Anniversary ceremony to celebrate ten years of student volunteering at NUIG
By Sinead Farrell
This is the 10th year of the student volunteering programme in NUIG and to celebrate that decade of civic engagement in the institution, a special anniversary certificate ceremony has been scheduled for Wednesday March 27 in the college. Clare hurling All-Star Tony Griffin, author and co-founder of Soar Foundation, is the selected guest speaker and Galway City Mayor Councillor Terry O’Flaherty will also be in attendance.
Mr Griffin will document his inspiring jpurney across Canada which garnered €1 million in donations in aid of cancer research and self-esteem and confidence programmes in schools across Ireland.
The ALIVE programme was the first third level volunteering programme in Ireland and its success has been emulated by other third-level institutes across the country. ALIVE - A Learning Initiative and the Volunteering Experience – was established by the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) at NUI Galway to harness, acknowledge, and support the contribution of the volunteering students to the public. Collectively 6,000 NUI Galway students have given 240,000 hours of voluntary activity over 10 years, and the financial contributions to the local economy came to an estimated amount of €2 million. In addition, students have directly raised more than €2 million for a range of charitable causes and community organisations.
In 2012 - 2013 alone, 1,000 students volunteered with Ballinfoyle Youth Development Project, Brothers of Charity, Galway Simon Community, Belarussian Orphanage Project, School Completion Programme Eastside, and Music for Galway. Students also made valuable contributions to enhancing their fellow students’ experiences though peer mentoring, sporting, cultural, and artistic programmes through student led clubs and societies.
NUI Galway president, Dr Jim Browne, said: “The ALIVE programme has been an innovative force in Irish higher education and has been emulated by a range of educational institutions.”
Lorraine Tansey, ALIVE volunteer programme coordinator, said: “Our community partners co-educate our students who seek to volunteer to gain experience and learn new skills while gaining confidence in the vital role they play as citizens with something to give back to society.”