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UCD Volunteers Overseas

 Returned Volunteers

Coming Home Day 2014

UCDVO - Ways you can remain involved:

  • Volunteer: UCDVO is also open to graduates. You can apply to return as a general volunteer, Student Leader or Team Coordinator. Applications open online in September each year.
  • Come along to Development Education events: join us at the annual Film Series, UCDVO Conference or apply for a place on one of our Courses.
  • Fundraise: Help organise an event at work, in your local area or through your own networks. Examples of past alumni events include Wine & Cheese nights, Comedy nights, BBQs, Bake Sales.
  • Contact your Employers: most companies will have a budget for charity donations or a specific Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme. Find out if UCDVO could make an application.
  • Monthly donations: you can set up a standing order directly to the UCDVO account (any amount is welcome, no matter how big or small!). A donation of just €0.70 per day / €5 per week / €22 per month would enable us to claim an extra €112 from Revenue from your donation.
  • Join the UCDVO Student Society: If you are still a student and want to remain involved in UCDVO events on campus, join the Student Society or consider putting yourself forward for one of the Officer roles.
  • Rás UCD: run, walk or jog the 5k route on UCD campus. All proceeds go to UCDVO. Goody bags, t-shirts, food, music and great atmosphere provided on the day!
  • Wicklow Cycle: Enjoy the beautiful Irish countryside during a day of fun with fellow VO’ers! Sign up for the 100km or 200km option and get fellow volunteers on board.
  • Volunteer Training: get involved in delivering pre-departure training days for new volunteers. Free training will be provided in facilitations skills.
  • Become a Board member: UCDVO’s Charity AGM takes place in November each year. Students, Staff and Graduates are all represented on the Board and we encourage people who are passionate about developing UCDVO further to put themselves forward.

For more information contact  / 01 7168570 or drop in for a chat. UCD International, Gerard Manley Hopkins Centre (ground floor main restaurant building).


Fundraise - Ros McFeely

I helped with fundraising events from the early days of UCDVO. My chance to participate in a project in Nicaragua came in 2007 with the objective of building a health centre. The commitment required was quite considerable as it spanned not just the period of the summer project but right from January to our return. I used every means I could think of as a fundraiser! These included a housewarming for our then new home where we hosted a BBQ for neighbours friends and relations, a table quiz, church gate collections, a street party on our road, not to mention the ubiquitous booksales, which somehow have come to include marmalade and brown bread too!  There was a great motivation to fundraise knowing the success of the project was dependent on our fundraising efforts.

The whole experience made quite a change from my everyday role in UCD and meant I could boast additional skills of nifty wire cutter, tile layer and sand sifter on my CV!  I was so enthused I seemingly agreed to return to Somoto the following Summer.  The weather wasn't quite so kind to us that year and we faced endless challenges in securing materials and transporting them to the site. But there was a certain satisfaction in overcoming those challenges too.

I have always loved Africa so I could not resist the opportunity to volunteer in Tanzania in 2010 and 2011, where the projects were based in Morogoro, a university town situated about 190km West of Dar es Salaam nestling at the foot of the Uluguru Mountains. We were made feel so welcome in the schools where we worked that all the preparation and fundraising efforts were more than worthwhile.

For me the opportunity to volunteer with UCDVO allowed me to experience at first hand the challenges of the developing world. I was taken out of my comfort zone and discovered I could survive, that I had something to contribute but a lot to learn also. These days our grandchildren are taking more of our time, but there are still opportunities to help with fundraising and I’m happy to hand on the volunteering mantle to the next generation - so if I could do it why not you too?


Become a Board Member - David Breheny

I was incredibly lucky to be chosen as part of the Tanzanian group in 2012. The experience was genuinely (and somewhat frustratingly for those that haven’t done it themselves) indescribable. So all I can say is - if you haven't signed up for UCDVO, do it! This time next year I guarantee you will look back and the very thought of the mistake you could have made if you hadn’t will seem ridiculous. The friends you make and the people you meet in the country you work in will stay with you for life. Simply put, nobody regrets it and signing up for UCDVO will be the best decision you make in UCD, easily!

I jumped at the opportunity to reapply and was sent back as Student Leader in 2013. Knowing this time, that on my return from the project I would be entering the world of work, but not wanting to lose touch with the organisation that had given me more than I could ever repay, I decided to join the Board of Trustees. It has been an interesting experience to see what exactly goes on behind the scenes of the charity and has given me a far better appreciation for the work that goes into the planning and preparation for the projects and, just as importantly, the continued sustainability and development of the different projects going forward. I would encourage any past volunteer to get involved with the Board as every new opinion is both welcome and needed and the decision making that goes on is critical to the future of UCDVO.


Join the UCDVO Student Society- Glenn Daly

Since starting in UCD in 2011 UCDVO has played a major role in my college life. In 2011, I took part in the Delhi project which introduced me to the crazy streets of the Indian capital and to the even more mental classrooms of the Salaam Baalak Trust. The hustle and bustle of the city and the amazing warmth of locals had me hooked on India. I returned to Ireland with a different approach to life; I found myself more motivated, understanding and I had gained patience. I knew within the first few weeks of being back in Ireland, I had to return to India and I had to thank UCDVO in some way for providing me with such an amazing experience.

The UCDVO Student Society was an ideal opportunity for me to stay involved with the organisation and to allow me to give back. I knew I had to go for it and luckily I was elected as Secretary of the Student Society for 2013/14. I was also selected to go on what would be the last Delhi project as a Student Leader. Both of my new roles ensured that I would be involved in all aspects of both the Charity and Student Society and I could give back to UCDVO with both of these roles.  

I would encourage anybody who is thinking of ways to stay involved with UCDVO to go for a position on the Student Society committee. Getting the name out to the student body of UCD and raising money for the charity through society run events are just two main roles and highlights. And although it is a massive time commitment, it is worth every minute as you are giving back to the organisation while also benefiting yourself.



List of UCDVO Volunteers 2003 - 2017