For all news, upcoming events and courses we are running please click here or view our latest newsletter bulletin here.
No More Business as Usual – The Alternative Trade Mandate Alliance
Last month we headed off to Brussels to join global justice activists from across Europe in a 2 day meeting to discuss how EU trade policy could promote sustainable development and poverty eradication globally. Over 45 activists from more than 12 countries attended the meeting, from organisations as diverse as the European Milk Board, the Quaker UN Office, VSO as well as think tanks, trade unions and trade justice organisations. During the 2 days we discussed and debated an ambitious vision of an alternative EU trade, investment and economic policy, which would put people and the planet first locally and globally, and how we can campaign
towards this at EU level during the elections in 2014. Watch this space as the campaign develops, or in the meantime visit www.alternativetrademandate.org
for more info. In the last month Comhlámh was also pleased to deliver trade justice workshops to enthusiastic participants from the VMM The World is Your Oyster Course and students from UCD's Masters in Equality Studies.
Volunteering Overseas Pre-departure Training June 8
Comhlámh will deliver pre-departure training for prospective volunteers about volunteering overseas for global development (both short-term and long-term). The training is open to volunteers from all sending organisations who have not received pre-departure or intercultural training from their organisation. This participatory one-day workshop will allow participants to explore important issues in volunteering for global development:
• An introduction to key themes in global development
• Exploring the role of the volunteer
• Considering your motivations for volunteering overseas
• Exploring key volunteer attributes and skills
• Encountering difference: volunteering in an intercultural setting
• Considering the Use of Images and Messages in Development
The workshop will be held on Saturday, 8th June at the Irish Aid Centre from 10 am to 4 pm. It costs €15 for Comhlámh members/student or unwaged or €25 for non-members and waged. Lunch, tea and coffee will be provided. Please contact Susan for any enquiries by email firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 01 4783490.
New Members Sought for Options & Issues in Development Group
Next Meeting: Volunteer Charter Discussion 6.30 - 8pm, May 28
We are looking for new members to join our Options and Issues in Development group! Our next project is to revise the Volunteer Charter, animate it and make it more engaging and reflective for volunteers. We would appreciate input and suggestions from those of you who are well versed in the Principles of the Code of Good Practice, such as volunteer sending organisations, prospective and returned volunteers, development education practitioners and anyone interested in development, social justice and volunteering issues. Our next meeting will be held on Tuesday, 28th May from 6.30pm to 8pm at the Comhlámh office. For more information, please call 01 4783490 or email Roisin at email@example.com.
Volunteering Overseas: Where Do I Start?
Comhlámh recently delivered a workshop on “Volunteering Overseas: Where Do I Start?” in the Irish Aid Centre on the 11th May. Enthusiastic participants were drawn from various professional backgrounds (including students, teachers, NGO workers and professionals from the media and IT sectors), representing a wide age range (late teens to late 50s) and from several countries (Ireland, Sudan, Turkey and Italy). All were actively engaged in exploring, discussing and taking a critical perspective of issues promoting responsible and responsive volunteering. Two guest speakers, Ronan Cooney and Ruth Barrett shared their experiences as short-term and long-term volunteers; giving unique accounts and perspectives on their respective placements. All participants stated their satisfaction with the workshop and are more confident in the selection and direction of their overseas projects. The next workshop will take place this Autumn.
Some of the comments from participants included;
“I feel more prepared, more capable of making an informed decision. I know where to look for organisations and what to look for.”
“I found the handouts very useful but the most valuable aspect was the teasing out of motivations and things to consider.”
We wish them all the best of luck in their future endeavours!
Dóchas’ Initiate: Transparency in Action Conference
Comhlámh were among those in attendance at Dóchas' annual conference on May 2nd which explored some of the practical dimensions and challenges of increased transparency for NGOs and assessed the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI)
more closely. IATI is a voluntary, multi-stakeholder initiative which aims to make information about aid spending easier to access, use and understand for donors and recipients. It is hoped that such transparency will improve resource management, accountability and effectiveness in tackling poverty and stimulating development. Speaking at the event, Rolf Kleef discussed the progress and ambitions of the Dutch open data project which has been supported by his network 'Open for Change'. For more info on the project see www.openforchange.info
What Next Toolkit Publication
Comhlámh has recently published a What Next Toolkit for returned volunteers and development workers. The booklet is designed to guide returnees through a process of reflection and discusses the possibilities for continued engagement back in Ireland whether through activism and campaigning or through further education. The toolkit was produced in collaberation with German and Polish partners - Finep and Youth for the World - and has been informed by returned volunteers from across Europe. It compliments Comhlamh's 4 day 'What Next' course which engages participants in a critical process to explore development issues and skills to raise awareness and take action locally. Click here to read the Toolkit or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like a hard copy.
May Day March
On May 1st Comhlámh staff were among those out on the streets to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Dublin Lockout and celebrate workers' rights on MayDay. We were inspired and energised by the Dublin march and the various events taking place all over the world to mark the importance of workers' rights, locally and globally. It was great to hear so many people making the local-global link, expressing solidarity with garment workers in Bangladesh, as well as people struggling with precarious jobs or unemployment at home. View a short video of the energising march here
Celebrate Our She-roes: Exhibition Launch of Paintings Exploring Gender
The paintings, exploring women’s empowerment and development education were launched on April 4th. Speaker Síobháin Madden officially launched the Comhlámh and EIL funded exhibition. If you missed it you can view a short video of the launch here. The paintings were on display in the Irish Aid Centre, 27 Upper O'Connell Street, Dublin until April 18th.
What Next course
Thanks to all who participated in the first weekend of ‘What Next
’ at the beginning of March and the second phase in April at Tipperary’s Cloughjordan Ecovillage. The energy created by the different experiences and ideas was wonderful. There was lots of space for discussion, a chance to meet a diverse range of returnees and hear further about the Ecovillage from Davie Philip and Duncan Martin. In April we had a chance to explore and advance the Action Project ideas that have emerged and participate in a careers session delivered by Marie Therese Fanning from Walk Tall Coaching.
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