Meet our new Programmes Coordinator - Aine!

18 Oct 2021

VSI has welcomed our former in-country ESC volunteer, Aine, on board the permanent staff team as our new Programmes Coordinator! She took up the role at the beginning of October, and we are so excited to see where this journey takes her - and us! Here she is reflecting on her new position and role within VSI: 



I started my journey with VSI as an ESC volunteer last November. While studying Law in university, I developed an interest in global justice and peacebuilding. I was drawn to VSI’s mission of promoting peace and social justice through an act as simple as volunteering. I believe that greater empathy, intercultural understanding and civic engagement are essential in effectively promoting peace and I feel really lucky to have had the chance to be a part of VSI’s work in achieving this. 


I’m still learning every day in my work with VSI and I’m grateful to have the opportunity to continue this learning in my new role as Programmes Coordinator. I love working with VSI’s volunteers and hearing all about their experiences. I’m excited to meet many more VSI volunteers in my new role. It will be great to get to work alongside our volunteers during in person events and projects. I’m happy that I’ll be able to see our current ESC volunteers through to the end of their projects, and also to work closely with VSI’s new in-office ESC volunteers. 


It’s an exciting time to be involved with VSI, as we’ll be implementing VSI’s new Strategic Plan. We’ll also be implementing our Action Plan for the IDEA Code of Good Practice on Development Education. Whilst working on the creation of this Action Plan, I gained a deeper understanding of Development Education and the important role that it plays in a volunteer’s journey. I’m really looking forward to being involved in its implementation and in strengthening VSI’s Global Citizenship Education programme.  


Through developing and delivering our ‘Youth for Climate Justice’ project, I was able to bring my knowledge and interest in climate justice into VSI’s work. The commitment and passion for climate justice shown by the volunteers during this project was inspiring, and I’m excited to continue VSI’s work on climate justice in my new role.  


As well as transitioning from volunteer to staff member, I’ll be transitioning from remote work. I’m really looking forward to being in the office more regularly and attending in-person events for VSI, as I haven’t yet had that experience. Probably the biggest change for me in my new role will be not having VSI’s wonderful Marketing and Communications Officer Maria around. Although I have yet to meet Maria in person, we started our ESC projects in VSI together and the office (virtual or not) will just not be the same without her!