In 2012, EIL Ireland introduced the EIL Seed Fund to empower volunteers–after their time abroad. “The power of volunteering doesn’t end when participants return home,” states EIL Ireland, “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.”
The EIL Seed Fund helps returning volunteers do just that. Award winning applicants are supplied with funding, guidance and support to act on their experience abroad with their own awareness-raising projects. This initiative was applauded by Ireland’s Minister of State: “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.”
EIL volunteers Emily Price and Amy Bunce, who volunteered in Guatemala, are the 2012 Seed Fund award winners. They will launch an exhibition of paintings exploring global women’s empowerment in early April. Some of the work exhibited was created during a series of workshops which focused on gender equality and women’s empowerment which was the focus of their time in Guatemala.
The exhibition will run from the 4th-18th of April in the Irish Aid Volunteer and Information Centre in Dublin.
EIL Ireland is an Irish “not for profit” organisation which provides intercultural learning opportunities through study abroad, volunteer abroad, language training, travel awards, group educational programmes, and other cultural immersion activities for about 2,000 people each year. EIL was first introduced to Ireland in 1960 and has operated a full time office in Cork since 1989. Since then over 30,000 people have taken part in EIL travel and learning opportunities in and out of Ireland–enriching lives and inspiring global citizenship.