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Info for Volunteers

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INTO & Comhlámh - in Partnership for Teacher Volunteers

The INTO Solidarity Fund assists members with their fundraising activities in advance of joining with the Sending Agency of their choice to do volunteer work overseas. INTO is very proud of the strong tradition of members travelling throughout the world as volunteer teachers. Most teachers who decide to do volunteer work, whether for a few weeks during the summer break or on a more long term placing, have found the experience to be very rewarding and, on some occasions, life changing.

However, it has also become very important that members prepare properly, well in advance of travelling, in order to get the best out of the experience both for themselves and the people they are travelling to meet. INTO recognises Comhlámh as the expert organisation in this area, offering potential volunteers valuable information in helping to make the right decisions:

  • Why am I going?
  • Where should I go?
  • Who should I go with?
  • What should I do when I come back?

INTO fully supports good practice in international volunteering and is committed to a vision of international volunteers working in solidarity for a just, equitable and sustainable world.

42 Irish Sending Organisations are implementing Comhlámh’s Code of Good Practice for Volunteer Sending Agencies, ensuring that international volunteering has a positive impact on the volunteer and host community. We advise you to only support International Volunteering with one of these Code signatories. Any queries about responsible international volunteering and the Sending Agencies that are implementing good practice, please visit www.comhlamh.org

Comhlámh have also introduced a free online course especially designed for teachers who might be considering work as an overseas volunteer. If you are someone looking for a little help in asking the right questions of yourself and your potential “Sending Agency”, this could be a great place to start:

Before you go: Online course http://www.comhlamh.org/where/
The aims of the free Comhlámh online course include:  the exploration of the “development” concept as it relates to volunteers, and to place volunteering within a global context; to look at the valuable role of the volunteer in wider global development work. It will help you to consider issues relating to Sending Agencies: the different types and durations of volunteering; issues relating to money and volunteering, including looking after yourself; and will deal with useful information relating to the Agencies themselves and what questions you need to ask them. Lastly, the course will introduce some interesting ways of continuing to work for development, within your home & workplace, on your return.

When you’re home: Coming Home guide: http://www.comhlamh.org/volunteeringoptions/coming-home-guide/
Both INTO and Comhlámh have a shared mission to foster good practice and critical engagement in volunteering, and action for development. This collaboration is only a start in the pursuit of this shared mission and we hope you will join us.

Comhlámh Code of Good Practice http://www.comhlamh.org/code-of-good-practice-2/
The Comhlámh Code of Good Practice (CoGP) for Volunteer Sending Agencies is a set of standards for organisations involved in facilitating international volunteer placements in developing countries.

Code of Conduct on Images and Messages http://www.dochas.ie/code-conduct-images-and-messages
In 2007, Dóchas members adopted a Code of Conduct on Images and Messages. The purpose of this Code is to provide a framework which organisations can refer to when designing and implementing their public communication strategy. Dóchas is the Irish Association of Non-Governmental Development Organisations which INTO is an associate member since 2014.