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Justin Kilcullen Goes For The Senate.

Many years before he was the head of Trocaire, Justin Kilcullen spent two years working in Tanzania. When he came home, none of his friends could relate to his life changing experience. In this video he told us how: Comhlamh was somewhere I could meet like-minded people who had similar experiences and together that we could begin to do something to help continue the

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A Reflection On Going Back To Our Roots.

What does it mean to go back to our roots? After our May 1st event, Mark Cumming got thinking about his roots. Here he talks about how Comhlámh is turning itself around for the better. I got thinking about school days and getting into trouble for being on the wrong side of the 1983 referendum campaign – college days and shimmying up and down

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We’ve Just Updated Our Coming Home Book!

Now in its 8th edition, Comhlámh’s updated Coming Home Book will shortly be available to help guide people through the highs and lows of returning from an overseas placement. We have been listening to the experiences of returning volunteers and development workers since 1975, and the ideas outlined in this book reflect their collective wisdom. Our members are often returning from an experience that

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Will There Be A Comhlamh Group In The North Soon?

Last month Comhlámh travelled to Belfast to meet with a group of global educators who had made the request to develop an active group in the north. Grainne O’Neill, our Volunteer Engagement Project Officer has this report. We met in the Youth Action offices right in the city centre and the fruit, buns and chatter got the meeting off to a friendly start. The

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Find Out How To Protect your Social Insurance Record while Overseas

Janet Horner chats about maintaining your PRSI credits while away. Returning from volunteering overseas can be a very stressful time, trying to re-establish your life at home and move on from your time overseas. As Comhlámh’s Information and Support Officer I meet many returned volunteers who face short-term and long-term problems in relation to their social welfare entitlements. Many recently returned volunteers need to

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Why Was There A Slow Response To The 2010 Humanitarian Crisis In Pakistan?

Back in 2010 for Focus86 Caroline S. Connolly explored possible reasons why there was a slow response to the flooding in Pakistan. According to the UN, the floods in Pakistan are the greatest humanitarian crisis in recent history. Maurizio Giuliano, a spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said: “This disaster is worse than the tsunami, the 2005 Pakistan earthquake and

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We’re Building On Last Year’s Research Into Volunteering.

Comhlámh are currently carrying out a survey of volunteer sending agencies in Ireland building on previous research commissioned in 2012. The purpose of the annual survey is to collect comparable data each and every year on overseas volunteering to build a sound evidence base and discover trends in overseas volunteering from Ireland. Last year by examining data from 2012 submitted from volunteer sending across

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We Just Met Several Start Up Volunteer Sending Agencies.

Shannette Budhai, Volunteering Quality Project Officer at Comhlámh reflects on yesterday’s meeting with several start-up volunteer sending agencies (VSAs). There was no need for introductions. The group—small but eager—organically formed and began talking amongst themselves, even before I set foot inside the room. As I made coffee and tea in our kitchenette, my attention was drawn towards the excited chatter in the room. There

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Does Short Term Unskilled Volunteering Do More Harm Than Good?

Janet Horner attended a recent debate in NUIG about ‘voluntourism’. She argued against the motion ‘This house believes that short term unskilled volunteering in developing countries does more harm than good’. She lost gracefully to a large majority vote in favour of the motion but was encouraged to see so many students eager to engage in this important issue. Here, she shares some of

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Why Not Help Set Up Our New Members Space?

Comhlámh is currently working on organising and setting up a members meeting space.What does that mean? Rather then just doing workshops or having to sign up to groups relating to certain topics, we feel it to be hugely important to have a relaxed meeting space also, where returned development workers and volunteer members can meet up and chat and mingle with each other on

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