20 January 2024
By Elaine Murphy
Cork based overseas volunteering charity SERVE is now recruiting for their 2024 summer Overseas Volunteer Programme. Applications close on 12th Feb
The SERVE Volunteer Programme offers applicants various opportunities to work with local charities based in India and Zambia.
Applicants must be 18+, not in full-time second level education and have a keen interest in meeting like-minded people, learning about new things and contributing to the 17 Global Goals.
The overseas project is only one part of the SERVE Volunteer Programme. When a candidate accepts the placement, they sign up to a seven-month programme which includes training days in Cork and multiple thematic information sessions held online.
The SERVE Volunteer Programme is always based on the needs of the partner organisations in four different countries. The SERVE 2024 Volunteer Programme offers four weeks volunteering opportunities in India and Zambia.
Volunteer Ireland published a report in 2022 titled ‘The impact of volunteering on the health and well-being of the volunteer’. This report explains the following:
The sense of bringing a practical solution to an issue/problem in society or in a community elicits a feel good feeling of satisfaction and involvement.
This can have a positive effect on self confidence.
This is further evidenced by the national survey of volunteers where 81% of respondents felt they were making a useful contribution to their community.
SERVE alumnus Siobhan Claire who presently works in the area of global Citizenship Education explains, “SERVE is unique in Ireland because it’s such a close, small community that has a huge impact. And it’s really special to be part of that.” Siobhan adds, “My experience of working with SERVE is that you really immerse yourself in the process of solidarity in action.”
One of the first volunteers to complete the SERVE volunteer programme in the Philippines in 2003 was Dianne Duggan. Today, Dianne is a Barrister by profession and is a Board member of SERVE.
Dianne explains, “Choosing how or if you should volunteer overseas can be tricky. Are you genuinely serving the communities? Is there a measurable impact? Is the process safe and transparent? The answers to all of these questions with SERVE is, yes! They have an impeccable record and if you get the opportunity to go with SERVE then you’re in an incredibly fortunate position and you’ll have an amazing experience of a lifetime.”
SERVE invites people from all backgrounds and experiences to apply to the 2024 Volunteer Programme on serve.ie. Applications close on 12th Feb.