The Global Citizen Award is a personal development award that enables returned volunteers to share their overseas volunteering experiences and help raise awareness of global issues in Ireland by taking what they have experienced overseas and continue to make a difference to global justice issues at home.

Who are we

Returned Overseas Volunteers from our 21  partner VSAs ; Adi Roche’s Chernobyl Children, Agape Adventures, AIESEC Ireland, Alive, Ashirbad, Development Perspectives, Draíocht, EIL Intercultural Learning, Friends of Liondiani, Global Schoolroom, Habitat for Humanity Ireland, Habitat for Humanity North Ireland, Nurture Africa, Suas, Viatores Christi, VLM, VMM, Serve, Tearfund Ireland and UCD Volunteers Overseas.

What we did and what’s involved

The Global Citizen Award is a personal development award that enables participants to share overseas volunteering experiences and help raise awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals and global issues in Ireland. The Award is free and open to all returned international volunteers. It offers you an opportunity to take what you have experienced overseas and continue to make a difference to global justice issues right here at home.

The Global Citizen Award was piloted in 2012 and is now in it’s fourth year – with increasing numbers year on year. Volunteers complete their GCA Journey within a year of registration. Through Action projects and published articles, returned volunteers become development education multipliers.

The Global Citizen Award provides:

  • a structure to explain and share volunteering stories and memories with others here at home.
  • the opportunity to inspire others and educate communities on the global issues witnessed.
  • an opportunity to continue volunteer journeys and keep volunteering experiences alive.
  • the chance to develop additional skills and gain new personal achievements, recognised at a National Award Ceremony.

Did we succeed?

In a short time the Global Citizen Award has gone beyond a concept and has developed into a programme in its own right with a potential for great growth.

The Global Citizen Award set about to create a structure through which returned international volunteers can explain and share their stories and memories with communities in Ireland.  It has succeeded in giving returned international volunteers the chance to inspire others and educate their community on the global issues they witnessed.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a very effective framework for returned volunteers to focus their awareness raising activities. We’ve learned that there is an opportunity to further develop the links between the SDGs and the Global Citizen Award.

The Global Citizen Award succeeded in raising awareness of  the Sustainable Development Goals, how global issues impact on specific communities in Ireland and abroad and increased knowledge of education perspectives and methodologies.

How we track progress

An independent external evaluation of the Awards was undertaken in November, 2016. Participants of the GCA are also required to submit reports on their actions and volunteering reflections.

More information

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