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Comhlámh’s ‘Coming Home’ Training A handbook for volunteer sending agencies

Contents Welcome to the Training Handbook Background of this Handbook



Context of the Training Handbook Development Education in Volunteering Continuous Engagement Debriefing and Self Care Introduction to Facilitation






Forming the Group



Quotes and Introductions



Lithuanian Listening Exercise



Hopes and Fears



Creating a Contract



Mobile Maps


2 2.1

Name Games



Focus Games

3 3.1

Step Forward for Self Care



Charging your Batteries

4 4.1

If your time overseas was a movie...



Personal Map Exercise



Memorabilia Exercise



Gauging Perspectives


43 45

49 50 52 53




Telling it as it is?



How the Monkeys Saved the Fish



The Rainbow People



Poems and Short Stories


Critical Literacy



Introduction to OSDE



Developing Critical Perspectives



‘Spect-actors’ of Development



Suggested Drama Warm Up Games


35 37

Situating the Overseas Experience



25 28 30 31 32

Self Care



7 10 13 16




1 3

58 59 61 64

69 72 74 75

Contents SECTION


Images and Perceptions



Images and Messages – Communicating Locally



Social Media Activity



Ireland or India?



Headline Hysterics



Cultural Reflections



Cultural Reflections



Gender: a local and global issue



79 80 83 84

87 90




Meditation on Interdependence



A Day in the Life of a Global Citizen



Word Web



Map and Pebbles



Underlying Causes of Poverty



Why – Why – Why Chain



The Global Debt Crisis



Chains of Justice



Utopia or Dystopia?



Exploring Power



Power Activity: Card Game



Moving Debate



Looking to the Future



Picturing the Future






Personal Action Planning



Taking Action



Building an Action Project



Small-scale Projects and Project Management Tools



Campaigning Activity



What Next Options – Diamond Ranking Activity



Continuous Engagement Opportunities from Ireland

95 98 99 100

103 104 108 110

115 116

121 122 123

127 129 134 136 138

Welcome to the Training Handbook Dear reader, Welcome to Comhlámh’s Training Handbook! As someone who works with volunteers, you will already have skills and experience that are incredibly valuable, and this handbook intends to enhance and ‘add value’ to the work you are already doing. As all volunteers are unique with their own needs and interests, and likewise as each Volunteer Sending Agency is unique as an organisation as well as the specific nature of volunteer programmes, I encourage you to read this manual critically and adapt the exercises to your own respective situation. As much as possible, this manual has been informed by the good work already going on in the sector, and many volunteer sending agencies have contributed activities that work well with their volunteers in relation to development education and continuous engagement. Volunteer Sending Agencies have been sharing resources and good practice in volunteer training within the peer support network through Comhlámh, in particular through the Volunteering and Development Education committee, and this training manual is a testament to some of this sharing and learning from each other. In particular, I would like to thank Nurture Africa who contributed their activities to this manual.


The focus of this manual is on the coming home phase of a volunteer programme; that does not take away from the importance of pre departure training, and there is a separate training manual specifically for this phase. However, as much as possible the activities in this training manual should be seen as complimentary and Overseas connected to the activities delivered with volunteers before they go overseas. Context: Volunteering as part of a longer term commitment to global development Volunteering can be seen Pre-departure Communication support and Outcome: Using the experiences prior to return as a continuum and the information gained overseas to inform action for change from Ireland different phases are not separate from each other, On return, services and support to but are part of the same returned volunteers continuum of learning. The training manual has been written using a development education approach, that is, using participative methodologies to engage in critical debate around the underlying causes of global injustice and poverty, and to identify the role volunteers can play within this, both overseas but also in their home country. I hope you enjoy your journey through the activities included within. We at Comhlรกmh welcome any feedback on how we can continue to be relevant to volunteers and volunteer sending agencies. If you have used or adapted any of the activities in the handbook with the groups of volunteers you work with, please do pass it on. Happy Facilitation! The Comhlรกmh Team


Background of this Handbook This handbook comes to you as a part of a larger programme, a European project that a consortium of three NGO’s started in 2011. This project is called ‘Back to the future’ and will continue until 2013. The three partners in this project are Comhlámh (Ireland), SWM (Polish sending organisation) and finep – (German development NGO). Working in similar areas of work we sat together to shared our thoughts on the role of returned volunteers in development education. Despite coming from three very different countries we had the common idea that returned volunteers are a real asset to any form of development education. Their first hand experiences can motivate other people to become active and engaged in topics of global development. We had three very different approaches and experiences in our three countries on how to strengthen continuous engagement by returnees. We found these different backgrounds to be highly fruitful and inspiring for our common activities in this project. They became a vital part of our work together over the last years and we hope to pass on some of the magnificent inspiration of this cross cultural cooperation to you. This common spirit of a shared journey of learning and understanding different approaches, methods and offers to returnees we try to pass on not only in our own courses with returnees but also in our publications regarding this topic – such as this handbook. We hope you will get some new thoughts on the work returned volunteers with this handbook – just as we did from working together as a team in this project.


If you are curious on what else we have been doing through ‘Back to the Future’, below is a list of activities:

Activities of the project 2011–2013 Training courses for returned volunteers We delivered training courses for returnees to become multipliers in development education. The trainings include self reflection of the role as a returned volunteers in the society, knowledge in development topics, methods of development education, ideas and focal points for further engagement at home. Some of the activities from these courses are included in this handbook.

Training of trainers We offer workshops for trainers of sending organisations. In these workshops we share our training methods and our experiences with returnees from three different countries. The handbook you are reading is a companion to these Training of Trainers’ workshops.

Guidelines for sending organisations We offer some practical guidelines for sending organisations on how to keep returnees engaged. These guidelines present some crucial points for motivating the volunteers after their return home.

Toolkit for returnees The toolkit puts a spotlight on what returnees may ask themselves when coming home, building a bridge between experiences overseas and global development topics. The toolkit also offers some examples of what other returnees have done to stay engaged in development topics.

Social media guidelines As social media is growing important we released media guidelines for returned volunteers on how to communicate in social networks like Facebook and others, how to use pictures and what to take care when communicating about their time overseas in terms of maintaining respect and challenging stereotypes.

Information leaflets for returnees A leaflet including a quick overview on the options to stay engaged that signposts the range of activities for returnees.

Networking For returned volunteers to become active we feel that it is important to bring together sending organisations together with development education organisations and other NGOs working at home on global topics. Through the project we have established networks between sending organisations, NGOs and civil society by organising regular meetings and conferences.

Advocacy Finally we want to increase the standing of volunteering and development topics in our society. Therefore we conduct advocacy and awareness raising for the engagement of returnees in development education. If you would like to find out more about the project, or to find out more on the area of volunteering and development education, contact Comhlámh for more information www.comhlamh.org. Here you can find the documents and resources connected with the ‘Back to the Future’ project.



Context of the Training Handbook


Development Education in Volunteering Introduction Comhlรกmh was set up in 1975 by returned development workers and volunteers seeking to use their overseas experience of global inequality to effect change from Ireland. Development education has always been a central way in which the organisation has worked with development workers and volunteers. Even today, Comhlรกmh is continually striving to strengthen the links between volunteering and development education in Ireland.

Development Education in Volunteering While there is no strict definition for development education in the context of overseas volunteering, applying development education values and principles throughout the volunteer continuum can guide a fuller understanding of the wider purpose of overseas volunteering and how this fits into the bigger picture of development. The opportunity for individuals to go overseas, to experience first-hand many of the challenging and complex issues surrounding poverty and injustice in the world, can be the inspiration for a deeper engagement in development.

In the context of this Training Handbook, development education will be the approach used throughout: in terms of the context, content and the underlying values. Comhlรกmh promotes development education as essential within the training for volunteers, recognising the potential for development education to enhance an overseas experience. Our understanding of development education as part of volunteering programmes includes:


Making local-global connections

Developing critical perspectives

A deeper exploration of interdependence and the connections between Ireland and the rest of the world can support an understanding of why it is important to continue engagement in development from Ireland. There is a potential to challenge the perception that development is something that is done ‘out there’; rather to see development as something that affects us all and that we all have a role to participate in, both overseas and at home. This relies on a critical understanding of development and interdependence, to make connections between the lives of people in Ireland and the rest of the world.

Development Education provides an opportunity to generate new and more complex narratives of development, unpacking and challenging volunteer assumptions during the pre departure training and continuing this critical approach throughout the whole experience. The opportunity to look critically at the reasons for going overseas in the first place, at the underlying causes of why poverty exists and to engage with multiple narratives of ‘development’ can make the overseas experience more meaningful in the long run and equip returnees with critical thinking skills that they can use throughout their lifetime.

The content and approach used throughout the training A participative approach and active learning throughout the training can help volunteers to make relevance of the overseas experience in relation to the wider context of their lives at home. Tailoring the training to complement existing knowledge and supporting volunteers to learn from and build on their experience can encourage a deeper understanding and longer term engagement in development beyond the time overseas. Experiential learning, that is, learning by doing, is a core part of development education in volunteering, as living and working first hand in another country is an invaluable learning tool. A focus on the lifelong learning of individual volunteers can support them to make sense of the overseas experience in relation to their wider lived experience and translate this into informed action and awareness-raising on return.

Engaging perspectives from the Global South Learning first hand from people from the Global South can provide new insights and perspectives to enhance volunteers’ understanding of global poverty and injustice and in turn inform how volunteers raise awareness on return (which should be to challenge, rather than reinforce, perceptions of the Global South). Open Spaces for Dialogue and Enquiry, which will be explored in this manual, is one approach to consider different perspectives and critically engage with our own assumptions.

Providing opportunities for returned volunteers to continue their engagement in development through action and awareness-raising Locating the overseas experience within the wider context of development allows for a deeper and more long-term engagement in development to take place, and possibilities for continued engagement and action on return. As a result, good quality development education as part of the training and overall experience for volunteers is necessary to make meaningful the opportunity of volunteering overseas and to enhance the potential of volunteers travelling overseas for action and awareness raising on their return. Returnees can be a valuable resource for campaigns on local issues, applying the skills and perspectives gained while overseas to the local context.

‘If you don't stand for something, you will fall for something.’ African proverb


Returned Volunteers as Multipliers for Development Education What is the value of returned volunteers to Ireland? How can you as a volunteer sending agency equip volunteers with the skills to encourage others to think critically about development, poverty, injustice, using their overseas experience as a resource to do this? Where are the opportunities for returned volunteers to become ‘multipliers’ for development education? We must treat the term ‘multiplier’ with caution. Very often, returnees are considered experts in ‘development’ or experts in the particular country they travelled to, even after only a short stint abroad. This is why it is important through the volunteer training to highlight the complexity of development as well as an understanding that there are multiple perspectives of development. It is important to create the space for volunteers to critically reflect on their experience when they return, to understand the underlying causes of poverty and injustice affecting the countries to which they travelled, having the opportunity to have their own perceptions challenged and to develop the skills to challenge others on return. An overseas experience is one part of a wider life experience, and like all experiences throughout life (travel and otherwise), it contributes to an ongoing journey of learning. By being exposed to a completely different way of life, volunteers’ norms, values and practices can be challenged and often enriched by the different experiences which, in turn, can add to their way of seeing the world. Following an engagement with another culture and context different from what they are used to allows a unique opportunity to see the world ‘through other eyes’.

In Ireland today, there is existing and increasing poverty and inequality for many people, despite a huge increase in wealth for others. Injustice and inequality are not a million miles away, and one does not need to travel to other countries to witness these issues. However, if someone has had the opportunity to go overseas, they may well bring back important perspectives that could add value to the existing work going on locally, sharing examples of how communities in the global south are managing challenging issues and creating solutions. Returned volunteers have the potential to bring a critical, global perspective into local areas of work, study and daily life and the lives of others, enriching and enhancing local activity and engagement with new and fresh perspectives. There is a potential role for returned volunteers to bring new perspectives on these issues, deepening an understanding of the issues with people locally while making connections globally. Many developing countries have experienced similar issues and there is an opportunity at the moment to learn from such countries in terms of resilience, community based solutions and adaptation to a changing local and global context.

Further reading: www.throughothereyes.org.uk www.walkoutwalkon.net www.handbookforchange.org


‘It furthers one to have somewhere to go.’ Tao Te Ching

Continuous Engagement So what are the ways in which returned volunteers can stay involved with development? How can volunteer sending agencies provide support and signposting for returnees to become ‘multipliers’ for development education? The decision to stay engaged following an overseas experience depends on the individual, and how this manifests itself will look differently for each volunteer. Research into Barriers to Continuous Engagement (McGinn, 2011) highlighted the personal nature of continuous engagement, ‘an attempt should be made to match the person’s profile with activities that would suit them’. Research carried out by DERC (2010) found that each volunteers’ experience is unique and should be valued accordingly: ‘The complexity of each individual’s particular experience in relation to their expectations, their

work and life situations before and after the (overseas) experience, contribute to a varied picture of how and whether the returned volunteers are using their experience in development awareness work.’ The individual nature of continuous engagement means that each returnee will continue their engagement based on their own areas of interest. Tailoring training to meet the interests and needs of volunteers can maximise the relevance of the coming home training for the individuals involved.

When is a good time to get involved following an overseas experience? Coming home can be different for returned volunteers; for some, they are ready and willing to get going almost as soon as they are off the plane! For others, they get involved if and when they are ready. For many people when they return home there is much excitement, distractions, catching up with family and friends, etc. Some returnees may feel overwhelmed by being back home and may find it more difficult to readjust. Coming home can be challenging in

itself and it can even take years before volunteers feel ready to re engage. Providing supports, maintaining contact with volunteers and providing information on how to engage when they are ready are some of the ways in which returned volunteers are more likely to continue their engagement. As there is no optimum time for returnees to get involved, ongoing support and communication with volunteers is so important. 10

Role for Volunteer Sending Agencies So what is the role for volunteer sending agencies in supporting returnees to continue their engagement from Ireland? As well as providing support for returnees’ personal and psychological needs through debriefing and other support services (see the section on ‘Debriefing and Self Care’), there is a role for sending agencies to provide training on return and ongoing support for volunteers to stay involved. The benefits of maintaining contact with volunteers after their overseas placement has ended can have benefits for both the volunteer and the sending organisation. The volunteer can benefit from support, access to services and to know that they are valuable beyond their time

overseas. Volunteer sending organisations can benefit from staying involved, to know what are the needs of returnees, to inform continuous engagement opportunities and to increase support for the organisation. People locally, who may not have the chance to go overseas themselves, have the opportunity to learn about global issues through the experiences of returning volunteers. Volunteers are more likely to continue their engagement on return if they have received adequate supports such as opportunities for reflection, debriefing, counselling, etc. A safe space for returned volunteers to unpack their experiences and receive access to support services is vital for continuous engagement.

Options for continuous engagement As a Volunteer Sending Agency, you may be able to offer multiple ways in which volunteers can engage on return, including involvement with: l Your organisations’ Board of Trustees;

For options for continuous engagement from Ireland, see ‘Continuous Engagement Opportunities for Returned Volunteers’, at the back of the manual.

l Management Committees; l Facilitation of training for new volunteers; l Writing for your organisation’s website; l Network events; l Recruiting new volunteers.

As well as options offered by sending organisations to stay involved, there is the potential to also explore continuous engagement opportunities more widely within Ireland. With an acknowledgement of the resource challenges organisations are facing, signposting to existing options and activities within and beyond the sector can maximise the options offered by individual sending organisations. Creating more and more diverse continuous engagement opportunities will allow individual volunteers to find continuous engagement opportunities that most suit them and bring the experiences and skills of returned volunteers to other sectors of Irish society. Identifying the options available more widely within the development education sector could enhance this.

Further reading: Comhlámh’s Coming Home Book http://www.volunteeringoptions.org/Portals/ 0/PDF/Coming%20Home%20Book%20pdf% 20FINAL%202010.pdf. ‘Engaging Returned Development Workers in Development Education’, Mc Ginn, P. (2011). ‘Returned Volunteers and Engagement in Development’, Development Education Research Centre, Institute of Education, London (2010). 11

Guidelines for Development Education for Volunteer Sending Agencies l Embed development education within and

across your organisation, so that it is not an ‘add on’ but a core part of how you carry out your work l Introduce development education across the

entire volunteer continuum, including the recruitment and pre departure stages, not only as something included in the coming home phase l Integrate development education approaches

and participative methodologies into the training you do with staff and volunteers, to enable critical thinking about global issues l Provide access to support services for your

returned volunteers; returnees will only be able to continue their engagement if they feel healthy and happy on their return (if you do not have resources to provide such services, signpost to organisations like Comhlámh who have these) l Invest sufficient time and energy into the

training for volunteers, including pre departure but also the coming home phase of the training, which is often neglected l Start where people are ‘at’. The unique

personal journey of each volunteer will be shaped by their wider life experiences, and development education is a way to apply what they have learned overseas to their ongoing actions on return

‘Not only is another world possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day I can hear her breathing.’ Arundhati Roy

l Support and encourage volunteers to take

action on return as an outcome of the overseas placement, to raise awareness and continue engagement in development from Ireland l Maintain ongoing contact with returned

volunteers. There is no ‘optimum’ time that volunteers decide they want to continue their engagement and given the fact that volunteers are often very busy when they first return home, it may be the case that some people decide to engage at a later stage l Develop structured programmes for the

volunteers to engage with on return. Seed Funds and Action Projects are ways in which to do this, providing returned volunteers with ongoing mentoring and support and tangible projects to keep them engaged l Record what volunteers go on to do, through

ongoing communication, as a way to measure impact and provide insights into the possibilities for continuous engagement l Provide multiple options for volunteers to

continue their engagement. Each volunteer is unique and will have different needs and interests. If your organisation does not have the capacity to offer multiple options, signpost to organisations who offer opportunities, including local development education organisations l Create opportunities for returned volunteers to

meet with other returnees, either through your own sending agency or from other organisations. Some examples include: network weekends, social events, social media, reconnection events and graduation ceremonies l Network and share information with other

Volunteer Sending Agencies. There is a wealth of experience and knowledge on development education in volunteering within the sector. Share your good ideas and practices, and be open to learning from others!


Debriefing and Self Care ‘The individual whose vision encompasses the whole world often feels nowhere so hedged in and out of touch with his surroundings as in his native land.’ Emma Goldman Comhlámh advocates for support services, including debriefing, and the care of individuals being at the heart of engaging with returned volunteers. If volunteers have a positive experience overseas and on coming home, they will be more likely to reengage with their sending organisation or more generally in development issues (Mac Rory, 2009). The link between support services and continuous engagement is significant in the coming home phase. Comhlámh has found from experience that volunteers are more likely to re engage with their sending organisation and other continuous engagement activities if they have had a good experience in the coming home phase in terms of access to support services. Therefore, the coming home phase is crucial for continued reflection and learning, but also for making supports available for returning volunteers and these should be mutually dependent on one another. The reasons why returned volunteers may chose to re-engage depends on a number of factors, and many may not wish to engage at all. It is important to consider the various reasons why returnees decide not to engage on return. Some may feel traumatised or burnt out following their overseas experience. Before volunteers are able to get engaged on return, it is essential that their

immediate needs are met. Support for individual needs such as access to services, spaces for reflection and opportunities to meet other returned volunteers can help to make the transition back home a lot easier, and can also be an incentive for volunteers to get engaged when they are ready. Coming back home can be an exciting but also a busy and a challenging time: in the midst of catching up with family and friends there is often ‘reverse culture shock’ for many people. This can be a difficult time, often feeling like a ‘square peg trying to fit into a round hole’. Self-care and strengthening personal resilience to overcome any difficulties in the coming home journey is crucial at this time. Identifying and accessing support networks can ease this difficult transition. Coming home can also be a time to strengthen your personal resilience to transitions and changes which may involve accessing extra professional support at this time, such as counseling, if needed. Research carried out with 145 returned aid workers into their predominant feelings during the first few weeks after returning home found that 60% of returned workers report primarily negative feelings on return to their home country (Lovell, 1997).


Debriefing It is good practice for volunteers to receive both an operational debriefing and personal debriefing on return home. Personal debriefings are distinguishable from operational debriefings: operational debriefings are primarily concerned with the work done on assignment and are conducted by the ‘volunteer sending agency’; a personal debriefing is concerned with how the whole overseas experience was for the individual and how they are finding the process of readjusting

back home. The purpose is to help the individual to reflect on and process their overseas experiences and to bring about a sense of closure. Debriefing should take place ideally 1–3 weeks after the individual has returned home, and should not be too short – recommended that 3 hours is optimal time for a debriefing. It is important to follow the procedures around debriefing and that the person giving the debriefing has been trained.

Stress Stress is completely normal for volunteers, both while overseas and on returning home. However, this should not be overlooked. Even volunteers who have had a short period abroad can still feel overwhelmed and unable to settle back on return. A study by Lovell Hawker (2010) found that 5% of volunteers from a 6-week project overseas had suicidal thoughts on return, who did not have such thoughts before going away.

It is good to reassure returnees that it is normal not to feel ok, and providing the right support at this time is crucial. Symptoms of stress can be physical, emotional, behavioural, spiritual, or through thought patterns. Every individual has their own way to manage stress, and exploring what works for each returnee can be a useful activity as part of Coming Home supports.

Transitions Transitions affect everyone. Going overseas is a transition; and returning home to Ireland is another transition which is sometimes underrated. Transition psychology originated from work on bereavement, family crisis and depression, and in the 1970’s the US Peace Corps used this theory for culture shock briefings for volunteers (see Figure 1 for the ‘Phases and Features of the Transition Cycle’). Most returnees adjust to being back home after a few weeks. Enabling factors in supporting this include: economic security, emotional support from family, friends and work colleagues, time for regular exercise and a supportive work environment.

It is important to create space for returned volunteers to stop and reflect on their transition home and enable them to overcome any challenges within this. Activating previous coping mechanisms can help to strengthen resilience and can be an enabling factor for future transitions they may experience.

It is good to reassure returnees that it is normal not to feel ok, and providing the right support at this time is crucial.


Well being Feel good

First shock

Provisional adjustment

Inner contradictions

Inner crisis

Re-construction and recovery

Excitement Honeymoon (a)

New confidence, transformation



Losing confidence



Life event





Disbelief Distress/ despair Numbness (a) positive events



Minimising or denial

Letting go



(b) trauma or loss 3




Partial recovery Extended crisis

Quitting 7

8+ months

Figure 1: Phases and features of the Transition Cycle, Williams, 1999.

For more information on this topic, see Comhlámh’s ‘Coming Home Book’, which supports volunteers and development workers in settling back into life in Ireland. It has information on reverse culture shock, health issues, social welfare, the importance of ‘time out’, information about job hunting and further studies. This can be found online. Further reading: Fawcett, G. (1999). ‘Ad-mission: The briefing and debriefing of teams of missionaries and aid workers’. Harpenden: self-published.

MacRory, L. (2009), ‘Towards understanding how to engage returned volunteers: management recommendations for VSO Ireland’. Storti, C. (1991), ‘The Art of Coming Home’, Yarmouth, Intercultural Press; Williams, Dai. (1999) ‘Life events and career change: transition psychology in practice’; Williams, Dai. (1999), ‘Transitions: managing personal and organisational change’.

Lovell-Hawker, D. (2010). ‘Debriefing aid workers and missionaries: A comprehensive manual’. London: People in Aid. (Available from www.peopleinaid.org).


...in facilitation the aim is to draw out the collective knowledge...

Introduction to Facilitation Facilitation: facilitation is a way of working with people. Facilitation enables and empowers people to carry out a task or perform an action. ‘Developing Facilitation Skills: a handbook for group facilitators’, Patricia Prendeville

This section aims to outline some of the basic approach when facilitating groups. Each group of volunteers you work with will be different in terms of their needs, interests and personalities. The approach for facilitation can change, depending on the group, even if the content of the training stays more or less the same.

Facilitation Facilitation allows group members to engage in a process to reach an agreed goal, and encourages people to share ideas, opinions and to think critically. There is always existing knowledge and expertise within the group, which is what makes facilitation different from teaching. In teaching

there is often the transfer of knowledge; in facilitation the aim is to draw out the collective knowledge and to develop new realisations and ways of thinking as a result. Facilitation should be experienced as an enjoyable way to use skills and to get a task completed.

Reflective Practitioner Developing facilitation skills comes with practice, self-analysis and an openness to challenging ways of doing things. Developing ongoing reflection on your own practice can be a useful tool to consider what is working well, and what can be adapted or changed into the future to ensure the training that is delivered is most relevant and

effective with the groups of volunteers you work with. Ways in which you can reflect on your own practice can include: keeping a Reflective Journal; debriefing with someone after delivering each session or course; taking on the feedback from evaluation and feedback forms.


Forming a Group Creating the right atmosphere for participants to feel safe, and a sense of group cohesion, is a good place to start when forming a group. What are the backgrounds of people in the group? Is this the first time this group have come together? In the case of many coming home trainings, the group may know each other very well for some time. Two theorists of group development have models that are useful when facilitating groups:

Tuckman: stages of group development (1965) Tuckman’s stages of group development include: Forming (group members learn about each other and the task at hand); Storming (group members will engage each other in arguments about the structure of the group which often are significantly emotional); Norming (group members establish implicit or explicit rules about how they will achieve their goal); Performing (group reaches a conclusion and implement the solution to their issue). Applying these stages to the group with whom

you are working can offer insight to where groups are ‘at’ within this model and how to guide groups in their development.

Schutz: Fundamental interpersonal relations orientation (1958) Schutz’s theory is based on the belief that when people get together in a group, there are three main interpersonal needs they are looking to obtain: l Inclusion l Control l Openness

This technique was created to measure or control how group members feel when it comes to inclusion, control, and affection/openness or to be able to get feedback from people in a group. As a facilitator, keeping these 3 needs in mind when working with groups, can be a good way to ensure each group member feels able to participate and contribute effectively.

Choosing activities Each group will be different; therefore some activities will work better than others, and other activities may have to be adapted according to the group. In this training manual, there are suggested ways in which activities could be adapted. You as a facilitator have the

opportunity to choose activities that will best suit the needs of the group, and which will best draw out the shared knowledge to reach the desired goal. Time, availability of materials and space may be other factors affecting how you will choose to adapt this manual.

‘Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.’ Albert Einstein


Tips for creating a supportive environment l

Create a sense of belonging in the group through energisers and fun exercises which bring the group together.


Use small groups to work on specific tasks or issues but make sure the group members are changed round regularly to avoid cliques or set patterns.



With shy members, encourage them to talk in pairs so they can feel more confident when talking in larger groups. At regular intervals as appropriate check how the whole group is working and how it could be improved.


Check the pace and energy of the groups and provide impromptu energisers if necessary, that have an element of fun and surprise about them.


Summarise where the group is so far and discuss with them the next steps.


Regularly invite the group to reflect on their learning and use creative methods to do this such as drama, posters and games.


Provide regular snacks and tasty food.


Encourage the group to affirm each other’s contributions.

Tips for facilitators Below are some general tips for facilitators which may be useful to consider. Know your group:


Did you do a needs analysis before the training? Consider their expectations? What are their backgrounds? Have they travelled or worked overseas before? Why are they coming to this workshop?

Ensure that everyone in the group is included and encouraged to participate and share ideas – encourage silent, non-participative members.

Timing: Agree the duration of activities and try to stick to these.

Consultation: During the workshop, you could consult with group members on the direction, pace and content of the workshop with an openness to change. For example, although you will want to get all sections covered, if a discussion is going well, you may agree to let it run on a little.

Respect: Respect each individual and prevent other group members from undermining the basic respect that should be accorded to each individual in the group. This includes being non-judgemental about other people’s opinions. A group contract can support this.

Happy Facilitation! Good luck on your facilitation journey. Find activities that you enjoy, because if you are enjoying what you are delivering, the chances are the group will be enjoying it too!

For further guidance, support and useful resources for facilitating sessions with volunteers in pre departure or coming home training, contact Comhlámh (01 478 3490) or info@comhlamh.org 18





Forming the Group

Activity 1.1 Quotes and Introductions Activity 1.2 Lithuanian Listening Exercise Activity 1.3 Hopes and Fears Activity 1.4 Creating a Contract Activity 1.5 Mobile Maps

Introduction Forming the Group The process of forming a group is so important and can be significant for the rest of the work you as a group carry out together. In the context of doing group work with returned volunteers, there is a certain ‘magic’ there on which you can build.

Welcoming In many countries around the world, welcoming is an important ritual. If you yourself have been overseas, take some time to reflect on the first welcome you received from your host community. In day to day work, it is not unusual for the exchange each morning between colleagues to be as enthusiastic and warm as if they hadn’t seen each other in years. Keeping this in mind as you welcome returnees to the group and to your sessions can be a special way to recapture some of the warmth that they may have experienced overseas. It is also significant to keep in mind the fact that many returnees may feel vulnerable coming into a group. Shyness, a fear of group work, or just finding it difficult readjusting to being home can all contribute to this vulnerability. You do not know the stories of those coming into the space, nor do you know how they will be feeling when they enter. A warm welcome can be a simple reassurance to people that the space they are entering is one where they can feel comfortable.


Welcoming techniques Some simple ways in which you can create a warm welcome for people: l In advance of the arrival of participants, write up all their names on a flip chart. This will

affirm each and every individual that comes into the space. l Write the word ‘welcome’ clearly for all to see, possibly in the language from their host

community. Finding this out in advance can be a thoughtful reminder of the welcome they received while overseas. l Make an effort to ensure the space is looking as comfortable as possible – a nice space can

make a real difference to the conversations that take place. Bringing in materials and fabrics from other countries, putting up some posters on the walls if they are bare, keeping the place tidy, are all ways to make the space more comfortable. If you have quite a large space, sectioning off parts of the room for different activities can help to create ownership over what otherwise could be quite daunting for some. l Be still. Ensure that everything is ready before the participants arrive so that you can give

your full attention to them when they come in. Try to avoid being busy – getting things ready or doing last minute tasks. First impressions of how the facilitator presents themselves can be important. l As each person enters, give them your full attention and offer a warm welcome. If you are

two facilitators you can divide up roles between you. It can be good to examine the list of participants in advance and to think of one thing about each person, e.g. ‘how was the journey from Tipperary this morning?’

Safe space Group work can be a very special space for participants; how you decide you wish to create this space is down to each individual facilitator or facilitation team. Reflecting on this in advance of any session can remind you as a facilitator of the purpose of the space, who are the individuals who will attend the session and what you wish to achieve from the session.



Quotes and Introductions AIM OF ACTIVITY

To introduce each participant to the group, using the medium of quotes from around the world. TIME NEEDED


20 minutes (depends on the size of the group)



1 Lay out the quotes on a table in advance. 2 As participants are entering the room, or before the session begins, invite them to chose a quote that appeals to them.

3 When everyone is seated in a circle, invite people to share: (a) Their name (b) Something about themselves, e.g. where in Ireland they have come from/where they were overseas (if they have been to different places), etc. (c) Read out their quote and explain why they chose it.

4 After each person speaks, affirm what they said so that you welcome and acknowledge each person, and it can help to repeat their name, e.g. ‘Thank you Caroline’ as a reminder for others in the group.

5 This might be the first time some of the participants have met so it is important that a safe space is created (as it is not always easy to speak in front of a big group!) HOW THIS ACTIVITY COULD BE ADAPTED l You could source other quotes, e.g. quotes more directed towards Action; quotes more

directed towards Education, etc. l Images could be used instead of quotes, try New Internationalist www.newint.org or

Lonely Planet www.lonelyplanet.com for images from around the world. SOURCE l Children in Crossfire.



pletely empty. Acholi proverb

An elder’s handbag is never com

ays n storyteller, the hunter will alw Until the lion has his or her ow ina proverb the best part of the story. Ewe-m A tasty soup draws people to


itself. Ewe-mina proverb

re languages is not necessarily mo A person who can speak many listen in one. valuable than a person who can d of

at you scatter that tells what kin

It is not what you gather but wh life you have lived.

they people plant trees whose shade A society grows great when old ek proverb know they shall never sit in. Gre the Surely it’s no coincidence that word ‘silent’.

word ‘listen’ is an anagram of the

, and I remember. Tell me, and I forget. Show me understand. Chinese proverb

Involve me, and I

ady gone ss where the elephant has alre If you go through the high gra with the dew. Ghanaian proverb through, you don’t get soaked it is Every time an old person dies Mandinka proverb

as if a library has burnt down.

g when we are We shall know who enjoys walkin Sierra Leone proverb

on a journey.

to the change You change your steps according drum. Ewe proverb

in the rhythm of the

e you can swim. Swahili proverb If you destroy a bridge, be sur the flict between the powerless and Washing one’s hands of the con powerful, not to be neutral. powerful means to side with the Paulo Freire le, she is on her way. On a quiet Not only is another world possib ati Roy can hear her breathing. Arundh

day I



fed me for a day. If you teach me If you give me a fish you have il the river is contaminated or the to fish then you have fed me unt then But if you teach me to organize nt. me op vel de for zed sei ine shorel will together with my peers and we join can I ge llen cha the ver whate o Levins Morales fashion our own solution. Ricard Those who do not listen to the without roots. Luo proverb


voice of the elderly are like tre

proverb ution of the small streams. Bateke The river swells with the contrib elderly but The youth walks faster than the Nilotic proverb

the elderly knows the road.

by a small cloud. Maori proverb

Many stars cannot be concealed

verb n the gardener sows. Spanish pro tha n de gar the in w gro s ng thi More verb

g it over in your mind. Irish pro

nin You’ll never plough a field by tur

, you will fall for something.

If you don’t stand for something African proverb

lled sailor. African proverb

A calm sea does not make a ski

A thing that causes an elephant Luganda proverb Wisdom is like a baobab tree; West African proverb

to fall: how small may it be!

no one individual can embrace

ion we are likely to end If we do not change our direct headed. Chinese proverb leads Paddling a canoe without rhythm

up where we are

b to drowning. Sierra Leone prover

world? …it is …What is most important in the people. Maori proverb When spider webs unite they can


people, it is people, it is

tie up a lion. Ethiopian proverb 27


Lithuanian Listening Exercise AIMS OF ACTIVITY

• To encourage participants to interact with one another. • To value the existing individual and collective knowledge in the room. TIME NEEDED


20 minutes

Flip chart paper and markers


1 Invite everyone to imagine they have a small object in their hands. Give an example to help them.

2 After a few moments, ask everyone in the group to share what they have in their hands. Write these up on a flip chart.

3 Now invite the group to stand up, move around the room and swop their objects with each other, passing on what they have in their hands and remembering what the last person gave them. Demonstrate a few times so that they understand. The instructions need to be clear. Let this go on for some time until there is a buzz in the room and you can see that most people have made many exchanges.

4 Ask people to remember the very last object they were given. Then invite them to sit down again, and go through the list on the flip chart page. Ask, ‘who now has the ring?’ You will usually find that some items have gone missing, and other items have multiplied. DEBRIEF

1 What do you notice about what happened during that activity? 2 Why do you think some items went missing? (Suggestions may include: not listening to each other, not concentrating, distractions in the room, more concentrated on receiving than what I was giving, etc.)

3 What can we learn about this in the context of our group dynamics? (Suggestions could include: the importance of listening to each other; valuing what we receive from one another, but also valuing what we are bringing to the room ourselves; the potential for something new to be learned from one another and the group; the collective skills and experiences we all share, etc.)

4 Acknowledge and thank all participants for their participation, and for what each of them are bringing to the group in terms of their overseas experiences but also other skills and experiences they have. Each individual does not need to have all skills, but by valuing what we each have, by sharing this and by being open to receiving from others, we can grow and learn from within the group. continued overleaf...



HOW THIS ACTIVITY COULD BE ADAPTED l This could also be used in pre departure training as a way to acknowledge the skills and

experience people have before they go overseas, but could be adapted to apply to the host community – ‘what are the skills we need to truly listen and learn from the host community, so that we can not only give, but receive the wisdom and learning while we are overseas?’ l This activity would lead quite naturally onto the creation of a contract.

SOURCE l Partners (Training for Transformation) facilitators learned this exercise while on a Grundvig

Learning Exchange programme in Lithuania. Hence its name.



Hopes and Fears AIM OF ACTIVITY

To manage expectations of the training session.



20 minutes

Post-its and pens


1 Hand out post-its to each person, in 2 different colours (one for Hope and one for Fears). 2 Invite participants to write down a hope they have for the training, and a fear they have for the training. When they have done this, invite them to put them on the flip chart.

3 Arrange the post-its into similar themes, e.g. ‘ideas of what to do next’... ‘worried it will be a waste of time’, etc. and address each in turn, inviting the group to comment as much as possible. Address any unrealistic hopes or fears that may come up.

4 Take note of the hopes and fears and, if possible, integrate them into your plan for training over the upcoming sessions.

5 This activity could lead onto creating a group contract. HOW THIS ACTIVITY COULD BE ADAPTED l A more participative way to do this same activity is to mix up the hopes and fears, and

randomly let participants chose one hope and one fear and then they themselves suggest how this might be managed during the training.



Creating a Contract AIMS OF ACTIVITY

• To agree on some key statements that will support the group to work together effectively. • To develop a shared understanding of safety and respect within the group. TIME NEEDED


10 minutes

Flip chart paper and markers


1 Ask the group the question, ‘What are the conditions needed for us to work together effectively’? 2 As the group to suggest ways in which the group can work together effectively, encourage them to think about what this practically might look like, e.g. RESPECT – what does this mean and how can we animate respect within the group?

3 Put the contract or group agreement up somewhere where people can all see it throughout the training, and refer back to it so that it is a ‘living’ piece of paper. HOW THIS ACTIVITY COULD BE ADAPTED l This activity could be done in smaller groups, with more opportunity for discussion among

group participants.




To situate participants within the group and in relation to each other. TIME NEEDED


20 minutes

No materials needed


1 Place yourself in the middle of the room, and invite participants to gather around you. 2 Explain that your position in the centre represents the ‘centre’ of the universe. Outline where is north, south, east, west, etc.

3 Invite participants to travel to the place in relation to the centre where l They originally come from l Where they are currently living l A place they have travelled to l A place they have a family connection to l A place they would love to visit

4 At each point, either invite participants to share why they are standing at a certain point with the person closest to them, or else as the facilitator you can ask people to share in the bigger group. HOW THIS ACTIVITY COULD BE ADAPTED l You could chose different options, or use it for example in terms of their confidence in

development education, etc. SOURCE l ‘Values and Visions: a handbook for spiritual development and global awareness’ (NODE, 1995).




Activity 2.1 Name Games Activity 2.2 Focus Games


Name Games 1 Bean bags AIMS

• To learn each other’s names. • To energise the group. • To bring focus to the group. TIME NEEDED


5 minutes

Bean bags (or small balls), name tags

ACTIVITY l Ensure everyone’s name tags are visible from a distance. Stand in a circle. l Whoever holds the bean bag calls out the name of another and throws the bean bag to him or

her. She or he then passes the bean bag to someone who has not yet had it. l Participants must remember who they threw the bean-bag to, and create a pattern. l Gradually introduce more bean bags, maintaining the order in which they were thrown, so that

several are going at once. l Call a halt to the game when it breaks down and chaos begins, or when there is a natural end.

continued overleaf...



2 Informative introductions AIM

To facilitate the learning of each other’s names, while energising the group. TIME NEEDED


5 minutes

No materials needed

ACTIVITY l Ask participants to introduce themselves to the group and to give one other piece of

information e.g. the most recent thing that made them laugh, a snippet from their party piece (song, poem, dance,) etc.

3 Mixing up the group AIM

To mix participants up. TIME NEEDED


5–10 minutes

Enough chairs for everyone except one in a circle

ACTIVITY l While seated in a circle, give each participant a ‘fruit’ name (apples, oranges, pears, etc.).

The number of fruits should correlate with the number of groups you would like. l Call out the name of each fruit and when you do, all those fruits are to change seats with

the others, e.g. ‘PEARS’! All the pears change seats. l When you want everyone to change seats, call out ‘Fruit Salad’! l There should only be enough seats in the circle for everyone to sit down (except one

person who will be in the middle). l This game could be adapted, e.g. things to pack in the suitcase when going overseas,

‘anyone in the group who buys Fair Trade products/is a vegetarian/recycles’, etc. continued overleaf...



Focus Games 1 Mosquito clap AIM

To create focus in a group.



5 minutes

No materials needed

ACTIVITY l Let everyone know that there is a mosquito in the room (‘Has anyone ever encountered a

mosquito while overseas? What was it like? How did you deal with it?’) l Agree on a way to ‘swot’ the mosquito, which is to ‘clap’ your hands, at the same time as the

person next to you. l The mosquito will ‘fly’ around the circle, and people will ‘clap’ with the person next to them

when it is between them (so each person will clap twice; once to the right, then the left). l Continue until focus (and laughter) has been achieved.

continued overleaf...



2 Line up AIM



To create focus in a group.

10 minutes

No materials needed

ACTIVITY l Split the group in 2. l Without speaking, (‘as quickly and as quietly as you can…’) invite them to line up in order of: l height; l the month of the year they were born (Jan–Dec); l their names alphabetically; l in alphabetical order of the counties in Ireland they are from (Antrim–Tyrone…) etc. l It is a competition, so the team with most wins is the winner.

ADAPTATION l This could be adapted by splitting the teams in 2; and writing the words ‘Development’ and

‘Volunteered’ vertically on a flip chart page on one side of the room (one word for each team). l In 2 lines, get participants to run up to their page and to write a word for each letter

associated with volunteering overseas. l E.g. ‘D’ is for ‘doing good’; ‘V’ is for ‘very worthwhile experience’.

3 Count to 10 AIM



To create focus in a group.

5 minutes

No materials needed

ACTIVITY l Explain that the objective of the activity is to count to 10. Sounds easy…? There are

some guidelines: l No one person can say 2 consecutive numbers. l If 2 people say the same number at the same time, the whole group must go back to

the beginning. l There should be no talking while this activity is happening, apart from the numbers being called out. l The objective of the activity is to reach ‘10’ uninterrupted. This is more difficult than you would think, and requires concentration and feeling the energy of a group to make it work. l Try it with everyone closing their eyes, or put a ‘focal point’ in the middle like a pen to see

what difference this makes! l Check in with the group when finished to see how they are feeling.

continued overleaf...



4 Rainforest AIM

To refocus the group: this activity could either ‘lift’ the energy or ‘cool’ down the atmosphere.



5–10 minutes

No materials needed

ACTIVITY l Ask participants to sit in a circle with their feet on the ground and their hands free. l Explain that as a group we are going to make a continuous, collective sound (like a

Mexican wave). l The facilitator will begin, and in a clockwise motion pass the ‘sound’ around the circle.

Each person should copy the person to their right, changing the sound they are making when the person to their right changes, and should continue until the person to their right stops. l The actions are as follows: l Rub hands together… Click fingers… Clap… Pat thighs… Pat thighs and stomp

feet… Stomp feet only… Clap… Click fingers… Rub hands together…. Sigh.

Most importantly… remember… if you are enjoying what we are delivering then the participants will be having fun too!




Self Care

Activity 3.1 Step Forward for Self Care Activity 3.2 Charging your Batteries

Introduction Self Care Supporting volunteers in their preparation to go overseas and supporting them while they are overseas are both very important in volunteer programmes. However, just as important is to support volunteers when they return home again. Keeping in touch with volunteers, offering debriefing sessions, and signposting to services like counselling (if needed) are ways to provide ongoing support to returnees. Coming home from being overseas is a transition; and like all transitions in life, there is the opportunity to build a deeper understanding of ourselves, how we manage through challenging times and an opportunity to build personal resilience. Self care is so important during this time for returned volunteers: taking time out to rest, having space to reflect on the experience, and doing things to make them feel good. Often those who go overseas are highly committed and focused people; the implications of this can be that they may go into overdrive when they come home, getting involved in everything... or getting involved in nothing as they find it hard to get motivated – and possibly beat themselves up for this. Acknowledging that it is normal not to feel ok can be a great reassurance. It can be really worthwhile to spend some time with returned volunteers to explore what ‘charges their battery’, that is, what keeps them happy and plugged in to life? A simple exercise, either individually or collectively, can help to share good ideas of ways to look after themselves and build resilience through self care. Ideas may include: having lots of sleep, eating well, doing exercise, joining a club or doing an activity, starting a new hobby, writing in a diary, etc. Self care will look different for each person. In the midst of our busy lives, self care should be a muscle that everyone activates, not just returned volunteers! However, skills for positive self care can be learned following an overseas experience and can be activated any time in the future.



Step Forward for Self Care AIM OF ACTIVITY

To encourage participants to reflect on their levels of self care on return. TIME NEEDED


30 minutes

Self care quiz questions


1 Invite participants to stand in a line at one side of the room. 2 Explain that you are going to call out a series of questions, and for each question if this is something they do, to take a step forward.

4 Continue the activity until all the questions have been asked. DEBRIEF

1 What came up for you during this activity? 2 What have you learned about your own approach to self care? 3 What are some of the ways you could improve your approach to self care? 4 Invite participants to write down some promises to themselves that they will do in the coming weeks and months to enhance their self care. HOW THIS ACTIVITY COULD BE ADAPTED l You could change the questions in the quiz.

SOURCE l Kilcranny House.



SELF CARE QUIZ QUESTIONS Take a step forward every time you can truly say your answer is YES?

1 Do you recognise the signs when you are getting stressed or burned out? 2 Do you take action to relax yourself when you are getting stressed out? 3 Do you make sure you always get enough sleep? 4 Do you make sure you eat a healthy diet, even when you are busy at work? Or you could say I eat 5 fruit and veg 5 days a week

5 Do you make sure you drink plenty of water? I drink 2 or 4 litres of water every day. 6 Do you have people in your life you can talk with about problems, and find comfort in their companionship?

7 Do you ask for help easily when you need it? 8 Do you forgive yourself easily when you make genuine mistakes? 9 Do you make time every day for relaxation and/or reflection? 10 Do you make sure there is time in your life for the elements you truly enjoy? 11 Do you have an optimistic vision of the future? 12 Do you spend regular time with people you love, enjoying their company? 13 Do you feel you direct your anger in a healthy way? 14 Do you cry when you feel sad? 15 Do you allow time for laughter in your life? 16 Do you acknowledge yourself when you have done something well?



Charging your Batteries AIM OF ACTIVITY

To identify what works in terms of self care. TIME NEEDED


45 minutes

Flip chart paper and pens


1 Invite participants to get into small groups. 2 Introduce the concept of ‘self care’ as something that can and should be consciously activated on return.

3 Ask participants to share in small groups what helps them to ‘charge their battery’ when they are feeling low. Ideas can be recorded on a flip chart sheet (with the image of a battery on it).

4 Share what comes up with the wider group, and acknowledge that what works will change depending on the individual, but sharing ideas can stimulate others to think what works for them. SOURCE l Comhlámh’s Coming Home weekend manual.



Situating the Overseas Experience

Activity 4.1 If your time overseas was a movie... Activity 4.2 Personal Map Exercise Activity 4.3 Memorabilia Exercise Activity 4.4 Gauging Perspectives

Introduction Situating the Overseas Experience What is the purpose of volunteers going overseas to volunteer? How can the learning from an overseas experience inform returnees’ ongoing decisions and lifestyle choices when they come back? This is quite a complex area, as it is not straightforward and clearcut for people to see how one part of their lives directly impacts another. It is often with the value of hindsight that such realisations can manifest themselves. It can be a combination of many and diverse experiences through life that inform what people go on to do and the decisions they make, and it would be inaccurate to directly attribute these decisions solely to an overseas experience. Instead, supporting volunteers during the coming home phase of training to reflect on their overseas experience within the context of their lives more generally means that they themselves can understand how the many life experiences have led them to go overseas in the first place, and how their time overseas may also inform what they go on to do next. An overseas experience has the potential to be just a ‘one off’ experience for many people, detached from their roles and identities from Ireland. If the overseas experience is not placed within the context of a wider life journey, there is the risk that potential learning could be lost. Supporting volunteers to value overseas volunteering within the wider context of development likewise may have the effect that volunteers come to understand why their ongoing engagement in development issues and activism from Ireland is so important.



If your time overseas was a movie... AIM OF ACTIVITY

To encourage participants to talk about their time overseas. TIME NEEDED


10–20 minutes

No materials needed

ACTIVITY l Facilitator asks participants to introduce their time overseas through the question:

‘If your time overseas was a movie, which movie would it be and why?’ l Which character would you play? l Which characters would your other team members play? l E.g. Ocean’s 11 – we had a strong team dynamic, feeling like we were constantly overcoming

obstacles and pulling off the impossible. l This could also be used as an opening activity or as a close at the end of the day.



Personal Map Exercise AIM OF ACTIVITY

To situate the overseas experience in the wider life experience of each participant. TIME NEEDED


1–1½ hours

Coloured paper, markers, crayon, coloured pencils


1 Explain the purpose of the activity to the group, that for the next hour or so, explain to the group that there will be some individual time to reflect on all the different experiences that have brought them into this room today. There will then be some time to share these reflections in smaller groups.

2 Put some coloured paper and markers/pens/crayons in the middle of the circle. 3 For the next 20 minutes, invite participants to take some time on their own to think of all the different influences in their lives to date. This can include events, people, organisations, etc. Their personal map will include their overseas experience, but not be restricted to this.

4 After 20 minutes or so, invite the participants to get into small groups of 3–4 people. Ask them to share their personal maps in these smaller groups, only sharing what they feel comfortable sharing. The time in small groups can be for 15–20 minutes, ensuring each person has adequate time to talk. DEBRIEF l When 15–20 minutes have passed, gently invite everyone to finish their conversations and

reconvene in the bigger group. Invite feedback, focusing on: (a) The similarities between individuals, if any? (b) What was the learning from this activity? (c) What values were gained/nurtured through the different life experiences? (d) How do these personal maps help to understand motivations for going overseas? (e) In terms of continuous engagement, where are some of the spaces in which you feel your time overseas may have an impact on your personal map into the future? continued overleaf...



HOW THIS ACTIVITY COULD BE ADAPTED l The activity could be more linear, that is, making a chronological timeline. A structured way

to do this is to draw a horizontal line across the page, followed by a vertical line, leaving space to the right of the vertical line (this will be the space for ‘what next’ in their timeline, space to consider their continuous engagement and next steps as informed by their existing life experience including the time overseas). l This could also be an activity used in the pre departure training, to consider motivations

and to introduce continuous engagement from the pre departure stage.

|———————— my life to date ————————|

What Next?

NOTE TO FACILITATOR l For some, looking back on previous life experiences can be traumatic, particularly if something

bad had happened them during childhood. Ensure safety in this activity by inviting participants to only share what they feel comfortable to share. SOURCE l Comhlamh’s Coming Home Weekend manual.



Memorabilia Exercise AIM OF ACTIVITY

To remind participants of their time overseas and to revive the memories. TIME NEEDED


1 hour

Map of the World, stickers/pebbles to put on the map, *each participant should bring a piece of memorabilia from their time overseas * Important to invite them to do this in advance, and to send a reminder just before the training event


1 Place the map in the middle of the circle. Invite participants to go and get their memorabilia before the session begins (so that there is no disruption during the session).

2 Invite each person (in no particular order) to share their piece of memorabilia – why they chose to bring it along and what memories does it invoke?

3 Give each person sufficient time to talk. If someone does not have enough to say, gently ask some questions about the item (or invite the group to ask questions).

4 It is important to acknowledge and appreciate each person and their piece of memorabilia, as this will be very personal to each participant.

5 Sometimes this activity can bring up a lot of emotions, so sit with this and check in with the participant to make sure they are ok. Acknowledge that it is ok and normal to get emotional when remembering.

6 At the end, thank each person for sharing. It can be a nice idea to take a photograph of all the objects together. When the session is done, make sure all the memorabilia is put away safely so that they do not get damaged or lost. HOW THIS ACTIVITY COULD BE ADAPTED l Instead of inviting participants to bring their own objects, you as facilitator can bring along

a bag of items (collected from second hand shops, etc.) and lay them out in the circle, inviting participants to chose one that reminds them of an aspect or memory from their overseas experience. l If someone forgets to bring an item, invite them to imagine what they would have

brought, and present this ‘invisible’ object. SOURCE l Comhlámh’s Coming Home Weekend manual.



Gauging Perspectives (an activity for pre and post placement)


To allow volunteers (during pre-placement training) the time to reflect on their perceptions of the country of their placement and for those perceptions to be revisited upon completion of the placement. TIME NEEDED


The exercise is carried out in 2 stages. If there are pre-departure training days, stage 1 should be carried out during the first session. This session will take around 15 minutes.

Coloured paper for all participants, envelopes, coloured pencils, pens

Stage 2 can be carried out either at the end of the placement in the host country, or during the de-briefing/coming home session. This session will take longer, with sufficient time for debrief after the activity. 30 minutes for this session.

ACTIVITY OUTLINE Stage 1 (pre departure): l Invite participants to visualise themselves walking through the country they are soon to visit.

Allow 60 seconds for everyone to place themselves in their host country. l Provide a piece of paper and an envelope. l Note 5 key words on their piece of paper to summarise their 60 second visualisation. l Seal the paper in the envelope and each person sign their own.

Stage 2 (coming home): l Upon completion of the placement or during the coming home weekend; invite participants

to write down 5 words summarising their host country. l Distribute the ‘Stage 1’ envelopes and ask participants to open them up and compare their

pre and post placement lists. l Allow time for individuals to discuss how their experience has changed their perception of

the host country (quite often, participants have forgotten about Stage 1, and some will be surprised by the words they noted in their ‘visual walk’) both negatively and positively. continued overleaf...



DEBRIEF l What were your perceptions of your host country before you went there? l How did these perceptions change? l Were some of your perceptions reinforced at all? How were your perceptions challenged? l What informs the perspectives of people in Ireland of countries in the global south

(suggestions could include: media, fundraising charities, other returnees, talks in schools and churches, humanitarian campaigns, etc.)? l What is the role of returned volunteers to challenge these perceptions and introduce new

narratives of the global south to people living in Ireland? l How can you do this?

HOW THIS ACTIVITY COULD BE ADAPTED l This activity could be done visually, using images instead of key words.

SOURCE l Kevin Murphy, Nurture Africa.




Activity 5.1 Telling it as it is? Activity 5.2 How the Monkeys Saved the Fish Activity 5.3 The Rainbow People Activity 5.4 Poems and Short Stories

Introduction Storytelling Storytelling is a valuable tool for working with returned volunteers on a number of levels. Firstly, as basic as creating a space for returnees to tell their own story, to be heard and to have their stories validated is significant and valuable for each individual who has a story to tell. Often when volunteers return home, after the initial enquiry about their time overseas, family, friends and loved ones can ‘glaze over’ and close the space for them to really talk. This is why having opportunities for returned volunteers to meet each other and share stories can be really helpful in supporting them through the coming home process. On another level, storytelling is a tool used widely in countries across the world, and often stories have significant learning and meanings. This does not exclude stories such as those which are critical of development, and this section includes a story from Tanzania which does just that. As such, using stories in the return phase is a perfect example of learning from the wisdom and teachings of traditions from all over the world. For a volunteer going overseas to work with communities around issues of development, the stories of the people they meet and work alongside has a very real human aspect which adds a new perspective to development. Arthur Thompson (Kimmage DSC, 2011) refers to the ‘story impact’ of those we meet overseas on our understanding of development. The saturation of images and messages of the global south by the media and various charities has the potential impact of people ‘switching off’ to the reality of poverty which many communities genuinely face. Having the opportunity to hear first hand the story and perspective of people from the global south could create a greater sense of compassion and empathy which has potentially been eroded as a result of saturated messaging. But also, importantly, that the stories encountered overseas are those of real people, not the interpretation of peoples’ stories on their behalf from a western perspective. ‘No matter how much our heads know, if our hearts are not persuaded, we are not fully convinced, certainly not enough to act’ (Taylor, cited in Thomspon, 2011). The impact of stories on volunteers could indeed be the inspiration to take action on return.


Finally, the stories returned volunteers tell to others when they come home have a real potential to inform, challenge or raise awareness. The way in which they tell their story, and which stories they chose to share, all contributes to what narrative the people around them will hear. It is therefore useful and important to consider the limitations and subjectivity of storytelling, and the influences of the person telling the story, the wider context, the assumptions of the listener, and the space in time as stories can very easily change over time! Those we work with are not just individuals on our volunteer programme; they are humans with important and rich stories to tell. I therefore welcome and encourage you to use storytelling as much as possible, for individual benefits, to better inform our understanding of development, and for awareness raising possibilities.



Telling it as it is? AIM OF ACTIVITY

To consider the challenges of telling stories following an overseas experience. TIME NEEDED


1 hour

No materials needed


1 As a big group, sitting in a circle invite participants to close their eyes and to consider their journey here today.

2 In small groups of 4, one person will tell their story to each of the others about how they got here. The first time the story is told to one person, the storyteller will make it sound dreadful, focusing on all the things that went wrong. The second time the story is told to another person, the storyteller will make it sound as though everything was perfect, no problems. The third time the story is told to the last person, the storyteller will change one element of the story.

3 The other 3 listeners will need to listen carefully and reflect quietly on all 3 versions of the same story.

4 In a bigger group, host the following debrief: DEBRIEF

1 How did the 3 stories differ from each other? 2 How did each version affect you? 3 Which one is the correct story? 4 What does this tell us about the nature of stories? 5 What might be the impact of the stories we tell about our time overseas? HOW THIS ACTIVITY COULD BE ADAPTED l Instead of ‘the trip here this morning’, a different topic can be used to tell stories.

SOURCE l ‘Values and Visions: a handbook for spiritual development and global awareness’

(NODE, 1995).



How the Monkeys Saved the Fish AIM OF ACTIVITY

To critically explore the role of Western interventions in communities in the Global South. TIME NEEDED


40 minutes

A copy of the story ‘How the Monkeys Saved the Fish’


1 Tell the participants that you are going to read them a folktale from Tanzania. 2 Read the folktale (see the copy overleaf). 3 Invite participants to think of one thing they took away from the story. DEBRIEF

1 What are your first thoughts on this story? 2 Was there anything about the monkey’s behaviour that disturbed you? Is there anything you would give them credit for?

3 What do you think the message behind this folktale is? 4 How can overseas volunteering best respect the host communities, acknowledging and learning from local knowledge and adding value to the good work already going on?

5 What message would you give to new volunteers, about to travel overseas, based on the learning from this story? SOURCE l Adapted from Partners Intercultural Companion to ‘Training for Transformation’ (2007).



Tanzanian Folktale: How the Monkeys Saved the Fish r had broken its n the strongest ever and the rive The rainy season that year had bee ning up into the here and the animals were all run banks. There were floods everyw monkeys who many drowned except the lucky hills. The floods came so fast that where the fish b up on the surface of the water used their proverbial agility to clim e the only ping out of the water as if they wer were swimming and gracefully jum d. ones enjoying the devastating floo k down, my and shouted to his companion, ‘loo One of the monkeys saw the fish see how s. They are going to drown. Do you friend, look at those poor creature they struggle in the water?’ in escaping to at a pity! Probably they were late ‘Yes’, said the other monkey. ‘Wh e no legs. How can we save them?’ the hills because they seem to hav flood where the Let’s go close to the edge of the ‘I think we need to do something. out’. er us, and we can help them to get water is not deep enough to cov without y started catching the fish, but not So the monkeys did just that. The m carefully t them out of the water and put the difficulty. One by one, they brough ss, gra there was a pile of fish lying on the on the dry land. After a short time now they , ‘Do you see? They were tired, but motionless. One of the moneys said por people se it not been for us, my friend, all the are just sleeping and resting. Had d’. without legs would have drowne e they could e trying to escape from us becaus The other monkey said, ‘They wer will be very ns. But when they wake up they not understand our good intentio t them salvation’. grateful because we have brough (Traditional Tanzanian Folktale)



The Rainbow People AIM OF ACTIVITY

To use a story to explore global justice issues.



20 minutes

A copy of the story ‘The Rainbow People’


1 Read out the story below to the group. 2 When you have finished, invite comments about the story. DEBRIEF

1 What do you think the story was about? 2 What local/global justice issues does this story address? (Suggestions might include: interdependence, discrimination, individualism, conflict, consumerism).

3 Who do you think the different groups of flowers might represent? 4 Who do you think the stranger might represent? HOW THIS ACTIVITY COULD BE ADAPTED l You could use drama to act out the story, and perform this to an audience, possibly in a

supermarket. SOURCE l ‘Equality: raise the issue. An interactive arts resource pack created for and by young people’

(Mayfield Community Arts, Cork).



The Rainbow People to be covered still and quiet. The ground seemed In the beginning the world was very you could see that es. But, if you took a closer look with dull-coloured rocks and ston at all. little people who were not moving they were not stones, but were tiny them with life . It warmed the people and filled One day a wind blew over the land ch each – to speak ve – to look at each other – to tou and with love. They began to mo ut each other. to each other – to care to care abo the ground. found coloured ribbons lying on As they explored their world they blue, some red, collecting them up. Some chose They were excited and ran about tying the orange, some purple. They enjoyed some green, some yellow, some hing at the bright colours. ribbons round each other and laug . They looked at time it made them shiver with cold Suddenly another wind blew. This – and stopped other, realised they were different each other. They looked at each trusting each other. corner. The reds gathered and ran into a a corner. The blues gathered and ran into a corner. The greens gathered and ran into a corner. The yellows gathered and ran into a corner. The oranges gathered and ran into a corner. The purples gathered and ran into The other ds and had cared for each other. They forgot that they had been frien e themselves and strange. They built walls to separat and rent diffe med see just urs colo nd that: kept the others out. But they fou they went hungry. The reds had water but no food, they were thirsty. The blues had food but no water, . but no shelter, so the fires went out The greens had twigs to make fire to keep them warm. them out of the rain but nothing p kee to s lter she had ows yell The , but nothing to sleep on. The oranges had cloth for clothing no warm clothing. The purples had comfy beds, but



looked at stood in the centre of the land. He Suddenly a stranger appeared and loudly ‘Come ing them in amazement, and said the people and the walls separat id of? Let’s talk to each other.’ out everybody. What are you afra ers into the slowly some came out of their corn The people peeped out at him and e got to give just tell one another what you hav centre. The stranger said, ‘Now, and what you need to be given.’ of food but no water.’ The blues said, ‘We have plenty water but we have no food.’ The reds said, ‘We have plenty of lter from the of wood for a fire but we need she The greens said, ‘We have plenty rain and wind.’ cold.’ of shelter from the rain but we are The yellows said, ‘We have plenty ty of clothes, but cannot sleep.’ The oranges said, ‘We have plen clothe us or to sleep on, but have nothing to The purples said, ‘We have beds keep us warm.’ share it? Then put together what you have and The stranger said, ‘Why don’t you k, keep warm and have shelter.’ you can all have enough to eat, drin they had been returned. They remembered that They talked and the feeling of love old friends. walls and welcomed each other as friends. They knocked down the to throw them urs had divided them they wanted When they realised that the colo urs. So, instead, miss the richness of the bright colo away. But they knew they would mselves the beautiful ribbon. They called the they mixed the colours to make a on became their symbol of peace. Rainbow People. The rainbow ribb © 1999 Carolyn Asker ilable from Terracotta Press, c/o 136 Taken from The Swans Secret, ava , London, W9 1HU Biddulph Mansions, Elgin Avenue



Poems and Short Stories

Never Give Up Never Give Up No matter what is going on Never give up Develop the heart Too much energy in your country is spent developing the mind Develop the heart Be compassionate Not just to your friends but to everyone Be compassionate Work for peace in your heart and in the world Work for peace and I say again Never give up No matter what is happening Not matter what is going on around you Never give up (His Holiness the Dalai Lama)



The Elephant’s Child I keep six honest serving-men (They taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When And How and Where and Who. I send them over land and sea, I send them east and west; But after they have worked for me, I give them all a rest.

I let them rest from nine till five, For I am busy then, As well as breakfast, lunch, and tea, For they are hungry men: But different folk have different views; I know a person small – She keeps ten million serving-men Who get no rest at all! She sends ‘em abroad on her own affairs, From the second she opens her eyes – One million Hows, two million Wheres, And seven million Whys!



Stone Soup Two travellers were walking along, carrying nothing more than an empty cooking pot. They arrived in a village. Upon their arrival, the villagers are unwilling to share any of their food stores with the hungry travellers. The travellers decided to go to a stream and fill the pot with water, drop a large stone in it, and place it over a fire. One of the villagers becomes curious and asks what they are doing. The travellers answer that they are making ‘stone soup’, which tastes wonderful, although it still needs a little bit of garnish to improve the flavour, which they are missing. The villager did not mind parting with a few carrots to help them out, so that gets added to the soup. Another villager walks by, inquiring about the pot, and the travellers again mention their stone soup which has not reached its full potential yet. The villager hands them a little bit of seasoning to help them out. More and more villagers walk by, each adding another ingredient. Finally, a delicious and nourishing pot of soup is enjoyed by all.


1 What is the meaning behind this story? 2 What does this tell you about working together? 3 Within your own group, what are the strengths that each of us are bringing? 4 What might be the ‘soup’, or the new vision that can be realised, as a result of working together?



Critical Literacy

Activity 6.1 Introduction to OSDE Activity 6.2 Developing Critical Perspectives Activity 6.3 ‘Spect-actors’ of Development Activity 6.4 Suggested Drama Warm Up Games


Introduction to OSDE





Cartoon explanation of OSDE



Developing Critical Perspectives AIM OF ACTIVITY

To critically examine the notion of ‘Development’ through multiple perspectives. TIME NEEDED


1 hour

Statements on Development


1 Break into small group of 4–5 participants. Hand out an envelope to each group with the development perspectives inside, and the following written on the outside of the envelope:

Choose a perspective. What is it saying? What are the assumptions behind the perspective? What are the positive and negative implications of staying with this perspective? 2 Invite groups to read all the perspectives, then pick one, and answer the questions (above). It may help to give an example first, either personal or along the lines of development.

3 Allow groups 20–30 minutes to discuss the perspective; then bring the group back together and each group to present their perspective. DEBRIEF

1 What kind of questions have people asked you since returning home about the Global South? 2 What are the dominant perspectives of ‘development’ from Ireland? 3 What are the assumptions behind these questions? NOTE TO FACILITATOR l It is important to outline the procedure for Open Space Dialogue and Enquiry with participants

in a advance. See the attached sheets for support in situating this activity within the Principles and Procedures for OSDE: ‘Introduction to OSDE’ and ‘Cartoon explanation of OSDE’. l The role of the facilitator is to act as devil’s advocate when the tendency of the group is to agree

or see only through one perspective (to challenge consensus). www.osdemethodology.org.uk HOW THIS ACTIVITY COULD BE ADAPTED l See the other Sample Units on www.osde.methodology.org.uk/teachered.html

SOURCE l Open Space for Dialogue and Enquiry.



Statements on Development



‘Spect-actors’ of Development AIM OF ACTIVITY

To use drama and role play to communicate new narratives of development with people locally. TIME NEEDED


1½ hours

Suggested Drama Warm Up Games


1 In order to create a safe space, it is important to do many warm up exercises, to get people comfortable in their bodies and to set the scene for role play later on. Please find attached some suggested warm up games, from ‘Games for Actors and Non Actors’ (Augusto Boal).

2 Once participants are in small groups, invite them to write down individually one situation they have encountered with people at home since they have returned, which exposes some of the perceptions people have locally about the Global South.

3 When everyone has done this, invite participants to share these in smaller groups and to pick one story which they will explore in more depth. Now invite participants to create a short scene which acts out the scenario they have chosen. They will have 20 minutes to put this together.

4 When everyone is ready, act out the scenes one by one, taking each scene as follows: l Once the scene has been acted out, thank the group, then invite them to replay it once

more, inviting the ‘audience’ (the other group members) to pause at any time and join in the scene by replacing another actor to try to make a solution to the problem presented. l Allow this to run a few times, inviting the audience members up to try to change the

scene and reach a resolution. In most cases, this will be to try to challenge the perceptions of the people being presented in the scene, and to suggest an alternative narrative of development. l Once each group has had a chance to present, and the audience members have had the

chance to participate in each scene, thank everyone for their contributions and energy. HOW THIS ACTIVITY COULD BE ADAPTED l You could ask another question at the beginning, or use alternative warm up games at

the beginning. SOURCE l Games for Actors and Non Actors (Augusto Boal).

FURTHER LINKS l tobe.ie/forum-theatre l www.speakout.ie l www.crookedhouse.ie



Suggested Drama Warm Up Games COLUMBIAN HYPNOSIS

1 Invite participants to get into pairs. One will be ‘A’ and one will be ‘B’. ‘A’ will be the hypnotiser and ‘B’ will be the person who gets hypnotised.

2 ‘A’ holds their hand about 20–40 cm from ‘B’s face. They must maintain this distance throughout the exercise. ‘A’ starts a series of movements with their hand – up, down, back forwards, right, left, etc. ‘B’ must contort their body in order to follow and keep the distance between their face and the hand of ‘A’.

3 Ensure that safety is honoured in this exercise, and that respect is shown between each pair.

4 When this exercise has gone on for some moments, ‘A’ and ‘B’ swop the roles of hypnotist and hypnotised. THE MACHINE OF RHYTHMS

1 Invite the group to stand in a big circle. 2 Invite a participant into the middle of the circle, imagining they are a part of a machine. Invite them to do a movement with their body and a sound to go along with it.

3 As people feel like it, they can enter the circle to join the machine to add to the original sound and movement.

4 This continues until most people have joined in and there is a workable machine. SOURCE l ‘Games for Actors and Non Actors’, Boal, A.

continued overleaf...




1 Arrange participants to line up in 2 lines facing each other. There should be an equal number of people in each line. One line are sculptors; the other are models.

2 With the pairs that are facing each other, invite the sculptors to ‘shape’ the models into whatever shape they want. There should be no words exchanged, and the sculptors cannot use their own bodies to illustrate what they mean. It must be done in silence.

3 Building on this, ask person A to ‘sculpt’ person B in to an image of a state of being. For example ‘someone in power’. B then makes A into the opposite, ‘someone downtrodden or oppressed’.

4 Ask all the A’s to stand in a line, and ask the rest of the group to describe what they see. What does ‘power’ or ‘oppression’ look like? There is no right or wrong answer; we all see different things in the same image. These pictures can start to give us a sense of stories of conflict, power and difference. FROZEN PICTURES

1 Invite the group to move around the space, until you call out a number. Participants must get into groups with that number of people.

2 In these groups, call out a word (e.g. football match, disco, beach) and everyone in the group creates a picture of that word together using their bodies and facial expressions. Do a few easy words quite quickly to help people lose self-consciousness. The less they think the better!

3 Then introduce more complex words: development, poverty, equality, justice. 4 When groups have found an image together, get them to ‘freeze’ in this image. Invite the groups to observe each other and to say what they see. You can press ‘play’ on the images and ask for a few moments of sound or movement. You can also tap individuals within the scene on the shoulder and ask them to share one thought their character would be having in this scene. SOURCE l ‘Games for Actors and Non Actors’, Boal, A.



Images and Perceptions

Activity 7.1 Images and Messages – Communicating Locally Activity 7.2 Social Media Activity Activity 7.3 Ireland or India? Activity 7.4 Headline Hysterics

Introduction Images and Perceptions Why is it important to explore images and perceptions with volunteers on return? Surely that is an activity that should be done in the pre departure phase only? In fact, the coming home phase of a volunteer placement is the ideal opportunity for returned volunteers to explore images and perceptions, both through their own eyes and with the value of hindsight, but also from the perspective of those at home with whom they will share the images. Through the medium of showing photos, videos and writing articles, returned volunteers use different ways to raise awareness and tell others about their time overseas with others at home on their return. This is an excellent opportunity to educate others locally and inform them of global justice issues based on the lived experiences of the volunteer. However, this can also reinforce negative perceptions of the global south, if the space is not there to critically unpack the issues and to look at the limitations of images and messages. On the other hand, images and messages are a fantastic medium with so much potential to challenge and offer new narratives on development and the global south for volunteers to effectively raise awareness on return. It is therefore important to host a critical and safe space to really critique this issue.



Images and Messages – Communicating Locally AIM OF ACTIVITY

To explore and critique the use of images and messages when communicating locally about the time spent overseas. TIME NEEDED


30 minutes

Images from the Global South, Dóchas Code of Conduct on Images and Messaging


1 Lay out images in the middle of the circle, and invite participants to get into groups of 4 or 5 people and chose one.

2 Invite the smaller groups to discuss the following questions: l What perspective of development is being presented? l What is not being presented in the image? l Does the image challenge or reinforce stereotypes of the Global South? l How can you use your overseas experience to add value to the narrative being

presented in this image? l How might this image be perceived by people locally in Ireland? l What role do returned volunteers play in communicating messages about development?

3 As a big group, discuss the ways in which images can be effectively used to raise awareness at home about development, ensuring that the complex nature of development is presented, and that the images critically challenge, rather than reinforce, existing stereotypes of the Global South.

4 Invite the participants to create a shared ‘Contract’ for the use of images (including social media) on their return to Ireland: what guidelines need to be agreed upon to ensure that images and messages are used effectively to raise awareness locally? HOW THIS ACTIVITY COULD BE ADAPTED l In the pre departure workshops there should have been the opportunity to introduce the

‘Dóchas Code of Conduct on Images and Messaging’. FINDING IMAGES l For images on development, you can visit: www.developmenteducation.ie l ‘Framing Our World’ (NYCI). l ‘How do we know its working? (RISC).



Social Media Activity AIM OF ACTIVITY

To consider social media and the implications and opportunities for awareness raising on return from an overseas experience. TIME NEEDED


30 minutes

Facebook status handout, Comhlámh’s ‘Guidelines for the use of Social Media in Volunteering’


1 Explain to participants that you will now look at what role social networking (e.g. facebook) has in conveying messaging and influencing perceptions.

2 Ask participants to get into groups of 3 or 4. Distribute the facebook status updates handout. Ask them to discuss: l What is your initial reaction? l What message(s) are being conveyed?

3 After some discussion in small groups, bring the participants back to the wider group and ask them to volunteer their thoughts on the updates. It might be useful to pick certain updates and ask: l What message(s) are being conveyed? Are they positive, negative or neutral (and about

what?). What is this update communicating? l What do you think the context is? l Do you ‘approve’ of the update? If so/not, why?

Issues that might be raised in discussion could include: context; multiple interpretations; public vs. private sphere; freedom of expression; power of social networking for communication; power of returned volunteers to influence perspectives locally (in both positive and negative ways); potential key tool for educating, sharing.

4 Guidelines: Ask the group what key points they should keep in mind when using facebook and other social networking. Jot them down on flipchart paper as the beginning of some guidelines. See below (‘Tip to Consider’) for ideas of what could be included in such guidelines, and share the resource: Comhlámh’s ‘Guidelines for the use of Social Media in Volunteering’ as a support in their continued thinking around this topic.

5 To end, ask participants: What are the opportunities to use Social Media for awareness raising and further action on return from overseas? continued overleaf...



NOTE TO FACILITATOR l As facilitator it is important to remain neutral and non-judgemental about the updates and

allow the participants to decide what they think. If the conversation is one sided play devil’s advocate. In many cases there might be multiple interpretations from one status update so perhaps ask them what the impact of this is? TIPS TO CONSIDER l Who will see this and what am I trying to say to them?

What are the different ways people might view this? What will be the impact? l Take time to pause and reflect before taking photos

or posting information. ‘Think before you Tweet!’ l Am I representing myself, the sending organisation

or the host community? l If you are only speaking for yourself mark this with

formulations like ‘In Ghana I experienced …’ instead of ‘In Ghana it is …’ . l Does my host community or sending organisation have a Code

of Conduct on this issue? l Check with your host organisation and sending organisation before posting videos, articles on

the internet. l Which photographs and comments should I share? l Before posting a picture, consider the potential vulnerability and victimisation of the people

shown and have respect for the subject. l If I was the person in the photograph in that situation, would I like my picture to be shared

across the internet and with total strangers? Do I have permission to use the photo? HOW THIS ACTIVITY COULD BE ADAPTED l This could also be an activity used in the pre departure training.

SOURCE l Comhlámh’s Pre Departure training manual.



ous the children are! 1 You wouldn’t believe how gorge I want to take them home! . Hmmm, it’s not happening so far.

ell… 2 They said I’d get use to the sm

work ple today who’ve done brilliant 3 We’ve met some amazing peo . They’re so inspiring. re-building their local community es already…

to death by mosquito 4 I’m sick, jet lagged, and bitten get me back to Dublin!

als all night, shake that booty!

loc 5 We’ve been dancing with the

the disfigured young boy begging on 6 I‘m haunted by the image of a pen here? street. Why do people let this hap was a n unbelievably welcoming. There 7 The local community have bee us. where they sang and danced for welcoming ceremony last night tions? them tonight! Any recommenda We’re to do something Irish for mad… naughty today. They’re driving us 8 OMG – the kids have been so corporal punishment… I’m starting to see the benefits of a lot of community in Ireland, but 9 I always thought that we had at it means to care about and Nicaraguans are teaching me wh support each other. for a w that we’ve set the foundation 10 I feel so humble today, to kno is down and we start on the community to learn. The concrete bricks tomorrow! goat today. It was brutal... 11 Disgusting! Saw a local kill a ed me to eat it. what’s worse is that they expect



Ireland or India? AIM OF ACTIVITY

To challenge perceptions of developing countries and to develop this into awareness raising by returned volunteers locally. TIME NEEDED


20 minutes

A mix of 10 images: 5 from Ireland and 5 from India (or another country of your choice). The images should have a mix of photographs, to include poverty and modernity (and be purposefully obscure). You can use photos that have been taken by returned volunteers in their host country. For other places where you can source photos, see ‘Further Links’ below.


1 Lay out the photos on a table for participants to see. 2 Invite them to group the images, dividing them into categories for India and Ireland, depending on the country in which they feel the photos have been taken.

3 When they have categorised all the photos, share with them the correct answers. DEBRIEF

1 What surprised you about your perceptions during this activity? 2 What are the different realities you experienced while you were overseas? 3 How can this approach be useful when challenging perceptions of people locally about the global south? HOW THIS ACTIVITY COULD BE ADAPTED l You could use any photos at all. It can often be a nice idea to start a collection of useful

photos in both local and global settings. SOURCE l ‘How do we know its working? A toolkit for measuring attitudinal change in global

citizenships from early years to K3’, RISC (Reading International Solidarity Center). FURTHER LINKS l ‘Framing Our World: a youth work resource on the use of images and messages in

development’ (National Youth Council of Ireland). l RISC resource ‘How do we know its working’ l www.developmenteducation.ie



Headline Hysterics AIM OF ACTIVITY

To explore how different groups are portrayed in the media. TIME NEEDED


30 minutes

Headlines from national and international newspapers (4 sets, prepared in advance), flipchart, markers, post-it notes

NOTE TO FACILITATOR l In preparation for this activity, find examples from Irish and international newspapers

relating to different group of people: people in the global south, immigrants to Ireland, women, travellers, etc. Include some examples which are particularly negative. Blank out one or more word in the headline. ACTIVITY OUTLINE

1 First impressions: invite participants to shout out the first word that comes to mind when they hear the word ‘media’.

2 Explore briefly as a big group the role of the media, including for what purpose it exists, who controls it, what power it has to influence opinions.

3 In small groups, hand out a set of headlines to each group. Ask them to fill in the missing word. They can write their guesses on post-it notes.

4 When all groups have completed the activity, read out the right answers. DEBRIEF

1 Were you surprised by any of the headlines? 2 What perceptions of the different groups was being portrayed? 3 What affect might this have on the opinions of people locally? 4 What is the role for returned volunteers to challenge existing perceptions and to introduce new perspectives?

5 What are the ways that returned volunteers can influence the media? HOW THIS ACTIVITY COULD BE ADAPTED l Depending on which headlines or issues you chose to focus on, the activity will continually

be adapted. SOURCE l ‘Framing Our World: a youth work resource on the use of images and messages in

development’ (National Youth Council of Ireland).



Cultural Reflections

Activity 8.1 Cultural Reflections Activity 8.2 Gender: a local and global issue

Introduction Cultural Reflections It is a real opportunity in a ‘coming home’ workshop to unpack with participants the intercultural learning they received while overseas. This could include what they learned that they could potentially transfer to their own communities here in Ireland; or unpacking some of the cultural conflicts and misunderstandings that arose while overseas. Not only would this help to unpack any lingering concerns the returnees might have, it allows for a deeper insight to understanding culture; our own and other cultures around the world. This is an exciting possibility, and so having the space to reflect on ‘culture’ on return is really important. Some of the activities here may cast a questioning and critical eye on the role of the volunteer, and the role of the Global North more generally in local community development work in the Global South. This is not necessarily a bad thing, and developing a critical perspective of volunteering, and ‘development’ more generally may lead to a deeper understanding of the bigger impact an overseas experience may have for returned volunteers. However, to achieve this effectively, there is the risk that the fundamental values and beliefs of the participants may be shaken up slightly. Keeping this in mind, creating a safe space is crucial to have these important, but sometimes difficult, conversations and debates in order to lead to significant change.



Cultural Reflections AIM OF ACTIVITY

To consider some of the intercultural relations, including conflicts which took place while overseas, and to have a space to learn and reflect from this. TIME NEEDED


30 minutes

Iceberg concept of culture, flip chart paper and markers


* Note that this activity could be preceded by a guided reflection, or else after the Memorabilia exercise, to ensure that participants are within the space to remember their time overseas.

1 Break into small groups. Hand out the iceberg concept of culture. Ask them to consider what was some of the learning they experienced in terms of the culture of the country they visited?

2 Invite the groups to feed back. As they do so, pick up on any assumptions or lingering stereotypes, e.g. ‘the men in the country were all lazy’. Ensure there is a safe space to challenge such assumptions (see the Facilitators notes below). Questions you could ask could include, ‘Why do you think that is?’ ‘Was there something you were not seeing?’ ‘What could be some of the cultural or historic/colonial reasons behind this’? etc.

3 Once all the groups have fed back, ask the following questions: l What went well in terms of cultural learning? l Where do you think any cultural misunderstandings may have arisen from? l What might be some of the underlying issues within that country that have caused this to

happen/created this situation, etc.? l What did you observe about the culture at the tip of the iceberg; did you learn anything

deeper below the surface? How did you react to this? l Did you learn anything about your own culture as a result?

SOURCE l Comhlámh Coming home training manual.

continued overleaf...




l Negative stereotyping or assumptions: Sometimes on short term placements with

limited time for cultural adjustment and depending on an individual or group’s experience, volunteers can return with negative stereotypes of the culture further entrenched. This is a useful time to air this. As facilitator it is useful to ascertain other views from the group to see if other members challenge it or lend a different perspective. If not, perhaps ask why they think they may have perceived the host in this way? Ask them if perhaps there is something they are not seeing? (e.g. was it perhaps something to do with not having enough time to necessarily understand the deeper layers of culture. Therefore judging them on their behaviour without necessarily understanding the context of their values?). The facilitator could refer to the Iceberg Concept of Culture to support this discussion. l Include some of the issues from the pre departure, e.g. gift giving, photos- images and

messaging, process vs. task focused, etc. l It may be useful for facilitators to bear in mind that it is possible, depending on the

type of work they were involved in overseas, that some volunteers may not have had the opportunity for much interaction with local people and their level of immersion in the local culture may have been minimal. l Power dynamic: ‘the intercultural encounter can only be positive and fruitful if the culture

which is stronger in this specific encounter renounces the use of force against or exploitation of the weaker culture’ (Fennes and Hapgood) l While volunteers may find it difficult to visualise a power dynamic before going

overseas, sometimes upon reflection they can see how decisions and behaviour can sometimes be attributed to an unspoken power dynamic. This can be caused by many reasons, including: l Post colonial hangover l Negative legacy of ‘aid’ (the way in which it has been delivered could actually have

been disempowering to local people) l Money is Power: often local people feel they can’t say no to the suggestions or ideas

of groups who bring money to developing countries. This can be a cultural dimension also- more indirect, rather than direct, way of addressing strangers l Individual volunteers may seem very wealthy in comparison to locals. This is an issue

that is illustrated well by the gift giving scenarios l Issues of power in relation to gender/age/ethnicity. l Misunderstandings of the behaviour of people from the host community: If the host

culture tends more to indirectness or implicit communication, and deference for authority, where as the guest culture does not (or vice versa) this can sometimes cause misunderstandings. This is why trying to understand your own cultural perspectives and related behaviours is important when reflecting on an intercultural experience. l Host experience of past volunteers or travellers: In some instances host

communities have had negative experience from previous visitors including, volunteers, travellers, business people or NGO workers. This can then sometimes impact on the way they treat new visitors. 88

Introduction to gender as a local and global issue Gender inequality is an issue that affects women all over the world. The opportunity for volunteers to travel overseas, to meet women from other countries and to learn from the ways in which women are working towards gender empowerment, can be a meaningful way to enrich local work going on in relation to gender equality issues locally. The issues affecting women locally and globally are complex and often integrated into the wider issues affecting society more generally. Issues of gender can also be quite close to home for many people, and as such should be treated with sensitivity and care. Particularly when volunteering overseas, it can be easy to make judgements on some of the issues affecting women in other countries. While often there is serious injustice taking place for many women across the world, it can be good to support volunteers to question their role in addressing these issues, particularly if they are only in a country for a short period of time and with a humble acknowledgement of the limited insight that can be gained in a short period of time. Rather than making judgements, it can be more useful for volunteers to understand more deeply some of the issues they experienced while overseas, and for the facilitator to support this process to take place in a safe and critical environment. Often an overseas experience can be a chance to gain new perspectives and insights on issues closer to home, that previously volunteers may not have been aware of. Creating a safe space to explore gender as a local and global issue can also be the opportunity to turn the lens on issues of gender inequality in our own society.



Gender: a local and global issue AIM OF ACTIVITY

To identify the issues affecting women locally and globally. TIME NEEDED


30 minutes

Flip chart paper and markers


1 Invite participants to get into small groups and brainstorm the issues that affected women which they identified while overseas.

2 Acknowledge the ‘Iceberg of Culture’ and that, particularly for a short term experience, we often only see what is on the ‘surface’ of a culture, and gender is a deeply complex issue which would be difficult to fully understand through a short time in a country.

3 On another piece of paper, get the small groups to brainstorm the issues affecting women in our own country. DEBRIEF

1 Bring both lists together; are there any shared or similar issues? 2 What are some of the issues you noticed affecting women in the host community you volunteered in?

3 What are some of the ways women are challenging these issues in the country you visited, as well as locally in Ireland?

4 What organisations do you know of, locally and internationally, that are working on issues of gender inequality? HOW THIS ACTIVITY COULD BE ADAPTED l Could follow this up with further exploration of gender issues and ideas of actions

participants can take to challenge gender inequality locally. NOTE TO FACILITATOR l Exploring issues around gender challenges the oppression of women and is therefore

controversial. Some people may feel uncomfortable, threatened or defensive. Working with a mixed group will bring a richness to the discussion, however it is also possible that some people will not feel safe working in this way. It is also useful to challenge the assumption that women in developing countries are oppressed, while women in our country are ‘equal’ to men. This is not the case, and below there is more information on this topic. SOURCE l Connecting Communities: a practical guide to using development education in community

settings (Helena McNeill, Lourdes Youth and Community Services). continued overleaf... 90


FURTHER READING l CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women) l ‘I know why the Caged Bird Sings’ (Maya Angelou) l ‘The Colour Purple’ (Alice Walker)

FURTHER LINKS l Women’s Aid www.womensaid.ie l National Women’s Council www.nwci.ie l National Development Plan Gender Equality www.ndpgenderequality.ie l AKIDWA (Akina Dada wa Africa; Swahili for sisterhood) is an authoritative, minority ethnic-led

national network of African and migrant women living in Ireland www.akidwa.ie l Ruhama: a Dublin-based NGO which works on a national level with women affected by

prostitution. FURTHER INFORMATION l 70% of the 1 billion poorest people are women. Discrimination of women is still high, in

societal as well as in economical terms. Women get paid less and in many countries women often have no access to decent work. In many countries they are not allowed to own property and therefore are not in a position to borrow from banks. Often women and girls face malnutrition and suffer from bad health care especially maternal health care. l However, gender inequality is not only a phenomenon in countries of the global south. In the

global north women are structurally disadvantaged compared to men: poverty, unequal power relations between women and men, and unequal access to resources, are powerful barriers to women achieving and participating fully in society, leading for example to a pay gap between men and women, over-representation in the informal economy with limited benefits and security, unequal distribution of leading positions in the economy or politics. l ‘The exclusion of women from power in this country has never been clearer. Five out of six

authors of the McCarthy Report were men, 16 out of 17 on the Oireachtas Committee on Finance and Public Service are men, there are 13 men and just five women on the Commission on Taxation ... and of course women make up just 13% of our TDs and Senators.’ (National Women’s Council)




Activity 9.1 Meditation on Interdependence Activity 9.2 A Day in the Life of a Global Citizen Activity 9.3 Word Web Activity 9.4 Map and Pebbles

Introduction Interdependence Globalisation has meant that the world is becoming more interdependent. For volunteers going overseas, there is the opportunity to witness first hand another country, another culture, and potentially to begin to think about the relationship between themselves and the place they visit. What we eat, what we buy, how we travel, where we get our information; so many things in our everyday lives have a connection with the rest of the world. For returned volunteers, making the connections and understanding interdependence can illustrate and justify why action on return is so important following an overseas experience. Understanding our interdependence can be a revealing and comforting exercise, to explore how we are inevitably connected to people far away across the world with whom we may never meet. However, there is also a more critical aspect to this. The decisions we make in this side of the world can often have a negative effect on communities and individuals across the world. Developing a deeper and more critical understanding of our interdependence can inspire a sense of responsibility and action to use our power in our own lives, choices and place in the world, to positively influence those communities on whom we inevitably depend.



Meditation on Interdependence AIM OF ACTIVITY

To allow participants to experience a quiet space of contemplation. TIME NEEDED


1 hour

No materials needed


1 Let participants know that you are about to do a short meditation with them. For this, they need to get themselves comfortable so move to another place in the room if they need to.

2 To begin, invite everyone to take 3 deep breaths. They can wiggle their shoulders and toes, allowing all the muscles in their body to relax.

3 Read out the meditation to them. See below. 4 When you are finished, allow a few minutes for people to come back into the room, being aware of themselves and the group once again. You can then invite participants to come back into a circle. NOTE TO FACILITATOR l This exercise enables participants to focus on their bodies and their breath, allowing them

to use their imagination more easily, to go back or forward in time, to travel over the globe and to explore complex issues. Activities which encourage this depth of reflection should be used carefully and with the safety of all participants ensured. SOURCE l ‘Values and Visions: a handbook for spiritual development and global awareness’

(NODE, 1995).



Meditation ome aware a few moments to relax and to bec Make yourself comfortable and take your body … breath, breathe out any tension in out h eac h Wit … ng athi bre r you of filling your breath goes out … Feel the breath Allow the tension to dissolve as the flow into pen and allow the life-giving air to lungs … Allow the breathing to hap others in the The air you breathe is shared by you, to nourish and sustain you … breath that s now was a few moments ago the lung r you in ath bre The … m roo the lungs of Yesterday it may have been in the was in your neighbour’s lungs … was breathe in now may be the air that someone miles away … The air you , by a alia Som refugee, by a hungry child in breathed out last week by a Bosnian of us, the gift rnobyl … This air sustains life in all Che in en wom a by , Iraq in ier sold of life which none of us has earned. into your blood s … See the oxygen bring drawn Imagine the air entering your lung of energy rgy that it brings … tiny explosions stream … Become aware of the ene ing each ons of life-giving energy happen … Picture the thousand tiny explosi and becoming rgy as points of light … linking up second in your lungs. See the ene every part bloodstream and being carried into the in ing ulat circ … t ligh of ams stre gift of life moment by moment. of your body … bringing you the from your body t as fine filaments stretching out See the threads of energy and ligh … Together with the aura of those around you … forming an aura … intersecting the web you of light … of energy … Through these filaments form a delicate web k … to men to the people with whom you wor are linked to those around you … away in Africa, miles from here … to people far and women and children several and loss … iers love and care … it carrier pain Asia, Latin America. The web carr to being part of this web of life. hope and joy. Open yourself up up of the stuff on up of spiritual energy; it is made This web of life is not just made ions of atoms t waves, gravity … all the interact the earth … electrical impulses, ligh g … The web ons given off by every living thin and molecules … and the emanati they breathe the made of the same stuff as you … links you to animals, for they are moist grass you drank this morning came from same air as you … The milk that nourished yours. eaten by the cow … Its body has



Meditation morning was ts … The bread that you ate this The web of life links you to the plan earth. It grew isture and nourishment from the mo w dre ch whi at whe the of e mad gs you ested, ground and baked … It brin and ripened in the sun … it has harv comes you from the sun … And when the time rgy ene and h eart the from s eral min er living h, to provide nourishment for oth will give bac your body to the eart … ir life to continue the cycle of life beings which in turn give back the back … you were born into it. It extends The web of life existed before you ts … and mother and father, your grandparen through time, linking you to your usands of tho rs … Back through hundreds and their grandmothers and grandfathe communities broken … it goes back to the first years … the web has never been men, and … back to the very first women and of humans who came to this land k beyond them ancestors in the trees … and bac back beyond them to our remote forms of life … out of the sea … the very earliest to the creatures that first crawled of the one tures and share with us the bounty The web links us to all these crea earth that has nourished us all. as absolutely … become aware of yourself now Now glide forward along the web years. Allow e that is the legacy of millions of unique … bearing a genetic heritag unique e been given your own completely yourself to appreciate that you hav in the web of life. place in the web of the world … light … the energies flowing in the web … the Open yourself once again to the to the pain tly at to work. And be open also excitement … the creativity constan out the pain the web … For if you are shutting that comes along the strands of r in Somalia w yourself to grieve with the mothe you are shutting out the life … Allo er through with the child who has lost her fath whose child has starved to death, are destroyed. ple of the forests as their forests war in Mozambique, with the peo We can be a and are here at this critical time … We have been born into this web the … a time of fear … a time to face source of hope … This is a dark time do not we For it in confidence of new life … darkness and to reach out beyond w strength … part of the web and from it we dra face the darkness along … We are sustained by it w ourselves to be nourished and We give ourselves into it and allo into the future … … We allow ourselves to be led life, we return to with another and with the web of Still sensing our connection one s. we feel ready, slowly open our eye this room … stretch … and when



A Day in the Life of a Global Citizen AIM OF ACTIVITY

To deepen a sense of interdependence and connection with the rest of the world. TIME NEEDED


20 minutes

Peter’s Projection map: www.petersmap.com


1 Invite participants to think about their daily routine, from the moment they wake in the morning until they go to sleep at night. Give a few moments to reflect quietly on this. Things could include what they eat, how they travel, what they do, what they wear, etc.

2 Now ask participants to consider how all the different elements of their day is related to another country, e.g. in which country did your cereal grow, where are your clothes made, where does the oil come from to fuel your car?

3 Individually, write down on the map which countries they believe they make a connection with during a normal day.

4 After 5 minutes or so, come back into the big group and share what people came up with. 5 Acknowledge that, each day, we rely on sources from all over the world just to carry out our daily routines. DEBRIEF

1 What can this tell us about how our decisions and actions can impact communities across the globe, both positive and negative?

2 If we were to cease all connections with the rest of the world tomorrow, what impact would this have?

3 How can we find out more and make positive choices based on a deeper understanding of interdependence? SOURCE l Adapted from ‘Values and Visions: a handbook for spiritual development and global

awareness’ (NODE, 1995). FURTHER LINKS l ‘One Day in Your Life’ (NYCI)

http://www.youthdeved.ie/sites/youthdeved.ie/files/Big_World_Small_World_2002.pdf l Peter’s Projection map http://www.petersmap.com




• To identify some of the issues experienced while overseas and make the connections between these issues. • To understand the underlying causes of poverty. TIME NEEDED


30 minutes

Post-its, marker, ball of string

ACTIVITY OUTLINE 1 Ask participants, what are some of the underlying causes of global poverty, informed by the learning from their overseas experience? 2 As people call out suggestions, write each one up on an individual post-it and hand this to the person who called it out. Suggestions could include: climate change, trade, war, unfair debt, gender inequality, unequal distribution of resources, greed, etc. 3 Once all* participants have a post-it, invite everyone to stand up and form a standing circle. Invite participants to put the post-its on their chest. * If there are less than 15 participants, everyone can join in the standing circle. If there are more than 15 participants, include the first 10–12 people, and ask the others around the circle to become the ‘observers’ for this activity. 4 Introduce a ball of string – the objective of the activity is to make connections between the various issues by passing the ball of string to an ‘issue’ within the circle that is connected to your issue. ‘Issues’ can be connected more than once, and the activity can play on until everyone in the circle is connected. As the string is passed between the various issues, it is important to articulate why each issue is connected to the other. Example: ‘I am ‘Climate Change’ and I am connected to ‘Trade’ because of the damage that big companies are doing to the environment in order to make profits through trade.’ 5 When everyone has been connected by the string, invite participants to observe what pattern they see has been created. It will look like a spider’s web. DEBRIEF 1 What do you notice about the pattern we have just made? 2 What does this tell us about the underlying causes of poverty? 3 What are some ways in which we can start to address the underlying causes of poverty? 4 What is the impact of pulling on the string, that is, addressing one particular issue? 5 Where are local communities in the Global South in enabling change within this web? 6 What is our role as people in the Global North in this ‘world-wide’ web? HOW THIS ACTIVITY COULD BE ADAPTED l The activity could look in more detail at a particular issue, e.g. Trade. SOURCE l Adapted from ‘Values and Visions’ (NODE, 1995). IDEAS FOR IMAGERY/DESIGN l Take a photo of people in a circle with the string interconnected.



Map and Pebbles AIM OF ACTIVITY

To understand where our clothes come from, interdependence, and the connections between Ireland and the rest of the world. TIME NEEDED


30 minutes

Map of the World, stickers or pebbles to place on the map


1 Invite participants to check the labels on their clothing to find out where each item was made. 2 When they have identified this, place a pebble on the map where the item was made, e.g. China, Vietnam, Spain, etc.

3 When everyone has placed their pebble, observe the pattern that has been made on the world map. DEBRIEF

1 What do you notice about where our clothes come from? 3 What do you think might be some of the conditions in which our clothes are made? 4 What are some of the global issues evident in this activity (trade, human rights, gender equality, climate change, consumerism, multinational corporations, etc.)?

5 What are some of the decisions we as consumers can make to challenge the unfair nature of trade and the impact of climate change?

6 Invite participants to make a pledge of something they will do (e.g. buy less, buy local, buy second hand or upcycled clothing, write to companies who are known to be unethical, boycott certain companies, etc.) HOW THIS ACTIVITY COULD BE ADAPTED l The same activity could be done with food items; the facilitator could bring in a bag of

everyday foodstuffs, or else invite participants to check where the food in their cupboards comes from in advance of the session, or else after the session. SOURCE l Children in Crossfire, ‘Gertie Gets Global!’

IDEAS FOR IMAGERY/DESIGN l Clothes, map of the world with lines and arrows across it.

FURTHER LINKS l www.ethicalconsumer.org

l www.storyofstuff.org

l www.buynothingday.co.uk

l www.cleanclothes.org



Underlying Causes of Poverty

Activity 10.1 Why – Why – Why Chain Activity 10.2 The Global Debt Crisis Activity 10.3 Chains of Justice Activity 10.4 Utopia or Dystopia?

Introduction Underlying Causes of Poverty An important part of coming home training is exploring and understanding more about the underlying causes of poverty. Often an overseas experience can be the inspiration to find out more on return. One dominant perception of global poverty is that the problems are situated ‘out there’, far away from the part of the world we live in. An overseas experience has the potential to reinforce this view, if a critical exploration is not part of the learning journey of volunteers. Having the opportunity to unpack and explore many of the reasons why poverty exists in the first place can deepen the overseas experience and also make sense of why continuous engagement on return is important. Many of the underlying causes of poverty are situated in the global north: trade policies, multinational institutions, climate change, greed and consumption. A deeper exploration of such issues allows returned volunteers, based in the global north, to situation themselves within these issues, and possibly enable them to take some actions to address the issues. There is also the opportunity to see how those structures and forces which have resulted in injustice and poverty in other parts of the world, have had an effect on Ireland as well. It is only very recently that we have seen the arrival of the IMF and the World Bank on our doorstep; the same institutions that arrived at the doorstep of many countries in the global south a few decades ago. There is the opportunity to learn from this history and the wider reasons why poverty exists. This can potentially add value to the purpose of why volunteers go overseas in the first place. As much what they do overseas in contributing to development, as the understanding and questions they develop, and actions they can take as a result when they return home.



Why – Why – Why Chain AIM OF ACTIVITY

To explore the underlying causes of an issue. TIME NEEDED


30 minutes

Flip chart paper and markers


1 In small groups, take an issue, e.g. ‘Climate Change’ and keep asking the question ‘why’? 2 The facilitator should demonstrate so that it is clear with an example to start the ball rolling. 3 After 20 minutes in smaller groups, bring back some of the main underlying causes of the issue to the big group.

4 For the underlying causes that have been identified, explore what might be some solutions to these issues, and who are the players on different levels that need to be engaged to create a change on this issue?

5 These underlying causes can now form the basis of an action project, by looking at what could be some creative solutions to some of the underlying causes.


SOURCE l ‘Get Global’ (www.getglobal.org.uk).



The Global Debt Crisis AIM OF ACTIVITY

To develop understanding of the debt crisis and its effects. TIME NEEDED


40 minutes

Debt Statement cards


1 Start by asking the group of participants a few questions about personal debt e.g. is anybody here in debt (who to, how does it feel?); is anybody here owed debt (who by, how does it feel?)

2 Divide into groups of two or three. Give them the statements from the Debt Diamond exercise, cut up into strips; ask them to read through them and then arrange the statements in a diamond pattern, with the one they most strongly agree with at the top, the next two in arrow below them, then the next three, the next two, and the one they least agree with, or most strongly disagree with, at the bottom. Initially, ask the participants to do this exercise thinking about Ireland. Then ask them to redo the exercise thinking about countries in the Global south. Does this change things?

3 Ask each group to feed back about their decisions and their discussion. You can use the notes provided to give background information on the statements. If time permits, groups could be asked whether they wish to revise their diamond ranking in light of the new information.

4 To conclude this session you may also watch and listen to some US based campaigners opinions on debt cancellations. http://www.jubileeusa.org/resourcs/audiovideo/cdf07.html USEFUL WEBSITES ON THIS TOPIC l http://www.debtireland.org l http://www.jubileedebtcampaign.org

SOURCE l ‘Illegitimate Debt! A facilitators resource for community education’ (Debt and Development

Coalition, Ireland, 2011).



Debt Statement Cards

It is always morally wrong not to repay a debt

Debt is a cause of environmental damage

Today’s generations of poor people should not be held responsible for the mistakes of those who went before

The world’s poorest countries should pay off their debts regardless of the consequences

When rich countries give loads, they should only have to think about profits that can be made in their own economy

The debt crisis is a major cause of war and terrorism

Women are most affected by debt

Debt is the result of mismanagement and if people or countries get into debt then it’s their own fault

We can’t get rid of poverty without debt cancellation



Debt information (facilitator’s notes) It is always morally wrong not to repay a debt l Individuals and companies default on debts all the time; we call it bankruptcy. The law

allows companies which are in debt to declare themselves bankrupt, have the slate wiped clean, and the individuals involved can start again. The world’s poorest countries should pay off their debts regardless of the consequences for their peoples l The consequences of doing so are worth considering. In 2004 Zambia spent more on debt

servicing to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) than it did on education; meanwhile 40% of Zambia women cannot read or write. Women are most affected by debt l More than 1 billion people live in poverty on less than $1 a day; 70% of these are women.

Women tend to be affected by spending cuts or lack of services more than men. Boys are often educated before girls; women needing basic health care during pregnancy and birth often do not have access to it. Lack of clean water and sanitations has a greater impact on women; they are usually the ones who have to fetch and carry water supplies. l Again, this is an interesting card to discuss in the context of Ireland. Are women more

affected when families fall into poverty and indebtedness? Debt is a cause of environmental damage l Poor countries desperately need to earn foreign currency to pay their debts. The ony way

of earning this money is to exploit, often in an unsustainable manner, their natural resources, so we see over-intensive farming of cash crops, allowing companies logging rights thereby destroying forests, etc. l Today’s generations of poor people should not be held responsible for the mistakes of

those who went before. l Sometimes corrupt dictators who took out large loans have fled or been deposed, but it is

the present governments – and indeed the present poor people – who are left to pick up the tab. In an Irish context, this statement is also worth debating. When rich countries give loads, they should only have to think about profits that can be made in their own economy l Rich country lenders have often done very well out of the loans they gave to poor

countries, winning political influence or lucrative contracts. Many loans financed useless or overpriced projects. Private banks or rich governments gave loads or credits without ensuring that the project was useful or affordable.



Debt is the result of mismanagement and if people or countries get into debt then it’s their own fault l There is no doubt that some regimes in some countries have been corrupt, but is it fair to

punish all for the crimes of a few? Many countries have had honest governments. As well as the corrupt, there are the Western banks who knowingly accept the corruptly grained money into their accounts: are they not equally guilty? Today’s generations of poor people should not be held responsible for the mistakes of those who went before l Sometimes corrupt dictators have fled or been deposed, but it is the present governments,

and indeed the poorest people who are left to pick up the tab. Arguably, impoverished countries are in this situation because of the ravages of the slave trade and colonial rule. The debt crisis is a major cause of war and terrorism l As countries become poorer because of debts, one route that people take is violence and

protest: this may escalate into civil war, and even to cross-border wars. We can’t get rid of poverty without debt cancellation l For every US$1 given in aid to poor countries, more than US$5 is paid back to lenders in

debt service. At least 100 countries need debt cancellation if they are to have a chance to meet the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.



Chains of Justice AIM OF ACTIVITY

To understand the impact of our consumer choices on others across the world. TIME NEEDED


20 minutes

Cut up copies of 3 sets of chains for each group


1 Break into small groups and hand the cut out statements for the 3 chains to each group. 2 As quickly as possible, invite all groups to make the connections between the 3 chains, from the start to the finish.

3 When all groups have finished, invite the first completed group to share what they came up with. Check that other groups had the same answers.

4 Again back in the smaller groups, invite participants to come up with an example of their own chain of events. DEBRIEF

1 What have you learned from this activity? 2 What is the impact of our actions in Ireland? Are we always aware of this impact? 3 What can be done from Ireland to challenge or change this? 4 How could we raise awareness and inform people locally – ideas?

* See attachment – ‘Chains of Justice’ resource sheet. SOURCE l ‘Just Us or Justice: a youth work resource exploring justice in the World’ (NYCI, 2010).



Philippe is 13 and works in the min es where over 1 in 3 of the coltan miners are children.

The coltan miners buy their food from local traders. Sometimes the trad ers sell animal meat which can include the lowland Gorilla, and endangered animal.

His education suffers because his prison does not provide any edu cation for children.

The armies use the profit from the coltan mines to fund their wars.

The eastern Democratic Republi c of Congo is in civil war, many armies are fighting for control of the area.

80% of the world’s coltan is found in the Democratic Republic of Congo whi ch has a trade deal with the EU.

Emma likes having the latest pho ne, she gets a new one each ear. Mobile phones need the mineral ‘coltan’.

Chain 2

Mohammed gets beaten and imprisoned for fighting back and throwing a stone at a soldier.

Palestinian people are forced off their land by the Israeli army.

Israel has moved into Palestinian territories against international law . The EU continues to trade with Israel for many products including figs.

The figs were grown on land whi ch is occupied by Israeli people.

Mark eats muesli for breakfast eve ry morning. The muesli contains nut s and

Chain 1

The shrimp farm pollutes the sea and there is no fish for Emilia’s commun ity. She must now work on the shrimp farm to survive.

Emilia was born on this land, but now she has to move to make way for new farms.

To sell more shrimp, businesses clear the trees along the coast to make mo re shrimp farms.

To support the demand in Europe , the EU negotiates for the cheapest shri mp from countries like Ecuador.

Over a quarter of all shrimp is now farmed so they can keep up with demand .

Ciaran loves Chinese food. His favo urite dish is Shrimp fried rice.

Chain 3


Chains of Justice



Utopia or Dystopia? AIM OF ACTIVITY

To consider the possible future based on the unequal world we live in. TIME NEEDED


40 minutes

A copy of the ‘Utopia’ and ‘Dystopia’ cartoons, ideally printed on A3 paper


1 Break into smaller groups. 2 Hand out the Dystopia cartoon. Answer the questions below (Questions 1–5). 3 After 20 minutes or so discussion, hand out the ‘Utopia’ cartoon. In small group answer questions 6–11.

4 Share what came up as a bigger group. SOURCE l Alternatrade project, Comhlámh.


1 List three problems you can see in picture 1 (dystopia). 2 What are the main problems identified in picture 1? 3 What does picture 1 illustrate? 4 Is there anything in particular that strikes you in the picture? Discuss. 5 How accurate does picture 1 portray the development challenges we are currently facing. Is there anything else you would include? Discuss.

6 Describe what you think picture 2 represents? 7 What are the main differences between the pictures? 8 Do you believe that picture 2 is attainable/already attained? 9 Do you think there would be any challenges in attaining the aspirations of picture 2? 10 How do think the pattern of trade has changed between the two pictures? 11 Do you see any changes to people’s lifestyle in picture2?









Exploring Power

Activity 11.1 Power Activity: Card Game Activity 11.2 Moving Debate

Introduction Exploring Power Individually we are powerful. Collectively, we are even more powerful. Having a space for returnees to reflect upon their own potential to be powerful, and examining where are the spaces to animate this, can result in powerful change taking place. Very often returned volunteers can feel disempowered and disillusioned, particularly on return. The experience of witnessing first hand many global justice issues and the enormity of poverty for so many people can be overwhelming. It can be just as overwhelming to try to understand what can ever be done about it. However, the only thing we can be sure of is change. And of any group in our society, returned volunteers have enormous capacity and potential to create change, bringing new perspectives and innovative ideas to activism and campaigning work locally, both to local and global justice issues. It can be a useful exercise in itself to explore the many roles and identities of individual returnees, as much to validate that they have something really special to contribute following an overseas experience as well as acknowledging their ability to enact change. This can be very liberating and sometimes returned volunteers simply need reassurance and encouragement that bigger change can be possible. Considering individual power and multiple identities can help to consider the many actions, often small but very significant, that returnees can take. It is also really important to share examples of when collective power resulted in change: the antiapartheid movement, civil rights movements, and more locally there are lots of examples of anti-war and environmental campaigns that have been successful.



Power Activity: Card Game AIM OF ACTIVITY

To recognise power within our multiple identities, and how to exercise this power.



30 minutes

Playing cards


1 Arrange the playing cards, enough for all participants, declaring that ‘ACE’ is the lowest and ‘King’ is the highest. Allow participants to pick their own card, but they must not know what is on the cards and so they are not to look at it.

2 When everyone has a card, invite them to hold the card on their forehead, so that everyone else can see the number on their card, but they cannot see it themselves.

3 Explain to participants that ‘ACE’ being the lowest represents someone with little power; and a ‘King’ is someone with a lot of power. The cards in between are along this spectrum of power.

4 As people walk around and pass each other, they should greet one another according to the amount of power the others have (depending on the card on their forehead).

5 After 5 minutes or so, after people have interacted, invite participants to line up in order of where they think they are in the spectrum. Share why they feel they are standing in that place.

6 Once everyone is in a line, invite them to look at their own card. DEBRIEF

1 How did you feel doing that exercise (particularly those at each end of the spectrum)? 2 In relation to the spectrum, Ace being lowest and King being highest, where would you stand when you consider power in relation to your identity as a: Consumer; Voter; Parent; Local volunteer; Student; Unemployed person; Returned volunteer.

3 As people move towards the place in the line, challenge them, e.g. ‘as a consumer you can feel powerLESS when faced with all the unethical companies and advertising forcing people to buy... but you can also feel powerFUL as a consumer when you make informed ethical consumer decisions.’

4 Acknowledge that we have multiple identities and this is significant in relation to returning to Ireland: any form of continuous engagement can be multi-faceted and tailored to what we as individuals are most interested in. We need to recognise the power we have within our different identities and how to maximise this power for social change making purposes.

5 Individually we can be powerful; collectively we can be even more powerful. HOW THIS ACTIVITY COULD BE ADAPTED l You can adapt or add to the identities. l You can follow this activity by doing a personal ‘Power Map’ to identify the ways in which

you as an individual can influence different stakeholders, e.g. Politicians, Multinational Companies, Policy makers, etc. 115


Moving Debate The statements in this debate are guides and do not need to be followed in order, whichever are most suited to the group. It may be that there is only time to debate one or two statements and this is fine. It is up to the discretion of the facilitator which statements to use, and also feel free to make up your own statements. AIM OF ACTIVITY

To generate debate within the group about issues of volunteering within the wider picture of development. TIME NEEDED


20 minutes

Moving Debate signs, Moving Debate statements


1 Put up the ‘Agree’ and ‘Disagree’ signs at opposite sides of the room. 2 Invite the group into the centre of the room. Explain that you are going to read out some statements and they can move to either side of the room, depending on if they agree or disagree with the statements.

3 There are different levels of the extent to which individuals ‘agree’ or ‘disagree’ and they can stand along the ‘spectrum’ accordingly. NOTE TO FACILITATOR l It can help to create safety by standing alongside those in the minority, facing the majority,

to make them feel less vulnerable. l It is up to you as the facilitator whether you will enable the group to have ‘middle ground’,

that is, neither to ‘agree’ or ‘disagree’. If this is something you decide, ensure that those in the middle can justify why they are there. l It can be interesting if participants are able to move and change their opinion as the activity

goes on. l It can be a good idea to remind participants of the group contract and to have respect for

different voices and the importance of listening. continued overleaf...




People who go overseas have a responsibility to take action on return to Ireland. Volunteers returning from an experience overseas have the authority to speak on all issues relating to that country. Fundraising/volunteering overseas is the best way to continue to support overseas projects from Ireland. Awareness of global poverty to people in Ireland will make them take action for change. Developing countries need to take responsibility for their own problems.

HOW THIS ACTIVITY COULD BE ADAPTED l The statements are completely open to change. However, when creating statements, ensure

that they are clear, positive (no negatives as this can be confusing to ‘disagree’ with). l You could also have a silent debate, observing where people go and debriefing

carefully afterwards.



Looking to the Future

Activity 12.1 Picturing the Future Activity 12.2 Imagine Activity 12.3 Personal Action Planning

Introduction Looking to the Future ‘Dream the impossible, as it then becomes the possible.’ Jim O’Neill, Community Activist Exploring issues and underlying causes and problems is really important in the work done with returnees on return. However, this needs to be balanced with an opportunity to dream and envision a better world. Someone once said, ‘You in Europe are problem-solvers; we in Africa are solutionmakers’. By focusing too much on what is wrong with our world rather than what the potential may be for equality, justice and change, can mean that continuing engagement in development could be very tiresome work. There needs to be a little bit of magic and visioning involved in this type of work, as much to keep our perspective at least a little hopeful in the midst of all the hard work there still is to do in terms of creating change. It is also important to create an opportunity to allow returnees to dream. More than ever, our world is in need of great ideas which are outside the box, risk taking and innovative. It is impossible to just think of solutions based on looking at problems. Albert Einstein talks about the need for us to develop a different way of thinking than that which brought us here; this rhetoric still rings true today, and there is an urgent need for visionaries.

‘If you can’t fly then run. If you can’t run then walk. If you can’t walk then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.’ Martin Luther King



Picturing the Future AIM OF ACTIVITY

To look at how things are and how we would like them to be, and to work out how to get there. TIME NEEDED


1 hour

Film ‘The Story of Stuff’, with a DVD, projector, screen and speakers, paper, coloured pencils and pens


1 Show the film, ‘The Story of Stuff’. 2 Ask participants to take some paper and coloured pens, and draw a picture that represents ‘the present’. This could include some of the problems we are currently experiencing and issues that have come up for people during the course of the coming home training, as well as in the film. Leave about 15 minutes for this.

3 In small groups, share the pictures, and have a chat about some of the shared issues that came up for people.

4 In these small groups, together put together a picture that shows the same situation once the problems have been overcome. Make sure that everyone’s ideas are incorporated.

5 Share each of these pictures within the bigger group. As a facilitator, it can be nice to ask questions and invite the other participants to ask questions at this stage.

6 Now place the first set of pictures on the floor in a line (the pictures of ‘the present’ with all the problems illustrated), and next to them, put a line of the second set of pictures (which depict the situation once the problems have been resolved). DEBRIEF

1 Looking at these 2 sets of pictures, what needs to happen to get from the first set of pictures to the second set?

2 How can this be achieved? 3 As a group, identify some tangible actions that can take place to resolve some of the present issues. This can become the ‘vision’ for volunteers starting to take action and to make a plan for this. SOURCE l ‘Do It Yourself: a handbook for changing the world’ (Trapese Collective, 2007).




To inspire participants to imagine an ideal society. TIME NEEDED


1 hour

A copy of John Lennon’s song, ‘Imagine’ and a CD player, coloured paper and pens


1 Play the song ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon (if appropriate). 2 Invite each participant to take 5–10 minutes to imagine a town where equality, fairness and justice were the norm. They will have some time to draw this town using the paper and pens provided. Some stimulus questions could include: l Who would live there? l What would people do every day? l What would the town look like? l How would you know it was equal, fair and just?

3 In groups of 4, invite each participant to share their imaginary town within the smaller group. 4 Together, get the groups to combine some of the best elements from each picture to create a shared town. They should have 15 minutes or so to do this.

5 When the groups have completed this, invite all groups to share with each other what they came up with. DEBRIEF

1 What steps would need to happen to make your ‘ideal town’ come true (who are the different players to make this happen)?

2 What small steps can you take in the mean time to make this ‘ideal’ the beginnings of a reality, based on your learning from communities overseas who are working towards a better community?

3 Invite everyone to say one action they will take to make their local community a more equal, fair and just place to live. SOURCE l Partners Intercultural Companion to ‘Training for Transformation’ (2007).

HOW THIS ACTIVITY COULD BE ADAPTED l ‘Alternative Futures’ in ‘A Rich Man’s World: a youth work resource on global issues

affecting our lives’ (NYCI, 2011). http://www.youthdeved.ie/sites/youthdeved.ie/files/A-Rich-Man's-World.pdf 122


Personal Action Planning AIM OF ACTIVITY

To support participants in informing some critical steps forward. TIME NEEDED


1 hour

Paper and pens, Personal Planning sheet for each participant


1 Invite the group to get into pairs. 2 Hand each pair a ‘Personal Planning’ sheet 3 Each person has an opportunity to go through each question with their partner. The other person should try to listen carefully to what the other comes up with.

4 Change roles – the other person now has time to talk and the other should listen. 5 Each person should have around 15–20 minutes to talk. 6 Hand out blank pages and pens. Invite participants to write a ‘Letter to Me’, which you as the facilitator will post back to them in 6 months, to remind them of they wanted to do following this activity. The letter should begin, Dear Me, In the coming months I plan to…’ SOURCE l ‘Strategising’ from ‘Values and Visions: a handbook for spiritual development and global

awareness’ (NODE, 1995).



Personal Planning sheet life 1 What have I achieved so far in my

in terms of working towards global


_________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ e? 2 What particular strengths do I hav _________________________________ ____________________________________ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ 3 What particular talents do I have? _____________________ ____________________________________ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ________________ 4 What have I tried that worked? _________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________

5 What have I tried that didn’t work?

_________________________ ____________________________________ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____________ 6 What can I learn from this? _________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________

7 What circles do I move in?

_____________________________ ____________________________________ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ________ se groups? 8 What inspiration do I get from the _________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________

9 What is the next challenge for me?

_________________________________ ____________________________________ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ me back? 10 What are the major things holding _____________________ ____________________________________ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ________________ rgy? 11 Where do I chose to put my ene _________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ I now want to focus on? 12 What aspect of global justice do _________________________ ____________________________________ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____________

13 What can I do if I get ‘stuck’?

_________________________________ ____________________________________ ____________________________________ ageable? 14 What goals can I set that are man _____________________________ ____________________________________ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ________ 15 What are my next steps? _________________ ____________________________________ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____________________ 124


Taking Action

Activity 13.1 Building an Action Project Activity 13.2 Small-scale Projects and Project Management Tools Activity 13.3 Campaigning Activity Activity 13.4 What Next Options – Diamond Ranking Activity Activity 13.5 Continuous Engagement Opportunities from Ireland

Introduction Taking Action Taking action on return is a fundamental part of overseas volunteering. The very origins of Comhlรกmh were based on those volunteers and development workers returning home to Ireland following their time overseas and with a thirst for justice and a commitment to continue to work for justice from Ireland. Very often the motivation for taking action can be based on the depth of understanding of interdependence and the potential power returned volunteers have to create change, inspired and informed by their overseas experiences. How and when individuals decide to take action is quite a personal decision. The role of the volunteer sending agency, therefore, is to provide information and options that will help returnees to make their own decisions if and when they are ready to act. Taking action can mean many things: individual consumer and lifestyle choices; awareness raising activities; collective actions in solidarity with people locally or globally, e.g. protests, nonviolent acts of disobedience, vigils and other gatherings; and also actions to influence policy through advocacy, campaigning and lobbying. Sharing examples of actions, especially those which had a positive impact, can be an encouragement and source of ideas for returned volunteers, who often can feel motivated to do something, but not quite sure how. Making the connections between our lives in Ireland and people and communities far away is crucial if action is something that will be valued by returned volunteers. Understanding how our consumer choices and lifestyle changes have implications for communities at the other end of the products we use. Exploring our own personal power and ability to speak out against injustice can be a valuable tool which many people across the world are denied. There is almost a responsibility for volunteers, who have seen and witnessed another part of the world, to take action on return. This section will include some activities to support this conversation.



Building an Action Project AIM OF ACTIVITY

To support participants to develop and deliver their own action project. TIME NEEDED


1½ hours

Action Project guidance sheet, small pieces of coloured paper, pens


1 Using an ‘open space’ methodology (www.osedmethodology.org.uk) invite participants to think of an action project that they would be interested to deliver.

2 Put a set of small coloured paper in the middle of the room, and invite people to write their idea on a piece of paper, put the paper on the ground somewhere in the room and stand beside it.

3 Not everyone has to come up with an idea, but if people are attracted by someone else’s idea they can stand beside it. The idea is that people will work together to realise these action projects.

4 When everyone has written all the ideas, and everyone is standing beside a piece of paper, try to ‘merge’ some of the ideas which are similar or related to each other. This will create a few distinct projects and everyone will be involved in one.

5 In the small ‘action project’ groups, hand out the ‘Action Project guidance sheet’. Invite the groups to spend one hour going through the questions and putting their idea together into a plan.

6 At the end of this session, it can be nice if everyone wants to share their idea with the wider group. NOTE TO FACILITATOR l It can be good to keep in mind how you will support the group following this session.

Will there be further sessions or spaces to support participants to grow their action project? Access to funding and mentoring can make a huge difference in the success of action projects. Check out the EIL Seed Fund as an example of a micro grant scheme for returned volunteers www.eilireland.org.



Action Project guidance sheet



looking to address? l What is the problem you are proposing? l What is the solution you are this to be successful? l What needs to happen for possible? l What is your idea? What is l What is the overall objective?

s involved in the project? l What are the different activitie


of the project? to do between now and the end l What activities do we need h of the activities? l What is the timeline for eac

onsibilities within each activity? l Who will take each of the resp

the end of as a pair/group between now and l How will we communicate the project?

TARGET GROUPS at? l Who is your project aimed

audience who can help you) and who are the l Who are your allies (those g r action project)? How can you brin

(people who can be involved in you these people on board? (directly and think the Action Project will affect l How many people do you indirectly)? cess of the project? l How will you measure the suc diaries, ning from the project (e.g. video l How will you measure the lear ? learning journals, reflective writing)

FUNDING to support this? l What funding do we need

? d? Can the action be done for free l Where can funding be accesse

a budget format. and related funding required into l Make a list of the activities



Small-scale Projects and Project Management Tools by Saskia Kraemer, finep, Germany WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO PUT ENGAGEMENT INTO PRACTICAL EXPERIENCES? Most returned volunteers are eager and highly motivated to share the experiences they made abroad and continue their engagement but may not know where and how to start. When back at home, everyday life can quickly take over – there are many things to do and, before they know it, routine has caught up with them! As we learned through our training courses three steps towards continuous engagement must be undertaken:

1 GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE LEADS TO LOCAL ACTION The volunteers have experienced life in another country with a different culture and way of living. They probably have seen poverty in certain situations and injustice, but seldom have wider knowledge about the underlying causes for poverty such as global trade structures to put these experiences into a bigger picture. It is important to reveal to them in an interactive and comprehensive way that our consumer behaviour in Ireland, Poland or Germany contributes to maintaining power structures in the global trade processes, for example if we buy cheap clothing. But this means on the other hand that we can contribute to making a change for the better for people on the other side of supply chains by adjusting our consumption more ethically.

2 ACTING JOINTLY CREATES A BIGGER IMPACT AND IS MORE FUN A very valuable experience for returned volunteers is to exchange with other returnees about their time abroad, finding similarities, differences and reflecting together. They have built up energy and when returning home this energy wants to channel into action. Alone it can be difficult to realise ideas and to stay motivated when there is nobody to exchange with. Therefore the training courses have been good platforms to connect returned volunteers and encourage them to start small-scale projects in cooperation with other returnees. Moreover by acting jointly and merging resources like time, engagement and ideas a wider group of people can be reached with an action and also they are able to keep each other motivated in order to finalise the project.

3 START NOW! The best way to keep the returnee continuously engaged is to give them the opportunity to stay active with other returnees by developing their own small-scale projects. Inventing, planning and implementing own small projects lead to a higher self consciousness through gaining valuable experiences. And finally a successful outcome of ones own project increases the motivation for continuous engagement.



WHY PROJECT MANAGEMENT? Project management skills are essential not only in order to accomplish the Action Projects as part of a training course but also for further engagement. Returnees may even just want to share their unique impressions with friends, family and/or an audience in a professional, reflected and innovative way like a presentation, a lecture, workshop or an event. Becoming an active multiplier for development education can be supported by working within a project framework. Therefore basic knowledge in developing and implementing a project is required and it is very helpful to know about some management tools in order to organise ideas, define objectives, prioritise tasks and evaluate the outcome. Through the course we transmit our expertise by guiding and counselling the returnees through a whole project cycle in order to help them implement their own action projects. Our project cycle consists of the five following project phases:

1 Project initialisation 2 Project definition 3 Project planning 4 Project implementation 5 Project evaluation During the training course period we go with them through all stages of their project.

1 PROJECT INITIALISATION The first step lies in coming up with an interesting project idea. This process must be managed sensitively. At the end of this, everybody should have found a project topic which suits him/her and with which he/she is happy and interested in. We help them with creative tools such as mind-mapping to get more into detailed planning. These management tools serve to channel their creativity and support them to gain different perspectives on their project idea. For every stage of the project different tools can be used.

2 PROJECT DEFINITION During project definition stakeholder analysis is a common tool to check on the stakeholders and specify the target group. A specification of the project objectives is a next step which can be envisioned through a hierarchal objective system including an overall aim, specific objectives which contribute to the attainment of the overall aim; furthermore milestones to reach the specific objective and finally activities, which contribute to meet the milestones.

3 PROJECT PLANNING To invest some time into project planning and using management tools in order to gain a clearer picture of their own small scale projects has proven worth the work and time as almost every small scale project which has been created by our returnees, was implemented successfully and they were more than proud to present the results to us at our final meeting. Further planning will include risk estimation as well as specific time planning with the help of Gantt-Charts, which visualise the workload of the whole project period. As mentioned above we accompany them through the different stages of the project cycle in specific till the end of the planning phase. 130


4 PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION As mentioned above we accompany them through the different stages of the project cycle until the end of the planning phase. During implementation and evaluation they realise on their own. For implementation they have approximately a four months period of time. During this time we support them with advice via e-mail or telephone or with additional, specific information material and if needed official support letters for possible cooperation partners and stakeholders.

5 PROJECT EVALUATION After four months we meet the returnees for a last time for a one-day training session in order to evaluate their projects together and to take a look into the future. Evaluation means in that case that they present the work they have done and the experiences they have made in implementing the small scale projects. We ask further questions i.e. about how many participants they have been addressed, if there has been any media coverage, if they have been taken any photos, or produced any other materials and how/if the project will continue. Another important part of that third session would be the look into the future and how their engagement can go on. Together we gather continuous engagement opportunities which will be visualised as foot steps on the floor with all ideas written on it. At the end of the course the returnees would walk over the foot steps into their future.

CONCLUSION To invest some time into project planning and using management tools in order to gain a clearer picture of their own small scale projects has proved to be worth the work and time as almost every project which has been created by our returnees, was implemented successfully and they were more than proud to present the results to us at our final meeting. Most of the small scale projects were continued after finishing the training course and some of the returnees are still in contact with us, reporting us on a regular basis about their continuous engagement.




1 They became active on facebook! Two returnees developed an app for Facebook users. It gives daily changing very practical tips for supporting global development in everyday life. Once you have subscribed to this app, each day you will get some inspiration on how to contribute to sustainable global development. Here it says that reducing personal meat consumption helps to fight global climate change. Other tips are on how to save water, why it is a good idea to buy fair trade products and many more tips are to be found.

2 They created a game on development topics! No matter what age people are, most people like games. This is an interactive way of getting people to think about global topics. Three returnees invented a game in the form of a paper placemat for cafes and restaurants – to be played by regular guests at their tables. The idea: You travel with a coffee bean from harvest to your cup, from South America to Europe. At each station you can collect points depending how much you know about coffee production. With this game returnees sensitised customers to think about labour rights in coffee production and promoted fair trade coffee.

3 They organised a workshop to give new life to old T-Shirts! A returnee conducted a workshop on how to redesign worn out T-Shirts to stylish tops. In addition the participants got informed on how T-Shirts of many big companies are produced with dumping loans for workers in Asia and how we can contribute with thankful consumption of textile.

4 They created an exhibition with beautiful photos from their time abroad and make people aware of the situation in these countries. Pictures sometimes tell more than a thousand words. Two returnees gathered photos from their visit in developing countries and made an exhibition out of it that deals with the global problem of waste. They added information on global waste disposal and effects on life of people in developing countries and environment. The exhibition was shown in schools around town with great interest.

5 They set up an own fashion show event on Fair Trade clothes. An interesting event gathered a lot of people for the topic. Two returnees wanted to make a statement that also Fair trade Fashion can be modern and that there is plenty of option if you want to ‘dress to impress’. They borrowed the clothes for free from Fair trade fashion labels. They hired models and put them on the catwalk at their University. Information material on standards in textile production and certified fashion labels were given to more than 90 guests at that event.



Action Project ideas CHALK BOMBS at the click of a facebook or ups of returnees can get together gro re whe l, too vist acti tive crea A d to write creative ary way to write messages) is use por tem (a lk cha of ium med The twitter switch. behind it is that groups of to campaigns popping up. The idea tion reac in gs win dra and s ase phr nts, e.g. an oil spill in time to react to global justice eve to ce spa rt sho a in er eth tog people can get start chalking slogans outside. go to their nearest BP garage and ld wou s’ ber Bom alk ‘Ch , xico Me read them and learn something. The idea is that people locally will UPCYCLE PARTY ting an ‘upcycle’ party is a ve consumerism in our society, hos In reaction to the waste and excessi outcome could be a n swop them among friends. The eve and , new hes clot old e mak great way to at a local market. d items, or else they could be sold fashion show to display the upcycle R GLOBAL JUSTICE WALKING TOU to look through a a new global justice tour, is a way ting crea else or r, tou ting exis an Revisiting y life. Adding a global justice structures that surround our everyda different lens at the scenery and Afri (Action from memorations as has been done by com ine fam to le, mp exa for e, perspectiv ught we knew. Doing a critical ctive on stories from history we tho Ireland) can provide a new perspe re the clothes are made, tre, for example highlighting whe cen city lin Dub in als tion tina mul tour of host a ‘her-story’ walking tour, vities of the multinationals. Or to under what conditions and the acti places in Ireland. highlighting the feminist history of PAINT A MURAL global connection. Invite others e, maybe to highlight a local and Paint a mural on a particular issu es, and the final result is a street as they pass about the issu the on se tho to talk , you join to locally . e for others to continually learn from lasting testament and talking piec BUY NOTHING difficult is it to not consume? for a whole day/ week/ month. How hing not buy to try … ical rad y Ver te this up in a blog on the buy local for a whole month. Wri Another challenge could be to only internet for others to see!



Campaigning Activity AIM OF ACTIVITY

To get participants thinking about what campaigning and awareness raising is and isn’t.



55 minutes

Definitions of campaigning and awareness raising, post-its

ACTIVITY OUTLINE Inspiring Campaigns and Activists (15 mins): Ask each participant to: l Name one person/movement/campaign active on justice, human rights or development issues,

locally or globally, who inspires them. l Why/what about them and what they’ve done inspires them? It can be great if the facilitator

can prepare some examples. l Write up the examples everyone names on flipchart. Respond as people come up with

interesting comments – if possible link with earlier discussions, the country they’re going to etc. l Round up by acknowledging how a small number of people/individual with lots of passion

and commitment can make a big difference in the world (hopefully they won’t all have named really huge, well-funded campaigns – common responses are Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi, the Dunnes Stores strikers etc). What is campaigning anyway?! (20 mins): Place campaigns and awareness raising definitions all around the walls of the room (see overleaf). l Ask participants individually to take some post-its and walk around the room looking at the

definitions on the wall. l Ask them to write down their responses to the definitions on a post-it and stick it up on the

appropriate definition. l Once there is a good level of response, ask people to stand beside their favourite definition. l Go around the group asking why they’re standing where they are, why they agreed with the

statement. Crazy Campaigning Activity l Break the participants into smaller groups. Invite them to come up the craziest campaigning

idea possible – there is no budget or time constraint or limit on man power! Make it as impossible as possible! (Keeping in mind local-global, awareness raising, etc.) l After 15 minutes pass your idea to another group, and their task is to make the crazy idea

POSSIBLE l Share the ideas within the groups and choose one… and how they might go about doing it as

their project! 134


Definitions of Campaigning and Awareness Raising nts of ive is to change the policies, poi ‘…a set of actions whose object ions.’ ments, companies and organisat view and programmes of govern d ActionAid Brasil Guide unpublishe t problem and nda, providing a solution to tha ‘…putting a problem on the age n.’ both the problem and the solutio building support for acting on ide SARA/AED Advocacy Training Gu ion, but a e change; it is not one single act ‘…an effort to bring about som ether in a ions, reports and events put tog combination of a number of act Tool kit k quoted in MDG Campaigning sequenced plan.’ UNDP, Blue Boo and it’s just incredibly pathetic ‘Somebody has to do something l Dead be us.’ Jerry Garcia of the Gratefu know yourself, you ‘If you know the enemy and you Sun Tzu, The Art of War

that it has to

need not fear.’

versation with else has failed. It involves a con ‘…is usually only done when all ting a move e an unusual interest in suppor society; persuading people to tak processes means setting up and sustaining It . pen hap lly ma nor not uld that wo of normality will as usual. All the time the forces that are not normal or business .’ Chris Rose n or put your issue back in its box try and shut your campaign dow ive campaigning ns to concrete problems. Effect ‘Polices and decisions are solutio and a coherent analysis of a concrete problem and g din tan ers und rp sha s require Materials tion: Womens’ Advocacy Workshop rAc Inte n.’ utio sol a for al pos pro ‘Campaigns: ut changes in cific issue seeking to bring abo Organised actions around a spe ups.’ itutions and/or specific public gro the policy and behaviours of inst Campaigning: to effect ions to influence others in order sat ani org by ces for of sing bili mo al change.’ nomic, environmental or politic identified and desired social, eco Tess Kingham and Jim Coe paign is presented awareness raising cam lly tfu ugh tho and d nne pla ll ‘A we nicating nt and effective means of commu arguably one of the most efficie cally dispersed issue to a large and geographi information about a particular t Group body of people.’ ADHD Suppor



What Next Options – Diamond Ranking Activity AIM OF ACTIVITY

To explore some options for what’s next, and to rank these in order of importance. TIME NEEDED


20 minutes

What Next cards – 5 sets


1 Invite participants to form smaller groups of 4–5 people. 2 Hand out the ‘What Next’ cards, a set for each group. 3 Invite participants to put the cards in order of what they are most likely to do next. This should be in the shape of a ‘Diamond’ (see image below). There are 25 options so the Diamond could look like: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

4 After 15 minutes or so of working in small groups, come back into the bigger group and share what each of the groups came up with.

5 Discuss what some of the actions might look like, or where participants might go to do these, e.g. ‘What existing campaigns do you know of?’; ‘Do you know any ethical financial institutions in Ireland?’; ‘What kind of topics would you start a discussion on?’ NOTE TO FACILITATOR l Not everyone may agree on what is most

important/least important, so this activity requires listening to each other, respect for different opinions and negotiating to come to a shared agreement. HOW THIS ACTIVITY COULD BE ADAPTED l You could adapt this by changing the options of the

‘What Next’ cards. l The activity could end by writing a ‘Letter to Me’, for

each participant to write a letter to themselves and pop it in an envelope with their address on it – to remind them of some of the actions they identified as being important during this activity. This can be sent out 3 months after the session as a reminder.



What Next Cards

Slow down!


Ethical tourism

Be more energy efficient at home

Grow your own food

Buy less

Learn more about development issues

Organise a ‘clothes swap’

Support volunteers predeparture

Ethical investment

Join a campaign

Write for my local paper

Do an Action Project to raise awareness locally

Boycott certain unethical shops

Do some local volunteering

Join a protest

Use less water

Buy Fair Trade

Get involved in nonviolent direct action

Start a discussion among friends/work colleagues

Sign a petition


Volunteer locally

Become a part time vegetarian

Bring a global perspective into your work/study



Continuous Engagement Opportunities from Ireland

Community Based Lourdes Youth and Community Services l Provides development education courses for community workers Lower Sean McDermott Street, Dublin 1 T 01 855 6445 E deved@lycs.ie W www.lycs.ie Contact person: Helena McNeill Dublin Food Co-op l Supporting organic food and Fair Trade l Opportunities to volunteer include – stocktaking, building maintenance, publicity, event organising, finance, product research and much more... l Whether you can offer the Co-op specialist skills or general help, you’ll always be welcomed as a volunteer... 12 Newmarket, Dublin 8 T 01 454 4258 E info@dublinfoodcoop.com W www.dublinfood.coop Transition Towns l A network as part of a worldwide initiative building community resilience to face the effects of climate change, peak oil and economic breakdown l Based in Ireland and Northern Ireland l Looking for people to support the network and to join their voluntary open collaborative group E TINIreland@gmail.com W http://transitiontownsireland.ning.com/ Irish Travellers Movement l Network of organisations and individuals working within the Traveller Community

Respond Housing Association l Ireland’s largest not-for-profit housing association l Community development l Branches in Dublin, Waterford, Offaly, Tipperary, Cork, Galway T 0818 357901 E info@respond.ie W www.respond.ie l Volunteer opportunities in childcare, maintenance,

care for older people, visiting/supporting older people, after-schools, etc.

Development Education Centre for Global Education l An organisation based in Belfast which aims to raise awareness of global issues and encourage action toward social change. The centre organises events, delivers training, produce publications and provide a wide range of resources to target groups in the formal and non-formal education sectors 9 University Avenue, Belfast T (048) 90 241 879 E Stephen@centreforglobaleducation.com W www.centreforglobaleducation.com Children in Crossfire l A development education centre based in the north west of Ireland (Derry/Donegal) offering courses and workshops to schools, teachers, youth groups and leaders, and the local community 2 St Joseph’s Avenue, Derry, Northern Ireland BT48 6TH T (048) 71 269 898 E caroline.murphy2@childrenincrossfire.org W www.childrenincrossfire.org

4–5 Eustace St, Dublin 2 T 01 679 6577 E imtrav@indigo.ie W www.imtrav.ie



Galway One World Centre l A centre creating educational opportunities in Galway that develop a critical analysis of the unequal power relationships that historically and currently exist between diverse groups, both locally and globally 76 Prospect Hill, Galway T 091 530590 E info@galwayowc.org W www.galwayowc.org IDEA (Irish Development Education Association) l A membership organisation for individuals or organisations interested to build capacity in development education. They offer courses throughout the year 5 Merrion Row, Dublin 2 T 01 661 8831 E info@ideaonline.ie W www.ideaonline.ie

SUAS Educational Development l Global Issues courses are run over 6 weeks (2 hour sessions) in Universities across Ireland, both in the autumn and spring term 10–12 Hogan Place, Dublin T 01 662 1400 E Joanne@suas.ie W www.suas.ie Waterford One World Centre l A development education centre working with the local community in Waterford, offering courses and events such as Africa Day or Fair Trade fortnight 18 Parnell Street, Waterford T 051 873064 E info@waterfordoneworldcentre.com W www.waterfordoneworldcentre.com

Local Volunteering Networks Kerry One World Centre l Past volunteers work with primary, secondary, tertiary, and adult education groups to teach their community about economic, environmental and other social issues occurring overseas 5 Friary Lane, Tralee, Co. Kerry T 066 718 1358 E info@kade.ie W www.kade.ie LASC (Latin American Solidarity Centre) l An initiative for development education and campaigning, offering Latin American development issues and language courses 5 Merrion Row, Dublin 2 T 01 6760 435 E education@lasc.ie W www.lasc.ie

Volunteer Ireland l The single national volunteering organisation for Ireland, coordinating Volunteer Centres throughout Ireland l There is an online database to search for volunteer opportunities in your area 18 Eustace Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2 T 01 636 9446 E info@volunteer.ie W www.volunteer.ie Volunteer Now (Northern Ireland) l Volunteering opportunities across Northern Ireland E info@volunteernow.co.uk T (048) 9023 2020 W www.volunteering-ni.org

Gender Mayfield Community Arts l A unique dedicated arts space based in the heart of Mayfield at Newbury House Family Centre. Mayfield Arts develops, manages and delivers arts programmes in consultation with the local community and according to funding received Newbury House, Old Youghal Road, Mayfield, Cork T 021 4530434 E mayfieldarts@gmail.com W www.mayfieldarts.org

AkiDwa l Minority ethnic-led national network of African and migrant women living in Ireland Unit 2, Killarney Court, Buckingham Street, Dublin 1 T 01 834 9851 E info@akidwa.ie W www.akidwa.ie



Ruhama l Supporting women affected by prostitution and trafficking l Volunteering opportunities include outreach, development and education, befriending, counselling, resettlement Senior House, All Hallows College, Drumcondra, Dublin 9 T 01 836 0292 E admin@ruhama.ie W www.ruhama.ie

Oxfam l Get involved by volunteering in an Oxfam shop, office or at an event l Volunteers with specific skills are needed for specific projects – from stylists to filmakers, from auditors to designers l Ongoing campaigns on global issues l See the online list of vacancies 9 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2 T 01 672 7662 E communications@oxfam.ie W www.oxfamireland.org

HIV/AIDS Open Heart House l A culturally diverse project which challenges the social stigma and associated with living with HIV through peer support l Various volunteering opportunities: fitness, reception, kitchen, activities, therapists, etc. 2 St. Mary’s Place, Dublin 7 T 01 830 5000 W www.openhearthouse.ie Contact person: Anne Hederman – volunteer coordinator E ahederman@openhearthouse.ie

Trade/Debt Debt and Development Coalition Ireland l A group composed of organisations and individuals who share a deep concern about debt injustice and the injustice of the global financial system l Involvement with DDCI is through the campaign group which meets once per month to discuss the issues and to plan campaigns All Hallows, Gracepark Road, Drucmcondra, Dublin 9 T 01 857 1828 E campaigns@debitireland.ie W www.debitireland.org Fairtrade Mark Ireland l Get involved locally through the annual Fair Trade fortnight, through your local town, parish, school or college Carmichael House, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7 T 01 475 3515 E info@fairtrade.ie W www.fairtrade.ie

Multicultural/Anti-Racism Africa Centre l Supporting African communities and coexistence in Ireland through development education, policy and advocacy and community empowerment l Volunteers opportunities in the Development Education Programme and the Youth Society 18 Stephen’s Lane, Dublin 2 T 01 661 9289 E info@africacentre.ie W www.africacentre.ie Sport Against Racism Ireland (SARI) l Cultural integration and social inclusion through sport l Volunteer opportunities include fundraising, administration, website updating, event and project volunteers 20 Upper Baggot Street (top floor), Dublin 4 T 01 668 8869 E info@sari.ie W www.sari.ie Near FM l Intercultural dialogue through community media l Opportunities to with Near FM include hosting your own programme, doing interviews with the local community and make features Northside Civic Centre, Bunratty Road, Dublin 17 T 01 867 1190 W www.nearfm.ie Community Noticeboard: access@nearfm.ie The Melting Pot themeltingpot@nearfm.ie Volunteering: dorothee@near.ie



Canal Communities Intercultural Centre l Provides support for migrants l Intercultural events l Opportunities include social group volunteers, conversational English tutors, etc. Goldenbridge Integrated Service Complex, St. Vincent St West, Inchicore, Dublin T 01 453 7239 E info@canalintercultural.com W www.canalintercultural.com NICEM (Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities) l Promoting racial equality and human rights in Northern Ireland 1st Floor, Ascot House, 24–31 Shaftesbury Square, Belfast, BT2 7DB T (048) 9023 8645 W www.nicem.org.uk

Asylum Seeker and Refugee Counselling & Support Service (ARCSS), Mosney l Counselling and support service to asylum seekers and refugees ARCSS Project Worker, Mosney Centre, Co. Meath T 041 982 9780 E arcss@spirasi.ie Galway Refugee Support Group l Community development organisation working with social, cultural information and health projects c/o Joseph Nyirenda, 3 The Plaza, Headford Road, Galway T 091 779 083 E josephgrsg@eircom.net

Arts Calypso Productions (Dublin) l Creating a catalyst for social change through the arts

Asylum Seekers Immigrant Council of Ireland l An independent human rights organisation advocating for the rights of migrants and their families and act as a catalyst for public debate as well as legislative and policy change 2 Andrews St, Dublin 2 T 01 674 0200 E info@immigrantcouncil.ie W www.immigrantcouncil.ie Irish Refugee Council l Pursuing fair play public policy for those seeking refuge Ballast House, Aston Quay, Dublin 2 T 01 764 5854 E info@irishrefugeecouncil.ie W www.irishrefugeecouncil.ie

7 South Great Georges Street, Dublin 2 T 01 670 45 93 E info@calypso.ie W www.calypso.ie Ala Community Theatre (Galway) l Ala is a personal, social and community development organisation founded in 2004. It has run Forum Theatre projects in various communities in Galway City, an active retired project and has worked with asylum seekers 83 Castle Park, Ballybane, Co. Galway T 086 846 1270 E alagalway@gmail.com W www.ala-ct.ie

Spiritan Asylum Services Initiative (SPIRASI) l Works with asylum seekers, refugees, survivors of torture l Currently recruiting interpreters for various languages

Mayfield Community Arts (Cork) l Arts space based in Mayfield, Cork, using arts as a tool to connect local issues with those in the global south and with local communities l Activities include arts workshops, arts-based global education programme, arts and integration programme, youth arts

213 North Circular Road, Phibsborough, Dublin 7 T 01 838 9664 E info@spirasi.ie W www.spiarasi.ie

Newbury House, Old Youghal Road, Mayfield, Cork T 021 453 0434 E mayfieldarts@gmail.com W www.mayfieldarts.org



Homelessness Focus Ireland l Working to prevent people becoming, remaining or returning to homelessness l Looking for various volunteers in befriending, tutors, schools visits, etc. 9–12 High Street, Christchurch, Dublin 8 T 01 881 5900 W www.focusireland.ie Crosscare l Current volunteering opportunities for trainer in digital photography, homeless services, meals on wheels drivers Clonliffe College, Dublin 3 T 01 836 0011 E info@crosscare.ie W www.crosscare.ie Volunteer Unit: E volunteerunit@crosscare.ie Depaul Ireland l Providing accommodation and key services to people such as street drinkers, women in prison, families, those with behavioural, self-harm and addiction problems l Get involved through part-time volunteering, European Voluntary Service or through student placements Dublin Office: 18 Nicholas St, Christchurch, Dublin 8 T 01 453 7111 Belfast Office: Ravara House, 1 Fitzwilliam Ave, Belfast BT7 2HJ T 028 906 47755 E depaul@depaulireland.org W www.depaulireland.org

Education Educate Together l A network of schools in Ireland providing children with access to education irrespective of their social, cultural or religious background l Opportunities to get involved H8a Centre Point, Oak Drive, Dublin 12 T 01 429 2500 E info@educatetogether.ie W www.educatetogether.ie

Ubuntu l Supporting the integration of Development Education (DE) and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) into post primary Initial Teacher Education (ITE) in Ireland Department of Education and Professional Studies, University of Limerick Project Coordinator: Deirdre Hogan T 061 233 289 E deirdre.hogan@ul.ie W www.ubuntu.ie Development and Intercultural Education (DICE) l The aim of the DICE project is the inclusion of development education and intercultural education as essential elements of initial teacher education in Ireland DICE Project Office, Church of Ireland College of Education, 96 Upper Rathmines Road, Rathmines, Dublin 6 DICE Programme Manager: Aoife Titley T 086 3217383 E info@diceproject.ie W www.diceproject.ie CDVED Curriculum Development Unit Captains Road, Crumlin, Dublin 12 T 01 4535487 E info@cdu.cdvec.ie W www.curriculum.ie Link Community Development Ireland l Development education 23 Crofton Road, Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin T 01 284 1414 E info@lcd.ie W www.lcdinternational.org/ireland/ Amnesty International Ireland l Human Rights Education Sean MacBride House, 48 Fleet Street, Dublin 2 T 01 863 8300 E info@amnesty.ie W www.amnesty.ie/human-rights-education Trócaire (Development Education) Head Office: Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland T 01 629 3333 / 028 9080 8030 W www.trocaire.org/resources/schoolresources



Blackrock Education Centre Kill Avenue, Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin T 01 236 5000 E bec@blackrock.ie W www.blackrockec.ie Fighting Words l Looking for new volunteers to help out at daily weekday workshops with primary and secondary school classes as well as evening and weekend programmes for students of all ages. Training is provided Behan Square, Russell Street, Dublin 1 T 01 894 4576 Contact Person: Sarah Bennett W www.fightingwords.ie DCU in the Community Unit 1 – Shangan Court, Shangan Road, Ballymun, Dublin 9 T 01 700 8800 E communityinfo@dcu.ie W www4.dcu.ie/community/DCUcommunity/ welcome.shtml The Life Centre Early School Leavers Project 61 Elmdale Crescent, Cherry Orchard, Dublin T 01 623 5832 E cherryolife@gmail.com W http://cherryorchardparish.com/lifecentre.html Sharing the Journey l Supporting parents and families of deaf and hard of hearing children c/o St. Vincents, Drumcondra, Dublin 9 T 087 916 3168 / 085 722 5659 E sharingthejourney2011@gmail.com W www.sharingthejourney.ie

Climate Change Cultivate l A practical sustainability organisation focused on active education with facilities in Dublin and Cloughjordan, Co Tipperary 63 Lower Mount Street, 1st Floor, Dublin T 01 674 5773 W www.cultivate.ie Eco Unesco l Ireland’s Environmental Education and Youth Organisationaffiliated to the World Federation of UNESCO Clubs, Centres and Associations (WFUCA) The Greenhouse, 17 St. Andrew Street T 353 1 662 5491 E info@ecounesco.ie W http://www.ecounesco.ie/eco-dev/ Global Action Plan l An organisation founded in 1990 to develop structured support for ordinary people who want to reduce their impact on the environment 13 Balbutcher Lane, Ballymun, Dublin 11 T 01 862 5846 W http://globalactionplan.ie/ Stop Climate Chaos l A coalition of civil society organisations campaigning to ensure Ireland plays its part in preventing runaway climate change. Current members include development, environmental, youth and faith based organisations E info@stopclimatechaos.ie W http://www.stopclimatechaos.ie/

CDVEC Adult Education Service CDVEC Administrative Offices, Town Hall, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 T 01 688 0614 E info@cdvec.ie W http://www.cdvec.ie/Programmes/ Adult-Education.aspx?lang=en-GB



Peace/Anti War Afri (Action from Ireland) l Development Education and campaigning organisation, with a focus on anti-war 134 Phibsborough Road, Phibsborough, Dublin 7 T 01 8827563 E admin@afri.ie Contact person: Joe Murray Corrymeela l The Corrymeela Community is an ecumenical Christian community working within local, national and international communities to embrace difference, heal divisions and enable reconciliation. Our programmes include: cross-community, inter-faith, youth and family work Corrymeela Centre, 5 Drumaroan Road, Ballycastle, Northern Ireland BT54 6QU T 028 20 76 2626 E ballycastle@corrymeela.org Kilcranny House l A place promoting positive peace and reconciliation, healing the divisions which exist between people and exploring non-violence as a way of life and a means of working for change in our society 21 Cranagh Road, Coleraine, BT51 3NN T (048) 70 321 816 W http://kilcrannyhouse.org/

INNATE (Irish Network for Non-Violent Action, Training and Education) l INNATE was established as a result of the need for an umbrella group to support groups and individuals exploring nonviolent approaches to conflict issues 16 Ravensdene Park, Belfast BT6 DA T (048) 90 647 106 W www.innatenonviolence.org PANA (Peace and Neutrality Alliance) l PANA seeks to advocate an Independent Irish Foreign Policy, defend Irish Neutrality and to promote a reformed United Nations as the Institution through which Ireland should pursue its security concerns 17 Castle Street, Dalkey, Dublin T 01 235 1512 E info@pana.ie W www.pana.ie Irish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament l The Irish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament campaigns for the abolition of all nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction; the abolition of military alliances; a policy of active Irish neutrality and the transfer of military spending towards ending world poverty Post PO Box 6327, Dublin 6 T 086 362 1220 E irishcnd@gmail.com W www.irishcnd.org

The Peace People l Nonviolence is at the heart of Peace People’s approach to building a just and peaceful society, drawing inspiration from historical figures such as Martin Luther King and Mahatma Ghandi 224 Lisburn Road, Belfast, BT9 6GE T (048) 90 663 465 W www.peacepeople.com



Youth Work YMCA Network l A voluntary organisation working with children, young people, families and the community, in particular those who are disadvantaged

Youth Work Ireland l A coordinating agency for local independent youth services throughout Ireland 20 Lower Dominick Street, Dublin 1 T 01 858 4500 E info@youthworkireland.ie

W www.ymca-ireland.net National Youth Council of Ireland l The body for national voluntary youth work organisations in Ireland l Training and opportunities in development education, youth arts, etc. 3 Montague St, Dublin 2 T 01 478 4122 E info@nyci.ie W www.youth.ie Club4U l Youth club for 15–18 year olds l Looking for people to set up youth clubs in their areas – support and training will be provided Main Branch: St. Benedict’s Resource Centre, Swansnest Road, Kilbarrack, Dublin 5 E club4ucoordinator@gmail.com W http://club4u.ie/volunteerscorner.html Contact Person: Daniel Burke

Foróige, the National Youth Development Organisation l Leading young people in clubs l Mentoring a young person l Supporting Foróige as a volunteer in different capacities Block 12 D, Joyce Way, Park West, Dublin 12 T 01 630 1560 E volunteer@foroige.ie W www.foroige.ie Catholic Youth Care l A major youth agency working in the Catholic Diocese of Dublin Arran Quay, Dublin 7 T 01 872 5055 E info@cyc.ie


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Comhlamhs Coming Home Training  

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Comhlamhs Coming Home Training  

A Handbook for volunteer sending agencies

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