EIL seed fund micro grants

Main Features

Seed Fund

EIL Seed Fund 2013

At EIL we believe that perhaps the most significant part of a short-term volunteer programme actually begins when participants return home. On a long-term basis, the most effective way in which volunteers can truly make a difference is to educate others about global justice and the lives of ordinary people in the global south.

EIL recognizes that it can be difficult for returned volunteers to continue their engagement here in Ireland. They may face financial barriers, time constraints or be unable to access the necessary help and support. The EIL Seed Fund Micro Grant Scheme exists to assist returned volunteers to overcome these barriers by providing successful applicants with funding, guidance and support to implement their own awareness-raising projects. Volunteers can apply to the Seed Fund as individuals or as part of a group.

If you are unsure whether this opportunity is for you why not check out a video from one of our 2012 Seed Fund winners - Paul Mc Keown


Applications for the Seed Fund Micro Grant Scheme Round 1 are now OPEN!

Contact evelyn@eilireland.org for an application form today!!

Apply here: individual application 

Apply here : group application 


In 2014 2 projects were selected

Eco Congregation Donegal Event

The Raphoe Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Group in Letterkenny, Donegal, hosted a seminar by Prof. John Sweeney of NUI Maynooth addressing the topic of Climate Change: the clock is ticking, and the urgent need to take action for climate justice at all levels of society. Over 80 people attended the event where the aim was to raise awareness about the issues involved in climate change and the ethical challenge to take action to bring about climate justice, on earth and its peoples and with the earth and all its inhabitants.


Video For Volunteers by the Umbrella Foundation. 

A group of volunteers from the Umbrella Foundation felt it is really important that volunteers know the main things about volunteering before predeparture. They asked people from NGO's and returned volunteers about were the main things and came up with a video called "5 Top Tips for Volunteering"!


Three group projects and three individual projects were selected in December 2013: 

Group projects: A series of workshops by Engineer Without Borders, Children Stories book on social justice thems by Damien Thomson and Laura Mcloughlin; Contribution towards the Disability & Development action week in Letterkenny by Donegal Centre for Independent Living.

Individual projects: Art classes  with global justice and awareness issues by Myriam Mac Cionnaith; An event on traditional knowledge in Andean indigenous communities contributes to communities' climate resilience and adaptive capacity by Sian Cowman; Photo exhibition by Samanta Conlon

Three projects were selected under this scheme in January 2013: An Upcycle Workshop with returned volunteers by Ana Barbu and Grainne O’Neill of Development Perspectives; A touring exhibition of paintings by Emily Price and Amy Bunce; A University guest speaker series by Engineers Without Borders.

Development Perspectives

Development Perspectives hosted a one-day workshop for returned volunteers to ‘upcycle’ furniture (chairs, tables, jewellery boxes, etc.) and learn about the connecting development education issues. The aim was for participants to have a deeper understanding of where products such as furniture made of wood come from, as well as gaining the perspective of making something new out of old products, to challenge the idea of waste and mass consumption.

Emily Price and Amy Bunce (EIL Intercultural Learing)

Emily Price and Amy Bunce from EIL Intercultural Learning created an exhibition of paintings based on photographs taken during their volunteerexperience in Guatemala. The exhibition is aimed at exploring women's empowerment and development education. The official launch was held in the Irish Aid volunteer centre in April 2013 and since then it has been displayed in several venues nationwide. Catalogues of the paintings were printed and were sent to the organisations that Emily and Amy established links with in Guatemala. If you missed the exhibition you can view a short video of the launch here.

Engineers Without Borders

Engineers without borders hosted a series of talks in Irish universities as part of their goal to engage engineers studying and working in Ireland with global development issues. The talks were delivered by a selection of speakers who have worked and volunteered in the development sector, with a view to educating and informing attendees on a range of areas and issues related to engineering in global development, using case studies to highlight both technical and non-technical challenges and successes and hopefully also sparking a debate on the role of the engineer in this work. The talks provided an opportunity for students and recent graduates to meet more senior, experienced engineers who have worked in this area and we hope that the networking opportunities presented will lead to the development of ideas, collaborations and future active EWB branches.

2012 Awarded Projects included: 

An African Workshop for children aged between 8 and 12 years to increase children's knowledge, understanding and awareness on development issues in a fun and interactive way. 

A Penpal Project between a national school in Co. Kerry and a primary school in Cape Town, South Africa, to promote awareness and understanding of a different culture through education and making a personal connection to a person in another country.


An Exhibition of Photography called Waiting for Rain, to present images of hunger in Kenya, from the 2011 East African drought, with an honest portrayal of the impact on urban and rural poor.

An Exhibition of Photography called Alternate Perspectives: Life in East Africa which aimed to highligh the challenges but also the abilities and resilience of the people in communities in Tanzania and Uganda.




Have you recently volunteered overseas? Do you want to continue to make a difference by sharing your experience and raising awareness in Ireland? By providing successful individuals and groups with grants of up to €200, EIL wants to help you to organise activities or events which will raise awareness about the people and issues you have encountered during your time overseas. Your project can have a real impact on the way Irish people think about global issues and in turn bring about real change in the world. Grow your idea into action!

Contact evelyn@eilireland.org for an application form. Filled applications can be submitted online, email or by post to tara@eilireland.org or EIL Intercultural Learning, 1 Empress Place, Summerhill North, Cork.




Applicants must use the application form supplied.

Application deadlines are as follows:

  • Deadline for submission of proposals: 15th Jan 2016
  • Projects must be completed by: 1st March 2016
  • Receipts of expenditure must be supplied to EIL before the 1st March 2016. 
  • All money unspent must be returned to EIL for redistribution to future projects.
  • Grant winners must submit a report on their project by the 1st March 2016. Where possible this should include photos, videos or other media documenting your action or event. These photos and videos may be used for EIL for further promotional use.
  • Unsuccessful applicants may request feedback from the judges as to why their application was not successful and how it could be modified for any subsequent submission.
  • Once selected, applicants will be required to provide more detailed information on the planning and implementation of their project.


  1. Who can apply?
    All returned volunteers who have a passion to promote development issues and/or who are part of the EIL Network.
  2. What age do I have to be to apply?
    There is no age limit. If you are under 18, please include a reference on your application form from your parent or guardian.
  3. When is the closing date?
    The deadline for submission of the project application forms is now closed. The projects must be completed by 17th of April, 2015.
  4. Who will decide if I’m picked?
    A panel of judges made up of Development Education Committee members, EIL staff, and returned volunteers will assess the applications.
  5. When will I hear if I’ve been picked?
    Winners will be notified by the by 24th of April
  6. Is there anybody in EIL who can help me with my application?
    For details on the application process or any other enquiries, you can contact info@eilireland.org. The Development Education Committee members can also answer any further questions you may have. EIL Development Education staff can provide you with their contact details.
  7. Is there anybody who can help me implement my project?
    We encourage you to utilize your own resources in the planning and implementation of your project. Each award winner will also be directed toward a mentor to help and advise on your project. However, if you require additional support, the Development Education staff is there to offer guidance and advice.
  8. Can we apply as a group?
    Yes. We encourage groups to apply, but will require one member of the group to act as a point of contact for EIL and to take overall responsibility for the project. Please be sure to complete the group application form.
  9. If my application is unsuccessful the first time, can I reapply?
    Of course! The judging panel will give you feedback on your first application and taking this into consideration we would encourage you to re-apply subsequently.
  10. I was a volunteer abroad with another organization but would like to apply for an EIL Seed Fund micro grant, am I eligible?
    If you have volunteered with another organisation previously, we also encourage you to apply. However, please ensure that your proposed project is relevant to the work of EIL and its partner organisations.
  11. Do I have to spend the maximum amount (€100 for individual projects and €200 for group projects)?
    No. The objective of the Seed Fund Micro Grant scheme is to award funds to projects of all sizes and costs up to the maximum amount.

Joe Costello
Joe Costello TD Minister for Trade and Development

" I am encouraged to read about the EIL Programme, particularly with its enphasis on linking volunteering with engagement in development education through the Seed Fund Micro Grant Scheme. I strongly endorse the importance of volunteerism in strenghtening ties between communities in Ireland and developing world. Equally, volunteers returning home have a valuable role in engaging on development and social justice issues, and your initiative in this area is welcome. I would like to encourage young people to volunteer and to be advocates for global justice. Through participating in the EIL Programme and sharing your learning experiences afterwards, you can enrich the lives of others here in Ireland"

Joe Costello, Minister of State, November 2012


"....Your organisation has had a long engagement with Irish Aid in its development education work... Irish Aid recognises the Seed Fund Micro Grant Scheme initiative as having the potential to ensure that the experience of short term volunteering has benefits beyond individuals through development education awareness activities. I would like to take this opportunity to wish you the best of luck on your development education programme and congratulations on the strong interest and commitment that the EIL members and volunteers continue to show in respect of issues facing those living in developing world."

Jan O'Sullivan, Minister of State, October 2011