A Supportive Environment

  • Waterford student, Brian Hughes, prepared for his 8 week trip to Ghana

Before you go

From your first contact with EIL you will be dealing with knowledgeable staff who will answer your questions and who will be happy to put you in touch with past volunteers. You will receive a pre-depature handbook specific to the country you will visit, covering everything from practical advice on transport, living conditions and communications, to cultural and adaptation issues, as well as packing lists and information on the local climate and history. You will be invited to participate in a pre-departure workshop - a lively event offering you the opportunity to meet with other volunteers and to learn about the challenges you might face during your time in the field.

In the Field

Before your arrival, local staff will have organised your volunteer placement with a local project. Upon your arrival, you will be picked up at the airport and brought to your accommodation. You will then take part in an arrival orientation programme to familiarise yourself with your host country and your role as a volunteer. The orientation will also provide you with necessary safety and medical advice, and will introduce you to your volunteer project. Throughout your stay, the in-country staff will be there to support you. On the project, a mentor will follow your volunteer work on a day-to-day basis. If you are on a homestay programme, your host family will also be a great source of support throughout your programme.

Back Home

On return to Ireland, you will be invited to participate in a debrief workshop. We will also encourage and support you to follow up on your experience abroad by getting involved with EIL and taking action in your own community. You can also become an advocate on behalf of the people in the community where you worked. It is surprising the ways in which you can continue to make a difference back home!