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.
21 Irish Sending Organisations are currently 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.
Before you go: Online course
If you are thinking about international volunteering, this is where you should start.
Comhlámh’s ‘Where Do I Start?’ Resources will guide and encourage you to think critically about your motivations for international volunteering. They offer an introduction to framing an understanding of development, the interconnectedness of global justice issues and the debate around responsible volunteering. The resources also invite you to explore how action for global justice can happen at home.
Inside each of the resources you’ll find some interesting reading, great videos, useful questions, interactive activities and finally spaces for you to jot down your thoughts.
There are four resources in total, with each topic taking 30 – 40 minutes to move through (excluding viewing of video links).
- What is Development
- Thinking about International Volunteering
- Being Active for Change
- Why Language Matters
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.
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.
Dóchas is the Irish Association of Non-Governmental Development Organisations which INTO is an associate member of since 2014.
In May 2023 Dóchas launched their Guide to Ethical Communications 2023
The guidelines are founded on three core values:
- Respect for the dignity of people concerned
- Belief in the equality of all people
- Acceptance of the need to promote solidarity, fairness and justice.
The Guide is a support to organisations seeking to implement best practice in ethical communications. It outlines key considerations and good practice for those working with imagery and messages in development and humanitarian settings.