Stories

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Hope in Latin America’s Largest Red Light DistrictThey sit, waiting. The fluorescent light from the grubby hotel door lights up their faces. Their beady eyes alert, surveying every woman and girl who comes out of the hotel. Apparently, some are waiting to see their favourite. Others don’t have enough money to pay for sex, so […]

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Climate Action

Climate action I have had the privilege of meeting so many wonderful and amazing people during my time in Vietnam. The Vietnamese volunteers I work with are so friendly and always make time to answer any questions that I have. They also love to listen to my stories of home and how our cultures differ […]

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Reduced inequalities

Reduced inequalitiesI got to explore another part of the Vietnamese culture today, something that I thought was almost taboo. A centre for people with special needs. My reasons for thinking that having special needs here was taboo, was firmly based on other international volunteers experience in various special needs centres based in Hanoi. I stay […]

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Gender equality

Gender equality We may be faceless and unrecognisable to you but we are warriors. You may pass us on the street but we take no heed. We face the world proudly each day and battle our way for greater things. To be seen as equal to you is all we ask.We may look different but […]

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Quality educationI have worked with Ms Nga for almost 8 weeks now and she still manages to amaze me. Even though she is the coordinator of my project, I say work with rather than for, because that is the type of lady she is. She is respected by both international and Vietnamese volunteers because she […]

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Education for all

Education for all ‘Education is education. We should learn everything and then choose which path to follow.Education is neither Eastern nor Western, it is human’- Malala YousafzaiIt wasn’t until I spent four weeks in the small village of Ruaha in Tanzania as part of UCDVO that I began to understand the true meaning of the […]

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Tackling Inequality

Tackling Inequality“Our aim is clear. Our mission is possible. And our destination is in our sights: an end to extremepoverty by 2030; a life of peace and dignity for all,” (Ban Ki-moon, 2015)The senior UN official stated in 2016 that the Sustainable Development Goals must be owned by everyone, yet do we know enough about […]

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Delayed Reflection – Assessing the longer-term impact of intercultural learning

Delayed Reflection – Assessing the longer-term impact of intercultural learningIt’s now been almost three years since I first arrived in Chiang Mai in Thailand for an eight week internship with MPlus+, an organization working for LGBT health and HIV prevention in the region. The experience was undoubtedly enriching and eye opening, and following it I […]

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HIV – An update

HIV – An update Three years ago I undertook an internship with MPlus+, an NGO working on HIV prevention in Chiang Mai. The experience taught me a huge amount about the value of intercultural learning, particularly how an understanding of local culture is vital to successfully promoting good health.  It also taught me much me […]

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The positive feedback loop – how volunteering abroad can inspire active citizenship at home

The positive feedback loop – how volunteering abroad can inspire active citizenship at homeRecently, I was at a talk in Dublin by Dr Matt Baillie Smith on ‘Thinking Differently about International Volunteering’, which considered the longer term impact of volunteering abroad, something which can often be neglected by the media. One point that resonated with […]

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