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INDEX Issue 28 / January 2011

Irish Newsletter for Development

Returnees at finep training locating food insecurity geographically

Education Exchange

Bringing it home: learning from volunteering





For many decades people from Ireland have travelled to live with communities in the Global South. The last decade has seen a shift in emphasis from long term volunteer placement to short term opportunities. These are between two weeks and a year, and most do not require a professional skill-set.

Does overseas volunteering need Dev Ed? By Kate Byron and Alison Leahy


Reality TV - Are you serious?


Can Dev Ed work with the media to do the right thing? By Frank Humphreys


Learning from European Voluntary Service By Emma Grainger


INDEX Links: Dev Ed courses & events


EU Corner & International Dates


IDEA Corner


Dev Ed news, funding, & resources


Action projects motivate volunteers to engage By Kai Diederich


Travel broadens the mind? By Noel Carroll


Resource Review: Youth for the Future By Helen Lane


While some short term volunteers translate their desire to volunteer overseas into further action for justice from Ireland, many end their participation at the airport. This issue encourages educators to reflect on how development education could support short term volunteers to learn more while they are overseas, reflect on their experience, and identify ways to challenge the causes of inequality throughout their lives. A recent TV show brought overseas volunteering to the public’s attention but did viewers learn about global interdependence? Pages 4-6 present views from those involved and explore development education engagement with the media. Since 2011 is the International Year of the Volunteer the next 12 months should provide many opportunities to promote the importance of including a development education aspect to the support provided to volunteers. On pages 13-14 finep shares their learning about empowering German volunteers to stay engaged with justice issues, and a youth worker shares his views on the distinctions between exchanges and volunteering. Finally we have news, including an update on the September MDG summit and where to learn about the IMF, whose recent loan to Ireland provides interesting opportunities to make the link between Ireland and other deeply indebted countries.

Volunteers need to be more flexible, and cultural sensitivity needs to be taught to [people] as a prerequisite to becoming volunteers Tanzanian host organisation representative


INDEX is a free Comhlámh publication for people interested in educating on global development issues, funded by Trócaire, IDEA, and Irish Aid. The views expressed in individual articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organisations to which they are affiliated, the editorial committee, or Comhlámh. What is Development Education? Development Education is a process which seeks to generate changes in values and attitudes both at the individual and collective level, with an eye to a fairer world in which resources and power are fairly shared in a spirit of respect for human dignity (ACODEV - Belgium). Editorial committee: Ali Leahy (Comhlámh), Jenna Coriddi (CGE), Aoife McTernan (Trócaire), Elaine Mahon (NYCI), Mbemba Jabbi (Africa Centre), Eimear McNally (IDEA).

IDEA supports the production of INDEX in line with its mission to advance the Development Education sector through capacity building and networking.


Please contact to comment or to contribute to future issues. Visit to read INDEX online.

Does overseas


volunteering need Dev Ed? “...there is an opportunity for educators to use these expectations as a starting point for a development education process.”


omhlámh’s supporters, particularly those who have worked overseas, continually question the impact and purpose of the shortterm volunteer. While some feel their experience was beneficial for the host community, others struggle to see any evidence of a positive impact and sometimes witness a distinctly negative effect on host communities. This view was echoed by host communities in Comhlámh’s 2006 research, Impact of International Volunteering on Host Organisations ( Some questioned the impact of receiving non-professional volunteers for short placements of one year or less. Others were concerned that some volunteers behaved more like tourists than workers. This raises the concern that increases in short term volunteering over the past decade have blurred the lines between good quality volunteering, poverty tourism, and voluntourism ( commentisfree/2010/nov/14/orphanscambodia-aids-holidays-madonna). These concerned voices inspired Comhlámh to work on promoting good practice standards in overseas volunteering and crucially, a long term commitment to development that goes beyond the volunteer placement. So how do we promote a long-term commitment to development when volunteers only sign up for a short-term placement? Realistic expectations The first step is to understand the volunteer’s expectations. Some volunteers have unrealistic expectations about what they will achieve while they are overseas. These tend to be reinforced by frequent media messages

of developing countries in need of our money and expertise. Whether the volunteer wants to go overseas ‘to help the needy’ or ‘to learn directly from local community workers’ there is an opportunity for educators to use these expectations as a starting point for a development education process. That global development is decidedly complex is acknowledged by development practitioners all round the world. Understandably, it is a challenge for most volunteers to understand how they relate to this picture. Development Education at this stage can support people in understanding how their contribution fits into the wider development sector. This can temper their expectations, and in doing so improve their satisfaction, their work performance, and the relationships they build while overseas. Dealing with reverse culture shock On return to Ireland volunteers tend to reflect on their time overseas. Many struggle to find answers to their questions about poverty and inequality, while others wonder what they can do with their increased awareness of global injustice. There is a great opportunity, and arguably a responsibility, for development educators and sending organisations to support volunteers by revisiting discussions that occurred before going overseas, and to further develop volunteers’ understanding of why inequality and poverty exist. Without this support there is the danger that they will feel confused and disempowered on their return to Ireland. These negative emotions are unlikely to encourage volunteers to continue to engage with the complex issue of global development. Even for volunteers who are completely happy with their time overseas, the

Volunteers on the 2009 Suas Volunteer Programme at their first training weekend in NUIM in February 2009. (L-R) Sinead Kenefick, Fiona Shannon and Christina Campbell. Credit: Suas

return home provides an opportunity to build on their interest and concern, and to challenge them further. We can encourage them to reflect on why some people are poor, what impact they had overseas, and whether there is more they could do. This can potentially lead to an opportunity for further learning and action for justice from Ireland. Arguably this should be our main aim anyway, given that we can really have an impact on inequality and poverty by being active in Ireland and across Europe. What can sending organisations do to support Dev Ed? Some organisations that send shortterm volunteers see development education as their core purpose, whilst others barely include learning opportunities within their programmes. Perhaps these organisations need to consider what the role of the short-term volunteer really is and how best to facilitate this. What expectations are they giving to potential volunteers through their advertising and recruitment process? Are they acknowledging the potential of an individual volunteer to act as an educator or activist, not just a fundraiser, on return? And finally, what support are they putting in place to encourage this to happen? Only through exploring difficult questions about why we are going overseas volunteering, or sending others, can we identify our own role in perpetuating or challenging current inequalities, and have a positive, long-term impact on those we have a desire to work with. Kate Byron & Alison Leahy, Comhlámh,,



Reality D TV

uring autumn 2010 RTE showed a reality TV show, ‘Do the Right Thing: the search for the ultimate volunteer’, about a group of Irish people competing to win a year volunteering overseas. This provided a unique opportunity to educate the viewing public about the realities of volunteering.

Are you serious?

Maurice McQuillan, Trócaire Emergency Manager, advised the show on the realities of international development work. He explains why Trócaire got involved.

The challenge for such a TV show was to use these eight hours of prime time television to go beyond presenting entertaining stories of Irish people ‘doing good’ to providing an insight into the problems that are currently keeping more than 1.4 billion people living in poverty. Could it show how volunteers can provide more than charity? Could it show how their work overseas and when they get home can contribute to the realisation of long term solutions to these problems?

Fiona Byrne, ‘Do the Right Thing’ volunteer,

shares why she got involved with this show and what she learnt from taking part.

Maurice McQuillan, Programme Leader, Trócaire Humanitarian Unit in Pakistan, September 2010. Credit: Trócaire Fiona Byrne. Credit: VIP

“Trócaire is a serious, rights based, developmental and humanitarian organisation founded by the Irish Bishops to help alleviate suffering and fight injustice in the developing world. Why would Trócaire be interested in participating in a “reality TV” entertainment show? We debated this question last July and decided to get involved in “Do the Right Thing”. “2011 is the international year of the volunteer. Traditionally Trócaire has recruited professional staff and shied away from volunteers but latterly we have come to recognise the value of volunteers in terms of raising awareness and getting work done. Participating also gave us an opportunity to connect with an audience that we rarely reach through the Irish Times or the Church pulpit. We welcome this chance as there is little point in constantly “preaching to the converted”! “Taking part reiterated to us that young Irish people have a genuine interest, passion and commitment to “do some good”. The volunteers may not always have had the necessary technical skills for the task at hand but in almost all cases the motivation and the attitude were right. As one senior manager in Trócaire is prone to say “you recruit for attitude and you train for skill”. “The audience, the volunteers and the crew were all exposed to the effects of poverty through interaction with those who can’t afford a house in rural Zambia or through mixing with the homeless on the streets of Cork. To some degree they will all have deepened their level of awareness and they will pass this on to others. Reality TV ... of course it’s serious!” 4

“Picture a person who wants to do something that will help but is totally clueless about how to do so. That was me. Since meeting my colleague and their friend who spent their honeymoon in an Indian orphanage, I have been in awe of volunteers. That awe and admiration really motivated me to enter the show Do the Right Thing. “The show was an excellent opportunity to get a glimpse into the different types of work a volunteer can do. I’ve had the opportunity to work with some truly amazing charities such as Habitat for Humanity, Trócaire and Children’s Chernobyl International. I have had the utmost privilege of helping to build a home for a family in Zambia and of working with children in Belarus. “These experiences have changed me in ways that cannot be put in words. I urge those who feel that they want to help others in some way to volunteer. I now wonder why those of us in rich countries aren’t doing more to help people in poor countries who really need it. “During the show when trying to raise awareness for the work Trócaire does in the flooded areas of Pakistan in Tipperary, a man asked me “how dare I when others can’t pay their mortgages?” I know there is a saying that charity begins at home but I urge people not to forget about those overseas who desperately need our help.”

Barry Egan, ‘Do the Right Thing’ producer,

explains what he learnt from working on the show.

Mark Chilongu, Justina Zulu, Christopher Chiwela, Pesai Phiri, and Grace T Banda, Zambian Youth Workers, share their views on the episode where the volunteers went to Zambia.

Credit: VIP

“It was never going to be easy to take the complex issue of overseas development and turn it into a ‘reality’ entertainment show. Indeed at first it was daunting. I looked for guidance from a friend who has worked in the Irish development sector for many years and he revealed to me a world of conflicting opinions on how things should be done overseas. Volunteering was often a fuse at the core of this debate. “We quickly realised that we were never going to achieve a simple explanation of what volunteering was and how it could or could not help. So we opted to step outside of politics and sensitivities and simply shine a spotlight on the sector as it was presented to us by the charities that choose to be involved. We cast the show not with disillusioned TV wannabes but with people who had a real aptitude and genuine desire to ‘make the world a better place’. Their journey would be the audience’s journey. “To be honest I was initially dubious about the true effects and benefits of short term overseas volunteering. However my personal journey through this project has led me to now believe that volunteering is vitally important. A true volunteer goes overseas to learn about the issues, the causes and the long-term solutions. Whether they’re building a house in Zambia or helping orphans in Belarus, their journey is one of discovery. It’s only when they return home, with their photos and stories, that their real purpose becomes apparent. I hope ‘Do the Right Thing’ worked in a similar way.” Read more opinions on this show at php?threadid=2056032188 Visit the official RTE site at

l - r front row, Pesai, Grace, Justina, back row, Chris, Mark. Credit: Comhlámh

“I liked that the help the volunteers provided during the show was genuine. Poor people in Zambia do need accommodation. The way the volunteers had to sleep portrays how a poor Zambian lives, but in reality many would have a homemade mattress, and there’s usually at least a blanket. “The show should have stated that they were visiting a very poor, rural part of Zambia. The way it was portrayed made it seem that the whole of Zambia is like that. It showed the traditional markets but not the modern shops or infrastructure. It said that the markets were very dangerous, but the only danger is the lack of hygiene of some foods. The margin between the rich and the poor is very big in our country. There are some very rich people. “The episode focuses on the family being given the house but it doesn’t look at how they are going to make it sustainable. Are they going to rent it out? How are they going to pay the bills? Also they should try to understand why the person is homeless, why don’t they have a house. Many people in Zambia live on less than a dollar a day but people are creative in living in sustainable ways to get themselves out of poverty, for example setting up women’s groups and youth clubs. Volunteering is a good idea but the volunteers shouldn’t be given the point of view that people are helpless. “Volunteering is something people should do with a passion, it is a calling. If there is a prize for the volunteers there should be discussion on their values, and the most passionate people should win. I work with street kids and they can tell if a volunteer has come to help them or not. In my experience most volunteers don’t even like to be close to the children they volunteered to help. “Zambia and Ireland both have expertise and need to learn from each other. There are some things that we do better in Zambia, but while in Ireland I have seen that people working in youth work here also do good work that we can learn from. Exchanges and networks between Ireland and Zambia can be strengthened to better identify areas where collaboration is needed.”



Can Dev Ed work with the media to do the right thing?


here is a character in the Thomas the Tank Engine series called Fergus who keeps telling Bill and Ben to “do it right”. You can sympathise with the mischievous twins for finding this irritating. But “doing the right thing” is pretty difficult. It’s not simply about moral decisions but also about strategy, priorities and execution. The question as to whether the development education (Dev Ed) sector is “doing it right” with regard to its relations with the media was brought into focus in the last few months by a reality TV show and a blog. In August, the Dev Ed sector stood accused on the Dóchas blog of failing to engage with the media. A subsequent survey of practitioners found that two thirds disagreed. A number commented, quite reasonably, that engaging with the media is a tough task for Dev Ed. Some were understandably defensive. Yet, the only person who provided evidence of substantial efforts to engage with media professionals admitted that the Dev Ed sector could do more and offered to help. Another commentator described such engagement as a challenge that they hoped the Dev Ed sector would take up. Given the importance of media coverage to public understanding of international development, I would argue that the entire Development sector - not just Dev Ed - needs to give the subject more attention from the top down. A number of the organisations that were consulted for the recent TV series, “Do the Right Thing” were disappointed that many of their messages were left on the cutting room floor. Certainly, the series reflected a charity model of development rather than one of justice; the Zambian episode did not


ask why Zambia is still poor. Nevertheless, it was not the right show for in-depth discussions: of past and present Western, Soviet or Chinese policies affecting sub-Saharan Africa; of communism in Albania, Belarus or Ukraine; or of how climate change and persistent poverty may affect the likelihood of environmental disasters like the Pakistan floods. Instead, Dev Ed advisers might more reasonably have hoped to see a rounded image of Zambians, and for the importance of Irish volunteers not to be exaggerated. The extent to which charities use local staff, and people in low-income countries are tackling their own problems, could have received greater attention. However, we were shown the Zambian foreman and the team of Albanian doctors. There were also positive messages subtly conveyed, such as when Fiona Byrne chatted and prepared food with some of the Zambian women. The judging might have been more engaging, informative and convincing had there been an expert panel to narrow down the candidates. Nevertheless, the series raised some awareness of, and empathy for, problems in Ireland and overseas. The show illustrated that there are many people working in the media who are interested in reporting development issues constructively and with originality. The Simon Cumbers Fund is a great step towards meeting that demand. The approach taken at Connect-World, and that we are now taking with a new organisation,, is to provide a service to journalists to make it easier for them to produce more and higher quality stories of international development. At different development events, I

“Given the importance of media coverage to public understanding of international development, I would argue that the entire Development sector not just Dev Ed - needs to give the subject more attention from the top down.” have heard many complaints about poor reporting of African countries by journalists, but most international news is reported in the same way: dramatic breaking news without much context or perspective. The difference with Home News is that the bad news is balanced with many other stories (that would not be considered newsworthy overseas) and with people’s own rather less dramatic experiences of the country they live in. Dev Ed and Development share the same fundamental objective, namely to improve the wellbeing of the world’s poor, who face obstacles far beyond insufficient international aid. Communicating complex issues to the media or any audience is a challenge but can be done. The progress made on debt at Gleneagles in 2005 was precisely because the Jubilee Debt Campaign had won the political argument over debt*. But expect journalists to think for themselves, and so they should. Frank Humphreys, Editor,

How to write about Africa How-to-Write-about-Africa The School of Citizen TV Dublin City Community Television Irish independent media online *Make Poverty History 2005 Campaign Evaluation, A Martin et. al., 2006, firetail, page 37.


Learning from EVS


he European Voluntary Service (EVS) programme offers young people aged 18 - 30 the opportunity to gain hands on experience in an area of their interest, enhance their employability, live in a different culture, and meet new people. Projects take place all over Europe and beyond, and include Arts, Social Care, Horticulture, Sports, Community Development and Environmental work. Getting a Youthpass As well as the hands on experience they gain during their EVS project volunteers can also choose to work on their project in a way that increases their learning from and reflection upon their experience, such as creating a video diary or writing a journal. They are supported by a Mentor within their host organisation and gain a Youthpass Certificate ( Youthpass is a Europe-wide validation tool for non-formal learning and helps to recognise the value and learning gained through participation in the project. Training cycle EVS also encourages learning by offering a training cycle that volunteers can take part in. All volunteers are offered training on arrival or shortly after arrival in the country of their service. Also, mid-way through their experience they can attend training with other EVS volunteers in that country. This is an excellent opportunity to meet up with other volunteers, share experiences, and take some time away from the project to reflect and evaluate their learning. Training when they return home completes the training cycle. In Ireland Léargas encourages sending organisations to provide this training.

Youth in Action participants enjoying their learning. Credit: EVS

Some young volunteers from Mayfield Community Arts Centre went to Guatemala with EVS: For us it all began in January 2008, when 6 short term EVS volunteers and 2 staff left Mayfield Community Art Centre in Cork for 3 weeks! In addition 4 other volunteers went who were staying for 3 months in total. We got to San Marcos La Laguna that night, a small indigenous village on the beautiful Lake Atitlan. Next morning we were up for a half eight breakfast, a swim in the lake and to meet the teenagers from our partner organisation, La Cambalacha. We all went to workshops on the environment, citizenship and different cultures. These were themes that would be used in our two main groups: performance and mural painting. We did things for the first time also: yoga, salsa dancing, contact improvisation, hip-hop dancing, juggling, and we facilitated our own papiermaché making workshop with the younger kids of La Cambalacha. We take so much for granted in Ireland that the poverty and strife in other countries never affects us or bothers us. Being in Guatemala, our eyes were opened to a different world we never knew existed. Despite being thousands of miles from home for those three weeks we found a family at La Cambalacha.

On return to Ireland the volunteers took part in a Peer Facilitation Training programme to learn skills that would help them to share their learning with other young people. They created an educational

resource based on their theatre piece, and ran workshops and events with the support of Mayfield Community Arts Centre (http://www. The arts centre retains a continuous partnership with the Guatemalan organisation and hopes to be sending and hosting more volunteers in 2011. How does EVS work? EVS is a three way partnership between the hosting organisation (where the young person spends the voluntary service), the volunteer themselves, and the sending organisation (which helps the volunteer to prepare before leaving the country). The sending organisation should be non-profit making and have accreditation with their National Agency. Once a volunteer has been accepted by a hosting organisation an application for funding has to be made to the National Agency in either the hosting or sending country. An EVS grant covers travel, food, pocket money and accommodation while volunteering abroad (usually for between 2 and 12 months). Where to start? Contact us at and we will register you on so you can add a volunteer profile and find host organisations. Alternatively browse the huge range of possible host organisations at youth/evs/aod/hei_en.cfm Emma Grainger, Léargas,, Léargas is the National Agency of the Youth in Action Programme in Ireland, and is responsible for supporting, assessing and funding applications received from organisations.


Index Links


Courses Dtalk – Development Training & Learning @ Kimmage How to Be a Successful Trainer: 18 - 20 January Advocacy and Policy Influencing: 15 - 17 February Introduction to Aid Effectiveness: 22 March Planning - How to Apply the Logical Framework: 23 - 25 March Introduction to Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E): 29 - 31 March Creative Facilitation: 12 - 14 April Venue: Development Studies Centre, Kimmage Manor, Whitehall Road, Dublin 12 Contact: Selam Desta, E: selam., T: 01 4064307. Visit http://www.dtalk. ie/courses/scheduled/calendar/. Latin American Development Issues This course is FETAC 5 accredited and provides participants with a general understanding of Latin American social, cultural, political and economic issues as well as more detailed information about topics of contemporary significance such as trade, labour issues, indigenous issues and popular resistance. It gives participants insight into the causes and consequences of the lack of development in Latin America. Date: Starts 25 January, runs for 10 Weeks on Tuesdays from 6:30pm to 8:30pm Venue: Ballsbridge College of Further Education. Fee: €90 Contact: Joni Uhlenbeck, E: Race and Ethnicity This 10-week course introduces participants to theories of race and ethnicity, locating race within social, economic, political and ideological relations and discussing race and racism in relation to other divisions in society such as class and gender, and to recent changes in Irish society.


While participation is open to all, it is specifically suited to those working in the public and NGO sectors. Date: Tuesday evenings, 6-8 pm, from 25 January Venue: Trinity College Dublin. Cost: €175. Contact: Further information and application form available at Introduction to Sustainable Development This Eco-Unesco course (FETAC Accredited Module - L5) develops an understanding of concepts such as sustainability, quality of life, sustainable communities and carrying capacity. It builds awareness of the links between the environment, society and the economy, education for sustainable development and develops skills of analysis (auditing). Learners facilitate a workshop on an environmental issue of their choice incorporating education for sustainable development methodologies, carry out a project on the life cycle analysis of a product and complete a group project on developing a sustainable community. Date: Fridays 2-7:30pm, Saturdays 10am-7pm. 18 & 19 February, 11 & 12 March Venue: the Greenhouse, 17 St Andrew Street, Dublin 2 Contact: T: 01 6625491, E: training@, W: Peer Education & Sustainability Training This short course examines recent developments in Education for Sustainable Development and introduces participants to peer education and how it can be used in work with young people. Date: 10:00am-4:00pm, 3rd February 2011 and 14th April Venue: The Greenhouse, 17 St Andrew Street, Dublin 2 Contact: E: or T: 01 662 5491 Skills in Development Education training This participatory evening course aims to equip participants with the skills and methodologies to

work effectively with groups on global development and social justice issues. Sessions include facilitation skills, using images and messages effectively, planning and evaluating activities, and taking action for global justice. This course is open to anyone with an interest in educating or raising awareness about development and inequality, including but not limited to youth and community workers, teachers, and those working in group settings. Date: 6:30 – 9pm, Tuesday evenings, 1 February - 29 March Venue: Irish Aid Volunteering and Information Centre, O’Connell Street, Dublin 1. Contact: Ali Leahy, E:, T: 01 4783490. Visit NYCI Development Education Training NYCI’s Development Education programme offers both accredited and non-accredited training that will cater for an individual’s need to increase both knowledge and skills to deliver quality global justice programmes in a youth work setting. Training includes ’Games From Around the World’, ‘Global Injustice – Where in the World?’, ‘Global Justice in Youth Work – FETAC Level 5’, and ‘International Youth Work & Development Education’. Contact: E: or visit training-brochure-2011 Linking the Local and the Global Lourdes Youth & Community Services offers this residential development education training course for the community sector. Date: 1 & 2 March Venue: Portarlington, Co. Portlaoise Contact: Sandra/Helena, E: sandra. /, T: 01 8230860, W:

Index Links


Events Global Education across Europe – actors, approaches, debates and recent trends This seminar will introduce the major development education/global education actors, co-ordination and support structures and policy debates at European level as well as typical patterns of these structures and debates within EU member states. It will explore and discuss the different understandings of the concepts of DE. Finally, aspects of good practice will be highlighted, including examples from projects across Europe. Participants are expected to bring in their own experiences with and understandings of DE and to relate these experiences to the inspirations coming from Europe. Date: 10:30am to 4pm, 26 January Venue: Belfast Contact: Jenna Coriddi, E: jenna@, T: +44 (0)28 9024 1879 Photivation, human rights captured’ photography competition EIL Intercultural Learning has just launched its first photo competition! It aims to raise awareness of human rights through photography. The winner will have their photo published in the Irish Times and take part in a workshop with a professional photographer, Edmund Ross. Find out more about entering and voting on the entries at http:// Show Racism the Red Card AntiRacism Creative Competition, 2011 Show Racism the Red Card is inviting teachers, tutors and youth workers to register to participate in the Anti-Racism Creative Competition 2011. They provide a DVD to inspire young people to use their creativity to produce a written, visual or audio-visual piece. There are already 45 schools and youth services registered.

Deadline: End of February 2011. More information about the competition, entry instructions, terms and conditions are at: www. Comhlámh’s First Wednesday Debates Join us on the first Wednesday of the month this spring to discuss and debate development and social justice issues such as child trafficking and fair trade. Date: 15pm, 2 February Venue: Bewleys Café Theatre, Grafton Street, Dublin 2. Contact: T: 01 4783490 or email Transition Year Teacher’s Conference Getting Back to Basics – A skills based approach to teaching about global issues. This event includes practical workshops and is organised by Comhlámh, the Debt and Development Coalition, ECO UNESCO and Trócaire in association with the Professional Development Service for Teachers (DES). Date: Saturday, 5 February. 9:45am – 3:30pm Venue: Athlone Springs Hotel Contact: To register contact Ruth, E: or T: 01 6174835 Féile Bríde 2011 Seeds of Change, with Alais Morindat from Tanzania and Michael Kelly, founder of Grow it Yourself (GIY). The gathering will be framed with music and theatre and we will have a “Saturday Miscellany” in the evening followed by a Seisiún. Date: Saturday, 5 February 2011, starts at 1.15pm Venue: Derby House Hotel, Kildare Town Contact: For further information and the full programme, check out the Afri website at feile-bride-2011

Reflections and Projections: Mapping the past and charting the future of development education The Centre for Global Education’s first residential conference will review the past challenges and successes of development education, examine how it is viewed and currently fits into the education and development sectors, and debate how we can proactively work together to address the major challenges being faced today, including advancing research, diversifying funding and advocating for sectoral support. The two day event will provide many opportunities for discussion and will draw on the expertise and creativity of participants in looking to develop potential solutions to the challenges faced in the sector today. Fees are £40 waged/£20 unwaged for Thursday and Friday; £30 waged/£15 unwaged for Friday only. Fees include wine reception on Thursday evening and lunch on Friday. Date: 24-25 February Venue: the Malone Lodge Hotel, Belfast Contact: Jenna Coriddi, E: jenna@, T: +44 (0)28 9024 1879. Sustainable communities: Making global local This conference aims to build a better understanding of the connection between our environment, and our health and well-being. It will also focus on how climate change impacts on inequalities and social justice in Northern Ireland and beyond. Date: 9 am – 4.30 pm, 10 March. Venue: Belfast City Hall Visit: sustainability/



EU Corner Funding To find out the latest funding opportunities from the EU visit Find out about European Voluntary Service funding on page 6. Improving EU support for Dev Ed EuropeAid has carried out a study of actors and support for ‘DEAR’ across the EU to develop suggestions for the European Commission on how they could improve their future support. The final study is now available at php/DEAR_Final_report. Summer School The Development Education Summer School is a weeklong learning and exchange event for representatives of NGOs. This year it will be held in Finland June 12 – 18. It will focus on “Quality and Impact in Development Education”. The deadline for applications to Dóchas is January 31. To read more visit summerschool.html. European Development Days Over December 6 and 7 a variety of events were held in Brussels to explore the role of citizens’ mobilization and Development Education/Awareness Raising (DEAR) in European Development policies. To read more visit Dev Ed across Europe To find out more about the kinds of development education events taking place in other countries across Europe visit html. To keep up to date with what’s happening across Europe and to promote your own activities to others across Europe read the DE Times, the newsletter from the European platform for DE, at detimes.html. Global Crossroads The Role and Perspectives of CSOs in Development Cooperation was discussed at a conference in Nicaragua in November 2010. A supporting document encourages educators to raise citizens’ awareness of bad development, and highlight that greater North/South solidarity is necessary. It also highlights the need for a link between Dev Ed programmes and advocacy, and for Dev Ed to link with popular education in order to reach beyond the middle class. It is available at Call for a new way of funding rural development in Europe The European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy should be transformed to secure our food, energy and water supplies into the future, according to the Carnegie UK Trust. They ask that the rural development policy of 10

the EU, UK and Ireland be completely connected. Read the full report at news_and_events/new_directions_for_eu_rural_funding1. Concord also asks that the CAP promotes European food security and sustainable farming in a globally responsible manner and does not violate the right to food of the world’s poorest. See Page.php?ID=4&language=eng. EU should support calls for financial tax CONCORD, the European NGO Confederation for Relief and Development, warned that with just five years to go European countries must get back on track to meet their aid spending targets. CONCORD said a financial transaction tax could provide a desperately needed lifeline to billions of the poorest people in the world. It could deliver up to $400 billion annually and complement European aid budgets, allowing the EU to target specific initiatives in countries that have made the least progress towards the goals. Visit Shared/Files/1/EU_should_support_calls_for_financial_ transaction_tax.pdf to read more. New website to help NGOs access the EU The European Commission Representation in Ireland launched a new website designed to help NGOs access the EU, called NGO-EU CONNECT. It highlights the different channels that NGOs, interest groups and community organisations can use in their advocacy campaigns. It includes an overview of the EU Institutions, channels for dialogue and recommendations for using an organisation’s resources. Visit eu_ngo.

International Dates to remember 25 February - 8 March

Fair Trade Fortnight

For two whole weeks Fairtrade Mark Ireland is asking everyone to ‘Show off your label’. Tell people about the tangible difference Fairtrade makes to producers. The focus is on cotton. Visit get_involved/fairtrade_fortnight.html to find out how to get involved. Visit to find out why fair-trade clothes are so important.

9 April Latin America Week

The annual Dublin Conference on the 9th will provide a space for discussing alternatives to a world of hunger. Visit for more information and to find out about other events around Ireland during this week.


IDEA Corner IDEA is an association of organisations and individuals involved in the provision, promotion or advancement of Dev Ed throughout the island of Ireland.

R is for Research: IDEA Research Community The IDEA Research Community aims to build interest and strengthen capacity in development education research among IDEA members. The framework of action research is seen as appropriate for IDEA members and their work as this research approach is often small scale research, in a particular setting such as a youth club or school, and is integrated into the planning and organisation of work. Research can be seen as learning on development issues, examining good practice or finding new ways to design development education workshops. Evaluation of development education work is an important area. Too often research in development education is carried out by academics or external consultants. While this work and expertise is to be valued, there is also space for small-scale action research based on practitioner’s reflections, and to address any arising issues in our own development education activities. Action research is a valuable process as it can highlight hidden working practices, organisational ethos and beliefs, as well as identifying good practice and generating insightful knowledge on learning. Recording our work and evaluating our practice is critical in any professional environment. Professional reflections can form an important element in an organisational evaluation process, as well as aiding professional development on an individual level. More recording of good practice is needed to highlight ongoing work and programmes for both our funders and for us to share as a community of practitioners. Building on our understanding of learning about development concerns is also valuable. Building on the concept of participatory action research, the Research Community hopes to establish a strong community of practice amongst IDEA members. To date we have held two Demystifying Research workshops, exploring research terminology and methodologies. A further Participatory Action Research seminar was held on November 26th. Participatory action research is a research process where people identify an issue or problem; explore solutions; prepare and implement an action plan; then reflect on the changes and effects brought about. Ethics and evaluation guidelines are further areas to be addressed. Our webpage has lots of links to research reports, articles and online access to journals. For more on the IDEA Research Community, please contact Mags at or visit our webpage at content/r-research

Photo: L-R Evanna Craig (Concern), Azucena Bermudez (LASC), Alice Cutler (Trapese) and Jenna Coriddi (Centre for Global Education) at the Campaigning and Development Education Training. Credits: IDEA.

2010 HIGHLIGHTS Campaigning and Development Education

In mid-November last year, IDEA ran a series of events on the relationship between campaigning and development education. The first was a set of two half-day trainings one in Dublin and one in Galway, facilitated by Alice Cutler from Trapese Popular Education Collective. The second was a World Café discussion held in Dublin on the 18th of November. As a result of these events, key issues were raised and IDEA was given a set of actions to take forward in its work to create a more enabling environment for effective development education. A full report can be viewed on our website.

FUTURE EVENTS Beyond 2015: Learning for Global Partnership 3rd March: MDG Mini-Summit

This will be a full-day seminar exploring the Millennium Development Goals and development education. In particular, the Summit addresses Goal 8: A Global Partnership for Development. Dr. Peggy Antrobus, founding member of DAWN and Mr. Roberto Bissio, of the Third World Institute and Social Watch will share their perspectives. The Mini-Summit is part of a long-term learning programme in IDEA, called Beyond 2015: learning for Global Partnership. 12 IDEA members are taking part in this programme which is funded by Trócaire. To find out more about IDEA trainings and events contact Eimear in IDEA Email, Call 01 6618831

Photo: Mags Liddy, Research Community Coordinator with participants in the Demystifying Research workshop, Belfast, Sept 2010. Credits: IDEA.



Funding The Development Education Unit in Irish Aid (which provides government funding to the development education sector) carried out a mid-way review of their current funding scheme during the autumn. Visit ie/grants_education.asp for more information about this scheme and to read how the review will affect their future support. The deadline for funding proposals is January 31st. Trócaire’s Mobilising for Justice Grants Scheme provides small grants, one year funding, and strategic partnership grants. It aims to build partnerships with those across Ireland who are addressing the causes of global injustice through education, mobilisation and advocacy. Find out more at http://www.

DE News 2011 Year of the volunteer

This year offers an opportunity for development educators to promote critically reflective overseas volunteering that supports volunteers to identify what they can do while overseas and in Ireland to challenge global inequalities. In October 2010 Comhlámh held a workshop for organisations that send Irish development workers and volunteers overseas looking at how sending organisations can effectively use development education to enhance the impact of overseas volunteering. To find out more visit

IMF/EU loans to Ireland

The IMF, well known to those of us with an interested in development, has come to Ireland. To learn more about how IMF loans have affected other countries around the world, visit To see some video comments on the IMF in Ireland go to com/watch?v=SA43bTlbKuM and WtMi53_u4.


Palestine Education

The Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) has developed an education programme to support groups, organisations and interested individuals who wish to understand the roots and causes of the MiddleEast conflict. To book a talk or discuss your group’s needs contact: Richard Irvine, call 07972214974 or email

Resources Barriers to Continuous Engagement

This research looks at the reasons why returned development workers and volunteers may find it difficult to engage in development education and activism in Ireland. Available at http://www.volunteeringoptions. org/Resources/GeneralInformation/ tabid/136/Default.aspx.

The impact of international volunteering on host organisations Comhlámh’s study focuses on the viewpoints of hosts in India and Tanzania. Available at http://www.volunteeringoptions. org/Resources/GeneralInformation/ tabid/136/Default.aspx.

70 million children get no education

The Global Campaign for Education has found that most rich countries have failed to keep their promises to help poor countries improve their education systems, that the International Monetary Fund “severely restricts” poor countries’ chances of investing in education, while the World Bank has overseen a “dramatic withdrawal of education funds from low-income countries”. Read the full report, Back to School? The Worst Places in the World, at education/2010/sep/20/70m-get-noeducation.

How the World works

DDCI’s new resource is a 45 hour teaching unit for transition year teachers on financial and economic justice. It includes worksheets, classroom activities and project ideas to support teachers in delivering the unit. It has been approved by

the NCCA. Free to download at downloads/how%20the%20world%20 works.pdf.

Geography, Development and Human Rights

Amnesty’s new human rights education teacher’s manual for senior cycle geography contains lesson plans that are linked to key topics in the Leaving Cert curriculum. Available at http://

Update on MDG summit

At the September 2010 meetings world leaders did recommit to achieving the goals, however the outcome document focused on the responsibilities of developing countries. It ignored the role of developed countries in causing the current economic and climate crises, and in maintaining unjust trade and tax practices that make it impossible to achieve the goals. For more on the summit see Dóchas’ webpage on the MDGs at resources.

Oxfam web resources on the global economic crisis To view publications and a video clip on how the global economic crisis is affecting people in their day-to-day lives, and how they and their governments are responding

Engaging The Public In Tackling Global Poverty

This report by the DEA sets out the key issues facing the international development sector’s attempts to engage the public is available to download at resources/. Also available are guidelines on how to unlock the educational potential of fundraising activities.

DE Journal on Monitoring and Evaluation Issue 11 of Policy & Practice is available now. It offers insights from both academic and practitioner perspectives on how evaluation should be re-imagined as a useful tool to critically analyse and improve development education practice and programmes. Visit www.


Action projects motivate volunteers to engage “The best way to encourage volunteers to stay involved is by giving them the opportunity to run their own small scale projects right after their return.”


ach year more than 2,000 Germans aged between 18 and 28 choose to go abroad and work in developing countries with one of over 200 (mostly civil society) sending organisations, funded by the German state. They work on projects for 6 months to 2 years. Before leaving they are trained by their sending organisation for 12 days minimum. For most volunteers their project work is a life changing time. They get to know a different culture and way of living. They encounter great hospitality, friendship and joy. But they also experience injustice, inequality and poverty. On return many volunteers wonder how they can continue their support for global partnership while carrying on with their daily lives in Germany. This is where learning for continuous engagement comes into play. After returning, all volunteers participate in wrap up sessions to exchange personal experiences. However many of them want to learn more about what they can do in the future, and so at finep (the forum for international development + planning) we provide additional training for those interested in continuous engagement. Volunteers participate in three training sessions over a period of 6 months. The first session explores basic knowledge of development topics such as inequality, poverty, food security, the MDGs and global partnership. The second session provides returnees with skills on how to run their own small scale development projects. These skills include project management tools such as risk and stakeholder analysis. The third session is about evaluating the projects and returnees

Playing a fair trade coffee game that was developed by returnees Credit: finep

sharing stories of their engagement in development education and awareness raising activities in Germany during the 6 months of the training. During the trainings we have found that emphasising 3 key elements motivates returnees to stay engaged. 1. Thinking global means acting local! We try to make volunteers understand the global linkage between development and industrialised countries. Returnees have experienced poverty in concrete situations but they have little knowledge about the global situation or of the overarching causes and structures of poverty. They may have seen working families unable to survive on their wages. But they may not have seen the big picture of unequal global trade relations and how buying a t-shirt for €2 at home in Germany is part of the problem. By understanding that everything we do has implications on a wider scale volunteers understand that they can make a difference through the way they live their lives and thus become motivated to do so. 2. Work together! Many volunteers in Germany return with plenty of ideas of what can and should be done. But working alone on these ideas is difficult. Giving volunteers concrete contact information of NGOs working in their home city helps them to find more information, and to join a call for action or project that interests them. The more concrete this advice is the better. For example lists with NGO contact details sorted by city and topic can be handed out to the volunteers and experts can present their organisations’ work at returnee seminars.

3. Start now! Many returnees are motivated to continue engagement but find that in their everyday life back home there are a lot of things to do and that their daily routine overshadows their volunteering experience very quickly. The best way to encourage volunteers to stay involved is by giving them the opportunity to run their own small scale projects right after their return. Inventing, planning and implementing small projects are therefore included in our returneetraining-courses. Successful examples of these projects are a photo exhibition of Peruvian culture, presentations in schools and university, web blogs and many other activities. Other returnees developed, designed and printed a fair trade coffee game for cafes. By working together on their small scale projects the returnees find a topic that they are interested in, build networks with other returnees and make contact with development NGOs in a very concrete way. This way many of the preconditions for engagement after the training are established. Feedback from former participants shows that many of them are still engaged in development after their training. Kai Diederich, project manager for returnee trainings, finep, The forum for international development + planning (finep) is a non-profit project and consulting organisation working on sustainable development with a focus on development policy, environmental policy and the promotion of local democracy.



Travel broadens the mind?


his is a phrase people use to glorify their foreign holidays or their year backpacking around the globe. One that I feel is overused. Having taken part in both an exchange for youth workers to Zambia and a voluntary placement in an orphanage in Nigeria, I believe that how we travel affects whether our minds are challenged at all and to what extent. Working within the Global South turned out to be very different from what I had expected. When I decided to volunteer, I researched the area I would be traveling to and the organisation I would be working with. I was very much prepared to ‘help these people’ and ‘fix their problems’. However I wasn’t greeted as I had expected, that is as a knight in shining armour. I found out that Nigeria has its own way of life and didn’t need me to ‘fix’ it. This is when I realised that even though my heart was in the right place my actions were not. I arrived in Nigeria with no transferable skills to offer. I would now describe myself as a tourist with a volunteer job. Then I discovered development education and it changed my perspective on life; it didn’t just broaden my mind it blew it wide open. It made me aware that everyone is equal no matter what stage of development their country is at. It helped me to understand that we can learn from one another. That is why I decided to take part in an exchange organised via the National Youth Council of Ireland for youth workers from Ireland and Zambia to visit each others’ countries and learn from each other. For me, an exchange is an amazing idea if both participating countries get to take part in the travelling aspect of the exchange. In an exchange people from both countries are equal partners. I found this to be particularly true on my exchange trip to Zambia. When I was volunteering, I had plenty of interaction with the general public but I didn’t have the confidence to ask them questions as I feared offending their culture or beliefs. On the exchange, because my Zambian counterparts and I felt that we were equals, I felt free to ask about the problems I saw. I was able to get adequate answers from them and this gave me a better insight into youth work in Zambia. Similarly, they could ask me about problems they saw in Ireland. On the exchange I got to see how many different


Noel at a HIV and AIDS testing promotion centre in Lusaka. Credit: Noel Carroll

“On the exchange, because my Zambian counterparts and I felt that we were equals, I felt free to ask about the problems I saw.” organisations conducted business. I also got to meet the leaders of many organisations and ask them about their work and about the possibility of developing a link between our organisations, so that we could continue to share information and learn from each other into the future. Volunteering and exchanges are both amazing ways to experience a different culture. However in my experience, exchanges foster a better relationship between the organisations involved and ensure that the relationship between them does not end when the participants return home. This allows for development education to flourish because we can continue to share with each other. For example, by getting information about what is going on at the ground level in a developing country, and not just accepting the information released from the media and government sources. This allows for a true picture of a country to come to light. This goes both ways as I am sure people viewing Ireland from the outside think we are falling apart at the seams. We can share with them what is really going on here. In doing so we can also develop our own understanding of how people living in different countries view what is happening in Ireland. Exchanges and links based on equal partnership can support both partners to question their assumptions and worldview. They can affect how those involved perceive both the world around them and other people. Therefore taking part in an exchange or link can enable you to carry out development education activity in Ireland, since perception is key in development education and it’s up to you to develop your own. By Noel Carroll, For more on exchanges: Development Perspectives, Banúlacht, NYCI, Link Community Development,


Reviews & Resources

Youth for the Future A peer-education handbook for young people and adult support workers. Helen Lane, development educator (, reviews Eco-Unesco’s new resource “I know how to facilitate now and I’m excited to start our action project”. This quote gives a brilliant insight into why this handbook was created. Youth for the Future is full of ideas and step-by-step instructions on how to bring a group through the process of becoming Peer Educators in sustainable development. This resource is not just for eco-warriors but for any group wanting to explore how the big issues in the world (such as poverty, health, access to technology, climate change and democracy) are interconnected and relevant to young people’s lives. While participating in the programme, young people choose which issues to investigate. They are then supported to be Peer Educators with other young people. There are typically three stages in Peer Education training: participating in workshops, doing an action project and facilitation practice. The handbook focuses on these stages. So what is contained in this handbook exactly? There are five sections, including a section specifically for adult support workers (Section 2), with advice on how to

plan and deliver a Peer Education programme. Section 3, for Peer Educators, contains handouts (that can be photocopied) on sustainable development. I was particularly drawn to the twelve workshop outlines for the training phase and a helpful “20 questions to get you started”. Section 3 presents good advice in a clear format on developing facilitation skills, with hints for successful discussions and workshops. About half of the handbook is taken up with activities designed to address the five main learning objectives of ECO-UNESCO’s Peer Education Training Programme (effective communication, understanding Sustainable Development, effective group work, tools for taking action with a group, and understanding the responsibilities of a Peer Educator). Many require minimal preparation. Youth for the Future is well laid out; I liked how the sections were colourcoded so that it is easy to find your way around. There are also lots of reference boxes with information and suggestions for further activity. Photographs of projects in action help to bring the information alive. People working in the Development Education and youth sector, or who have participated in a Young Social Innovators project will know some of the activities but there are many new ones too. It’s a great resource for both teachers and youth leaders,

Cover of Youth for the Future

and you do not need a degree in sustainable development to use it. Undertaking a full Peer Education for Sustainable Development programme would be a long-term commitment, but even for groups not able to take on the whole programme, it is a really worthwhile resource as it contains so many creative, fun and do-able ideas to help young people inspire themselves and their peers. The resource costs €9.50. To purchase, for more information or if you are interested in running this programme please contact Hedda or Jerrieann at ECO-UNESCO, the greenhouse, 17 St. Andrew’s Street, Dublin 2. T: 01 662 54 91 E: W:

Have you ever used cartoons as a resource for Dev Ed? Cartoons can be used to explore and debate complex issues with a variety of different groups. For a great introduction to using cartoons in education go to Cartoon courtesy of 80:20,


Design: Printed on recycled paper

INDEX is a free newsletter for people interested in educating on global development issues. To subscribe to INDEX visit our INDEX page at To join Comhlámh go to INDEX is a Comhlámh publication for the Development Education sector, funded by Comhlámh, Trócaire, and Irish Aid Honorary Patron, Mary Robinson. © Comhlámh, 2011 Comhlámh, 2nd Floor, Ballast House, Aston Quay, Dublin 2.

The views expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of Irish Aid.

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