EIL seed fund micro grant scheme
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 developing countries.
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
We're delighted to announce that the 2013 Seed Fund grants have now been awarded!
Our congratulations to volunteer groups from Development Perspectives, EIL Intercultural Learning, Engineers Without Borders Ireland and to Jenny Gannon from Friends of Londiani. The funded projects focus on arts participation, the environment, gender equality, youth work and professional responsibility and development. You can keep an eye on this page for further updates on how these four projects develop over the next three months!
- Make a presentation to a local school, University or community group
- Facilitate a workshop or public action
- Host a photo exhibition or guest speaker
- Create a video, radio programme, magazine, or drama
Why the seed fund?
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 €350, 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!
How to apply
2012 application process is now closed. Keep an eye on this page for updates on Seed Fund grants in 2013.
- Applicants must use the application form supplied.
- Application deadlines are as follows:
- Deadline for submission of proposals: December 2nd, 2012
- Projects must be completed by: April 10th, 2013
- Receipts of expenditure must be supplied to EIL before the 20th of April 2013.
- All money unspent must be returned to EIL for redistribution to future projects.
- All projects must be relevant to at least one of the UN Millennium Development Goals. To find out more about the individual MDGs, click here.
- Grant winners must submit a report on their project by the 20th of April. 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, you will be required to provide more detailed information on the planning and implementation of your project.
- Who can apply?
All returned volunteers who have a passion to promote development issues and/or who are part of the EIL Network.
- 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.
- When is the closing date?
The deadline for submission of the project application forms is December 2nd, 2012. The projects must be completed by April 10th, 2013.
- 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.
- When will I hear if I’ve been picked?
Winners will be notified in January 2013.
- 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 EIL Development Education staff – Niamh at email@example.com. 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.
- 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. Where possible each award winner will also be directed toward a member of the Development Education Committee who can act as 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Do I have to spend the maximum amount (€250 for individual projects and €350 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.
Words from Minister Costello
" 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
Four projects were selected under this scheme in January 2012: Photo-exhibition focussing on Tanzania and Uganda - Paul Mckewon; Penpal project between a school in Capetown South Africa and one in Tarbert, co. Kerry - Aileen Cooper; Workshop with children and parents to learn about Zambian culture, traditions, life - Marie Kennedy; Photo Exhibition focussing on Kenya - Malachy Harty
Aileen visited Tarbert National School, Tarbert, Co. Kerry on several occasions giving an educational presentation about her experience in South Africa and some background information on South Africa and then a refresher on this when she returned. She also displayed photos of South Africa and handed them around and played a South African music cd for the class. She worked with students in 3rd and 4th class (and later 5th and 6th class) in Kerry who then wrote letters to students in Sunnyside Primary School, Crawford, Capetown and they wrote back. On her most recent visit to Tarbert National School, they made a recording of music and students said hello to their penpal and Aileen will send this on a cd to the teacher in South Africa, to play for her students. The students in South Africa plan to do a recording also. At present the Irish students are waiting on letters back from South Africa. As many of the students are moving on to secondary school next year, Aileen will not be able to co-ordinate all of the letters and so she sent out a disclaimer to parents, asking if they want her to pass on their children’s addresses to the students in South Africa so they can write back directly.
Children in schools in Kerry and Capetown were able to connect with a child their own age in another country and learn about that other country. It encouraged literacy through letter writing. It initiated curiousity and interest in another country. It is hoped the students will continue to write to their penpals directly and make a long-term connection with their penpal.
First photo exhibition took place on 9th April in Omeath village in Co. Louth. The 9th of April was Easter Monday so this increased the amount of people who saw the exhibit as Omeath generally attracts a bit of a crowd during long weekends.
After the exhibition, Paul said: 'It was a great success with 40 people attending the exhibition in the 7 hour period. It might not seem like many but in a village of 450 people, that's good going. Some people came from as far as Dundalk and Drogheda and two ladies even came from as far as Dublin especially to see it.'
Paul gave a radio interview about his exhibition on Friday, 6 April at 10.20 on Louth Internet Radio which you can listen to here. And another one about EIL, among other things, on Friday 13 April at 11am on Louth Internet Radio which you can listen to here.
The second exhibit was in the library in Dundalk IT for four weeks starting from Monday 16th of April. It was advertised on the DKIT website and in the newsletter. 'Getting to visit the countries of Tanzania and Uganda was a great privilege and although these countries are often portrayed as been economically poor, I found them to be very rich in culture, community spirit and initiative, something we in Ireland have forgotten. This is something I hope to portray in this exhibition and everyone is very welcome to come and see it' - said Paul.
The workshop took place on Saturday 14th April from 10am-1pm in College Arms, Cahersiveen, Co. Kerry. It was open to children aged between 8-12 years old. In total 16 children attended. The workshop sought to engage children in a creative and interactive way on development issues. A simple ice-breaker was done to introduce children to each other and to create a nice, relaxed atmosphere. Activities aimed to get children to reflect on the wider world, in particular problems faced by developing countries and life for children in Africa. Activities included ‘Living on 0.85 cent’ and ‘Build a toy’. Children worked in pairs to negotiate what they could purchase for 85 cent in the local supermarket. This opened the way for a discussion on the 20% of the world’s population who live on $1 a day.
For ‘Build a Toy’, children were provided with the following plastic bags, bottles, bottles caps, wire, fish netting, string, and paper. Using any of the materials provided children could create a toy or game. Following their own creations, children were shown photos of children from Kaoma in Western Zambia with the toys and games they had created utilizing the same materials. The children seemed to really enjoy the activities and it opened up a discussion in which the children could develop a greater awareness and understanding of life for children in Zambia.
The workshop increased children’s knowledge and awareness on development issues. Children gained a better understanding of the similarities and differences between their lives and life for children in Western Zambia. And lastly, children had the opportunity to mix and socialize with children from different schools and areas.
'Waiting for Rain', an exhibition of photographs, was on display at the Irish Aid Information and Volunteering Centre, O'Connell Street, Dublin, during the month of April. Photographer, Malachy Harty, presented images of daily life in urban and rural Kenya during the 2011 Horn of Africa Famine. Justin Kilcullen, Director of Trócaire, officially opened the exhibition on Tuesday 3rd April from 6 - 7pm.
After the opening Malachy wrote on his blog: 'Many thanks to all who braved the bitter rain and snow showers to attend the official launch of Waiting for Rain at the Irish Aid Volunteering and Information Centre in Dublin. It was fascinating to hear Justin Kilcullen, Director of Trócaire, talk about the problems of erratic rainfall and climate change for poor smallholder farmers and slum dwellers.' Read more here.
Quotes from the comments book: "highly thought provoking”, “excellent and informative exhibition", "I saw your beautiful photos in Volunteer Ireland centre in O'Connell, I was moved to tears, keep up the good work".
'Waiting for Rain' will be on display in Midleton Library until July 14th, 2012.