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Saturday 1st 2016

Irish Aid Volunteering Fair 2016 – Be Part of the Picture!


#IrishAidVolFair @Irish_Aid @Comhlamh #VolOps

This year’s Irish Aid Volunteering Fair will take place at the Printworks in Dublin Castle, from 11.00am – 5.00pm on Saturday 01 October 2016.

35 volunteer sending agencies and other organisations will have stands to showcase their overseas projects and answer your questions about the realities of volunteering and development work.

There will be interactive and participatory workshops, a panel discussion and a number of experienced staff and returned volunteers to talk you through your volunteering options.

Come along if you would like to volunteer outside of Ireland, or if you’re simply curious.

For more information email [email protected] or telephone: 01 478 3490The Facebook page for the event is here.


Full caption for photograph: VSO Ireland education volunteer Maria Casey from Co. Kerry with VSO staff members Amina Abdirashid and Jean Molly Ameru and VSO volunteer Farai Kaitano at Kasimeri Primary School in Moroto, Uganda.


JUNE 2016

Members Day Jun25th

Comhlámh Members Day: Sat 25th June 2016

Our strategic planning process is under way and we want you, our members, to continue to be front and centre throughout it.

We’ve held a number of sessions, most recently at the end of May after our AGM. We’ve looked at our values, at what it’s important to pay attention to, what people think we stand for and what we most contribute to.  With the creative facilitation provided by Partners-Training for Transformation, we’ve had fun while reflecting on substantive issues around what membership-led versus staff-led means and where we find the balance at this time in our history.

It has been a very collaborative and affirming process for those who have taken part. We want to build upon this and asking you to come a play your part in shaping Comhlámh’s direction and action over the coming years

Please accept out invitiation and join us on the Members’ Day as we take what we have been looking at to the next stage where we tease out and reflect through questions and issues that are emerging through the process to date.

Members’ Day

All Hallows

Saturday 25th June 2016


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MAY 4th : “What does migrant solidarity look like” 7pm Wigwam 54 Middle Abbey Street

#FirstWeds, debate, international volunteering ireland,

We are delighted to be able to confirm the following panel for next Wednesdays #FirstWeds discussion.

Neltah Chadamoyo
Neltah is Public Engagement Officer for (and previous chair of) the Africa Centre. She has worked as Group Coordinator with Amnesty International Ireland Zimbabwe Group. She has researched how political parties in Ireland have engaged with migrants and experience of how (or not) migrants are represented in other social justice struggles such as Yes Equality campaign for same-sex marriage.

Lucky Khambule.
Lucky is a member of the Anti-Racism Network, and has worked within the Movement of Asylum Seekers Ireland. He is an activist in the ongoing struggle for the abolition of Direct Provision, a for-profit funded regime that continues to exemplify Irish state racism.

Razieh Nikoomanesh.
Razieh is originally from Iran and works with the Migrants Rights Center Ireland. She is a former Chairperson of the National Committee of UN Women Ireland.

Caoimhe Butterly.
Caoimhe has worked with community projects and social justice movements in Latin America and the Middle East for 14 years. She is a migrant justice ally and has spent the last year working with medical teams and solidarity structures with those on the move in Greece, the Balkans and Calais

The event will be hosted by Dr Gavan Titley
Gavan’s main area of research is primarily focused on the study of racisms in Europe.

Increasingly some types of migration are a framed as a source of contention and instability. Migrants are themselves vilified, often threatened with violence and subjected to humiliating brutality of border regimes. People are subjected to political agreements between the EU and Turkey aimed exclusively at stopping people seeking refugee. It is an arrangement that many argue breaks international law.
Direct Provision remains a blight, described as state racism by those calling for its abolition. In the last few weeks, in the absence of any elected government, the Minister for Justice has pushed though laws to make arresting and deporting of migrants easier and more frequent.
Yet simultaneously we are seeing an upsurge and increased visibility in migrant solidarity activity. Informal yet well organised grassroots networks continue to respond to emergency needs Calais, Dunkirk and Greece. Self directed organising by asylum seekers living with the Direct Provision system. Formal organisations taking legal cases around exploitation of migrant workers in Ireland. Whilst the specific workings of each are different, they share a commonality based in collective solidarity, pushing back against inequality and injustices.




Training Links Programme 2016

Many thanks to all who participated on the recent training links programmes. Spaces are still available on the following courses for staff, board members or volunteers of CoGP signatory organisations. Once again we have identified and engaged with sector leaders to deliver each training programme, ensuring that the content and delivery are of the highest available quality, and directly focussed on the needs of CoGP signatory organisations.

***Contact [email protected] to book a place on any of the courses.


Using Social Media to promote your volunteer programme (Advanced social media skills)

Trainer: Gert Ackerman (The Wheel)

Thursday 14th April 2016  Comhlámh 12 Parliament Street

Following from the basic social media training that was oversubscribed last year this programme will look at using social media specifically to promote your volunteer programmes.  Whether you are or always have been a social media guru, or you feel confident after undertaking the Training Links Social Media course last year, if you want to make your programme more visible and reach the most potential volunteers in the most effective way sign up now.

  • Targeting volunteers through Facebook advertising & promoted posts
  • How to find skilled volunteers on LinkedIn
  • The rise and rise of Instagram & Snapchat
  • Images that inspire hearts and minds
  • Telling stories with online video
  • Social media content plans
  • How to track your progress on social media (metrics)


Trainer: Marie Therese Fanning

Saturday16th April 2016 Comhlámh 12 Parliament Street

Due to popular demand we will be running the debriefing course again this year.  Remember that debriefing should be a core part of all CoGP signatory VSA programmes, so if you do not have trained debriefers in your team or if your debriefers simply need a refresher, this training course is a must do for your organisation this year. But sign up quickly, this course filled up within days last year.

Everyday Photography: taking and using high quality images for websites and social media using everyday equipment (smart phones/ tablets etc).

Trainer: Pat Clarke Browne  Munster Images

Friday 22nd April Comhlámh Office 12 Parliament Street

This course will focus on both the skills of identifying a good picture and the techniques for getting it to look just right when you take it; as well as responsibly using images that reflect your organisation’s development values.  Don’t have a fancy camera?  Don’t worry you don’t need one!

Tools for Change: a creative training day about increasing awareness and action as global citizens.

Trainer: ‘Creativity & Change’ (Crawford College of Art & Design)

Tuesday 26th April 2016 Lantern Centre Synge Street Dublin

This training will support your engagement with these themes in a practical hands on experiential workshop and will support you to apply your learning in your practice with young people or in non-formal learning settings.

FB event here.

Facilitation Skills

Trainer: Partners Training for Transformation

Thursday 12th May 2016 Comhlámh 12 Parliament Street

How does a good facilitator know what the group needs? What does it take to work with diverse experiences and perspectives? Why is there always ‘one’ in a group? Where do I find the right tools at the right time?

This training is aimed at anyone who wants to improve their practice as a facilitator in development education.

Fundraising/ Fundraising Policy

Trainer: Simon Scriver (changefundraising)

Thursday 26th May 2016 Comhlámh 12 Parliament Street

Whether we like it or not, fundraising will continue to be a challenge for all development organisations for the foreseeable future.  This course will show you both how to effectively target current and new funding opportunities for your volunteer programme, but also support you to review your organisational policy on what is and what is not the right way to raise funds.

Using The Arts for Social Transformation

Trainer: Patty Abozaglo

Thursday June 2nd   Comhlámh 12 Parliament Street

Come join Patty Abozaglo who will lead a workshop on the arts for social transformation. Patty has a life-time’s experience in development, human rights and peace-building work.  She has trained with Capacitar International on trauma healing & multicultural wellness and is a tutor in Laban dance and Body Movement.  She will draw from her most recent experiences in South Africa where she contributed to a pan African workshop on creativity and community transformation.

This workshop will be of benefit for those involved in community education, facilitation and change related work.

Advanced de-briefing/ debriefing the debriefer/ critical incident debriefing

Trainer: Debbie Hawker (ARREST)

Date 30th May Comhlámh 12 Parliament Street

This course is only available for those who have completed the Comhlámh debrief training and are actively debriefing returned international development workers or volunteers.  Ongoing training/ support for debriefers is an essential aspect of the debriefing process and we have engaged with Debbie Hawker who is the globally acknowledged world leader in this area of international development work.  Contact [email protected] directly to reserve a place on this course




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Training Links Programme

A programme of training workshops.

Comhlamh were successful in accessing funding through the Wheel for the Comhlámh Code of Good practice signatories Training Link Network. Training Links Network Committee have  put together a programme of events based on members needs identified from peer support meetings, feedback from members and the self audit process.

As the programme is funded through The Training Links Programme, registration costs/ deposit are kept to an absolute minimum to cover catering cost etc which is great value for training that would normally cost much more


Click here for more information.






Swap Til You Drop 2 on September 16th

Camden Palace Hotel, Cork City 5pm – 8pm

Another BYOC (bring your own clothes) event in Cork city centre – a chance to recycle pre loved clothes and fall in love with some ‘new to you’ items of clothing. The event will also be a chance to learn about alternatives to consumerism and creative ways to live more sustainably.

Find out more here or read about our last one. €5 entry fee. Tickets available online. Tickets are not available to buy at Camden Palace.







40th Anniversary Celebrations On September 8th in the Aras.


Present and past members will be hosted by President Michael D Higgins to celebrate 40 years of Comhlámh and its solidarity with global development.  After the Áras we would love you join us for a meal at which we will host an exhibition of some of the high moments pulled from our #40yearsofmemories  which have drawn from articles published in Focus and its predecessors over the years.


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The life and times of Thomas Sankara On Culture Night September 18th.


The life and times of Thomas Sankara – video and talk by Lassane Ouedrago on one of Africa’s modern day visionaries.  On the night we will also host host an exhibition of some of the high moments pulled from our #40yearsofmemories  which have drawn from articles published in Focus and its predecessors over the years.

 Invite your friends to the event here.




Photo: Capacitar founder Pat Cane at a training session. Source Flickr.


Capacitar sessions with Patty Abozaglo On September 15th.


Kick start your day, or finish it off, with some gentle capacitar exercises. Capacitar, meaning ‘to empower’ uses simple wellness practices that lead to healing, wholeness and peace in the individual and in the world. Perfect for anyone involved with global justice issues or activism that would like some nourishment. We will share effective stress management tools, improve focus and concentration at work and help to develop your own inner strength.

Tuesday 15th September from 8.30 – 9.30am and an evening session from


Read about capacitar here.




UCDVO Course Starting On September 12th

Comhlámh are assisting in the delivery of the Coming Home Day, which this year will take place with up to 130 returned volunteers from the UCDVO programme. The day will be a chance for the UCDVO returnees to reflect on their experiences overseas, exchange stories and to situate their overseas placement in their ongoing and wider engagement for global justice issues.






Our Membership Groups Kick Off On September 23rd.


Kick-off of the new year for all Comhlámh membership groups. Groups will be coming together to plan the coming year of activities and see what others are up to also.  New members also welcome.  This will be taking place in the Comhlámh office in Dublin and in Belfast. 23rd September, 18:30 – 21:00.

Read about our membership groups here.



Creative Writing Course For Returned Development Workers. September 26th.


Have you lived and worked in the “Global South”? Do you have stories to tell? This workshop is an opportunity to mine the rich veins of your memory; to gain confidence in your writing voice; and to share your experiences with like-minded others. Whether you worked as a volunteer or as a professional development worker; as a missionary or in humanitarian relief; whether your journey lasted 2 weeks or many years; whether you came home last week or 40 years ago; whether you are an experienced writer or a novice, this workshop is for YOU.

Saturday 26 Sept 2015, 10.30 am to 4.30 pm  at Comhlámh Office, 12 Parliament Street, Dublin 2. Cost: €75 (€65 if payment received by Sept 21)

For more info or to pay go to www.monicacorish.ie /

email [email protected] / phone 087-6414185

Download flyer here.









Israel / Palestine Night course .


Comhlámh’s newest group of members have been working hard to bring together this new night course.  It aims to give people an introduction to the Israeli / Palestinian conflict.  Working from a development education perspective it will help people to explore their own knowledge and attitudes to the conflict.  It will be interactive, exploratory and support people to continue their learning and taking up action on the issues.

 Starts date to be confirmed.  Comhlámh Freire Room.




 Humanitarian Night Course.

 Starts Wednesday 7th October for 8 weeks.

Kimmage Development Studies Centre are running this course to provide participants with an introduction to key aspects of Humanitarian Emergencies. The course is aimed at returned development workers interested in learning more about emergency response, those working in government or aid organisations who are head office based and involved in some aspect of emergencies (e.g. fundraising, public relations, awareness raising or development education) but who are not actually on the front line and as a consequence do not have direct field experience of emergency response and members of the general public who are keen to learn more about what actually happens in emergencies and how communities, governments and aid agencies respond.

A discount will apply for Comhlámh members to attend this course.

Full details here.




October 1st  DCU Volunteering Expo

Once again, Comhlámh will be present at the DCU Volunteering Expo held at the DCU Campus from 10.00am – 4.00pm on October 1st 2015.



October 13th TCD Volunteering Fair

Comhlámh will have a stand at the TCD Volunteering Fair from 10.00am – 4.00pm on October 13th 2015.







Coming Home Weekend. October 17/18th


These weekends take place twice a year and are a space for anyone who has returned home from working or volunteering overseas for 3 months or more in a development, humanitarian or missionary capacity.

The residential weekends are a chance to carve out that space to reflect on the time spent overseas, to explore the transition of coming back home and to have the chance to debate, share and hear from others as well as get to know what is happening in Ireland in the development, community and activist scene.

For more information click here.





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Irish Aid Fair On October 10th.


The annual Irish Aid Volunteering Fair is taking place this year on Saturday, October 10th. Last year saw the most successful fair to date. mapa satelital The fair is an opportunity for those with an interest in overseas volunteering to meet agency representatives and to find out what opportunities are available to them. It also presents the opportunity for agencies to celebrate the work they are doing overseas and to present it to the public.

Full details here.




Online Volunteer Overseas Course Where Do I Start.

This will be officially launched at the Irish Aid Fair on October 10th 2015, this online training is designed to provide an opportunity for those thinking about going overseas, to critically reflect on many aspects of the experience and to guide you in your preliminary exploration of volunteer sending agencies.

The course will provide an introduction to development; encourage you to examine your motivations and expectations for volunteering overseas and help you to make the best choices when deciding on which sending agency to link with.

After registering, participants will be given login details that will give access to all the materials. Participants will review materials and contribute to the online forum throughout the week, each course week will culminate in a group webinar on Mondays from 7-8pm

Dates: November 2015. Access to material from 2nd Nov & group webinar 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th November
Cost: €15

For more information, contact [email protected]





Comhlámh’s peer supported creative writing group for returned volunteers and development workers is starting again on Tuesday 27 October 2015.
The course will run every Tuesday evening for 7 consecutive Tuesdays and is free of charge.
Each week, a different member of the group brings a series of prompts for everyone to write about. We then read our pieces aloud and everyone is invited to give positive, nurturing and encouraging feedback to the writers.
Thus, we write, read and respond and all members are welcome.
If you would like further information please contact [email protected] – or telephone 01 478 3490


The Comhlámh Israel-Palestine Dev Ed group are developing a night course based on Development Educational methodologies. To support the process of developing the course, they are calling on the Dev Ed community to come lend them a hand!

Come join them in Comhlámh on Thursday 12th November from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. Tea/coffee and biscuits will be provided.

On the night there will be an update on the realities facing communities in Gaza and the West Bank from Garry Walsh of Trocaire

Then the group will provide an outline of the progress they are making and engage participants in reflecting on how they may move forward.







Peer Support Meeting for Code of Good Practice Signatories on November 25th.

To be held in the carmeilte Centre in Aungier Street on 25th November 9:30-4:00.

Further details to follow.





Medical Electives Course.

This pre-departure training is designed for those taking an overseas elective as part of their medical training. It will explore all the regular pre-departure content with the addition of scenario specific case studies to encourage critical reflection and preparation for working overseas in a medical setting. We will partner with MOVE – UL – Trinity and NUIG to deliver this training

Date and Cost: TBC

Venue: Trinity College, Dublin

For more information, contact [email protected]





Launch Of The New UNV Annual Report November 12th.





International Volunteer Day December 5th


On International Volunteering Day we will be launching the revised Code of Good Practice for Volunteer Sending Agencies.

Details to follow.




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