Coming Home Guide

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Welcome Home! Returning from an overseas placement can be a very challenging experience with highs and lows.

Many returnees experience reverse culture shock, finding the process to be very isolating, emotional and stressful.

This does not happen to every volunteer but can be very common, particularly in those returning home from a developing country for the first time.

Many returnees return home full of inspiration and motivation to stay involved in global development issues. Depending on the circumstances they are returning to, it can be a struggle to find ways to get involved and to put to use their energy and enthusiasm. Comhlámh offers a range of support services to cater to volunteers and development workers on their return. Our services respond to the needs that returnees have identified for themselves. Among the services we offer are debriefing, counselling, career guidance, PRSI and Pensions support and our Coming Home Weekends.

As a membership organisation we also serve to connect returning volunteers and development workers with one another and provide opportunities to be active and involved in global development from Ireland. Whether through our membership or elsewhere, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved.

Our Coming Home Book provides a comprehensive guide to all these issues and directs you towards other useful organisations.


Comhlámh offers a range of supports to the returned volunteer.

  • Advice on reverse culture shock and tips for looking after yourself. Read more here…
  • Support Services for returnees range from debriefing, counselling, career guidance, Coming Home Weekends and the PRSI and Public Service Pension Schemes. Read more here…

Back in Action.

  • Careers in development, further study, development education, sustainable living and volunteering again. Read more here…

More information on all of these topics can be found in our Coming Home Book.


If you have returned home after a period overseas of three months or more, Comlámh warmly invite you to attend our next Coming Home Weekend.

These informal and relaxed weekends are held twice a year and provide an opportunity for returning volunteers to meet with fellow returnees, to reflect on their experiences overseas, to share mutual experiences (successes and challenges) of being overseas and to explore opportunities to use their skills and stay involved in development issues from Ireland. Previous participants have commented on how heartening it is to discover that others have felt similar fears, joys, frustrations and hopes.

Join our next Coming Home Weekend here.

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