Voluntary Service International launches 2013 volunteer programme

10 Apr 2013

Voluntary Service International launches 2013 volunteer programme

What are you doing this summer? You could work on environmental projects in Finland or Indonesia, help to run community music festivals in Belgium and the Czech Republic, work with disadvantaged kids in Greece or Ireland, work on a peace project in Palestine or Sri Lanka and many other projects.

These are just a few examples of more than 800 international volunteering opportunities available with Voluntary Service International (VSI) in over 60 countries throughout Europe, Africa, Asia and North and South America.

"VSI is a registered charity promoting peace and social justice through volunteering abroad and in Ireland," said Tom Ryder, the VSI Coordinator.

"We offer a unique form of volunteering, all our projects are designed to support community and voluntary initiatives. People of all ages and backgrounds live and work together on volunteer projects from 2 weeks to 12 months. Volunteers really can make small but useful changes to help others," continued Tom.

Sinead Walsh from Castleconnell in Limerick who volunteered with disadvantaged children in Azerbaijan said, "Life on the project was wonderful! You get such a valuable insight into the culture, food and lifestyle of the local people, a much deeper insight than you will ever get on a regular holiday. You meet wonderful people and form lasting friendships. It was such an amazing experience, I can't recommend it enough."

Tom added, "You don't need lots of money and specific skills or experience are not usually required. We want to offer the VSI volunteering experience to as many people as possible. Our volunteers are a diverse group, most are in their 20s and 30s but they can be any age, some are even in their 70s". Sinead said, "Volunteering with VSI doesn't cost much, they don't have huge fees and you don't have to do any fundraising either."

Applications can be made throughout the year but VSI advise volunteers to apply as early as possible as project places fill up quickly. The health and safety of volunteers is a priority for VSI and they provide a comprehensive preparation and support programme for all their volunteers.

VSI also hosts projects with their partners in Ireland which are open to volunteers from Ireland and abroad. Minerva Jormola, from Finland, who is a long-term volunteer with VSI explained, "VSI offers an international volunteering experience without leaving Ireland. You can work on conservation in Killarney National Park, at children's summer camps in Meath or Newry, help at the Irish Wheelchair Association Holiday Centre in Roscommon and lots of other projects, all working alongside international volunteers."


VSI is holding an Info Evening on 24th April at 6.30pm in the Irish Aid Centre, 27 Upper O'Connell Street, Dublin 1.


More info about all our projects at the VSI website: www.vsi.ie