Skip navigation

UCD Volunteers Overseas


Covid-19: Statement from UCDVO

May 2020

In light of Covid-19 and the global health emergency, the UCDVO Board, in conjunction with UCD Global, made the decision in March not to send volunteers overseas this summer. We understand how disappointing this is. We also know you understand UCDVO’s priority at all times is the health, safety and security of all volunteers and an ethical responsibility to act in the best interests of partners and the local communities where we work in India, Uganda and Tanzania.

We are however, pleased to let you know the 2020 UCDVO Programme is not cancelled and we continue to work with a large group of our volunteers on global education and designing remote volunteering activities in collaboration with our overseas partners.

As well at supporting our overseas partners and their communities through remote volunteering, we are running an emergency Covid-19 fundraising campaign to raise much needed funds for these communities and to assist their emergency response. If you would like to find out more about the campaign and are in a position to donate, we would be very grateful for your assistance.



UCD Volunteers Overseas (UCDVO) is registered with the Charities Regulator, Registered Charity Number 20055776. It was founded in 2002 by the late Fr. Tony Coote. Participants in the UCDVO Volunteering and Development Education Programme take part in training days, development education activities and 4 weeks volunteering with a local partner in India, Tanzania or Uganda. Volunteering activities are largely in the area of healthcare, education and community development. UCDVO is governed by a Board of Trustees and has three full-time members of staff. 

To date, approx 1,500 volunteers have engaged in environmental, educational, healthcare, construction and computer training projects in disadvantaged communities overseas. The work is undertaken in close cooperation with local communities. The majority of volunteers are undergraduate UCD students, but UCD staff and alumni also volunteer. While project time overseas is typically for one month in June/July, volunteers take part in a wider programme which spans an eleven month period from volunteer selection in November to de-briefing the following September.  The Programme covers topics such as the sustainable development goals, intercultural learning, ethical volunteering, health and safety, and practical skills training for awareness-raising and campaigns.

The UCDVO Student Society is an active group of returned volunteers whose role is to engage students in raising awareness of development issues, carry out fundraising activities and promote opportunities for students to volunteer on development projects overseas.

As an organisation that strives to promote equality and justice in its objectives and practices, UCDVO endorses UCD's commitment to Addressing Racism and Discrimination and stands against racism and discrimination of any kind. We will continue to work to this end, both locally and globally and commit to strengthening our organisation and programmes to ensure we are doing all we can to end discrimination and racism.