Why Volunteer with EIL?

An Irish Based Organisation

EIL Intercultural Learning is a well established, Irish based organisation. Over the years we have built strong links with various communities, not for profit organisations and youth groups all over the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. At a national level, EIL is working together with Comhlamh and other volunteer sending organisations to identify and spread best possible practice. EIL is a signatory of the Comhlamh Code of Good Practice for Volunteer Sending Organisations and has been assessed by Comhlamh as reaching the Comprehensive Compliance status which is the highest award for quality responsible volunteering programmes available to Irish international volunteer sending agencies.. EIL is also an active member of the National Youth Council of Ireland and has developed guidelines on the ethical use of images and messages.

Worldwide Recognition

EIL was first established in 1932 and is the oldest educational exchange organisation in the world. In 1989 the EIL International Federation was designated as a Peace Messenger Organisation by The Secretary General of the United Nations in recognition of its work. The EIL Network also has consultative Status at the Council of Europe and at The Economic and Social Council of The United Nations.

A Not For Profit Organisation Lead by Former Participants

EIL is a not for profit organisation and is not owned by anybody or any group of people. There are no shareholders or annual dividends or profits to be paid to any individual or group of individuals. EIL invests any surpluses back in to its work through scholarships, subsidies and travel awards which allow young people from disadvantaged backgrounds participate in intercultural and volunteer programmes.. EIL is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors all of whom are former participants and all of whom receive no payments or fees for their work. The Board monitors and supervises a full time staff based in Cork who are responsible for the day to day operations of the organisation.

Supporting Local Initiatives

EIL is committed to helping make a difference to local initiatives around the world. We believe local people know what is needed and what is appropriate for their own communities. Our vision is one of volunteers working alongside local people, sharing skills and energies and turning the plans and dreams of local communities in to reality.

Safety: the First Priority

EIL's first priority is safety. As an international organization we have 75 years experience of successful placements in other countries. EIL only places volunteers in countries where we have a sister office with coordinators embedded in local communities who can provide participants with grassroots support and monitor and react to safety issues on the ground. Staff members in the field have years of experience in supporting international volunteers and in assessing and mitigating risks. A 24-hour/7-day emergency support system is in place to handle any urgent situations or crises. EIL has also developed a thorough set of policies, procedures and guidelines related to Child Protection, Risk Assessment and Crisis Management, Equality and Inclusiveness. This ensures that every participant is having a safe volunteer experience.

Experienced In-Country Staff

EIL believes a successful international volunteer programme requires a capable and dedicated staff in the country you will visit as well as in Ireland. Staff members in the field are highly qualified professionals, with years of experience in intercultural exchanges and in supporting international volunteers. They work all year round to ensure that you are provided with support and guidance throughout your volunteer experience. Staff members are from the region in which our programmes operate and have a deep knowledge and understanding of the local communities and their needs.

Flexible programmes

Our extended worldwide network allows us to offer a large variety of volunteer programmes which suit most needs: placements are available in 18 different countries, from 3 weeks to 11 months, with start dates all year-round. You can chose from a wide variety of projects in either rural or urban settings. You can apply as an individual and join a other international volunteers or go with your own group.