital

Sarah (centre) pictured with North and Loyce, rehabilitation assistants at COU Kisiizi Hospital

Sarah Burke is a Chartered Physiotherapist and active member of UCD Volunteers Overseas’ Board of Trustees. In 2013, Sarah completed an elective placement with UCD Volunteers Overseas at COU Kisiizi Hospital, Uganda and undertook research on parental health literacy while there. In 2014, as a return volunteer with UCDVO and newly qualified physiotherapist, Sarah travelled to the Ferrando Speech and Hearing Centre, North East India where she worked in partnership with Irish and Indian physiotherapists to provide outreach disability services to local communities. Since then, she has completed a ‘skills in development education’ course with Cómhlámh. She is currently part of a global ergonomics team working for OPS Ltd, onsite at Google, Dublin.



Patrick Costello served with Ecumenical Accompaniment  Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) in late 2014, working as part of an international team Patrick was based in Bethlehem and worked across the Bethlehem Governate as an Ecumenical Accompanier. Since 2002 EAPPI has had international teams of EAs in placements in the West Bank and Israel, and is now the largest international HR monitoring group in I &oP. It is a member of UN Protection Cluster in the West Bank which relies on EAs’ reporting. The work includes monitoring of human rights abuses, supporting Palestinian and Israeli peace activists, giving protection by presence, and advocacy work.



Stephanie Egan (B.A., HDip.Ed., M.Litt.) is a secondary school geography teacher in Colaiste Chraobh Abhann, Kilcoole. Her B.A. Subjects were Geography, Sociology and Politics. Her Masters research is in Political geography. Stephanie returned from travelling around Australia five years ago and took up her first teaching job in Castlerea where she applied to volunteer with Global Schoolroom in India. Four years later Stephanie continues to volunteer with Global Schoolroom, this year as part of the in-country management team. Stephanie says she has continued returning to volunteer with Global Schoolroom “because of the huge personal and professional development this volunteering opportunity has given me.”


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View photos from last years event here or look back on #IAFair14 to see how it all went down.



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