We are proud to introduce our first Learning Service Ambassador! Damien has always been interested in volunteering abroad and like us, felt there was something missing: a focus on learning about a community before serving them.
“I went to India when I was 16 with my Indian friend and his family and I realized how much I actually had to learn before I could really help,” Damien told us.
He has since been involved with EIL Ireland, a nonprofit organization providing intercultural learning opportunities through study and volunteer abroad activities.
“They have been a fantastic organization, opening my eyes to how we can really understand poverty and international development,” Damien explained.
Currently, Damien is the president of Trinity College Dublin’s Amnesty International society and is a part of EIL Ireland’s Development Education team, which educates the public about global and local issues and encourages global citizenship.
As a Learning Service Ambassador Damien hopes to promote the “learning” lifestyle.
“I think the whole system and way of thinking about volunteering abroad needs to change. At the moment it is not encouraging sustainable development. I would really like to get involved in putting it back on track – to empower communities, to get people learning and make sure there is sustainability and accountability.”
Want to learn more about Damien and the amazing work he is doing? Check out his blog post on Comhlámh, an organization dedicated to fostering good practice and critical engagement in volunteering and action for development.
If you are interested in joining Damien and the Learning Service Ambassador team, fill out this short application.