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Minister for Trade and Development praises the work of volunteers

Volunteering, News/feature, Ireland, 2012

Minister of State for Trade and Development, Joe Costello, T.D., today praised the contribution of volunteers in fostering global peace and development and acknowledged the importance of volunteerism in strengthening ties between communities in Ireland and the developing world.

Minister Costello underlined the importance of enhancing opportunities for international volunteering:

“I believe that there is scope to enhance opportunities for volunteering.  Retired people, people with disabilities, the unemployed and members of the diaspora living in Ireland are amongst the possible sources of untapped potential.”

Speaking ahead of his address this evening to the VSO Federation Council Dinner, Minister Costello pointed out that greater use of information technology could expand the scope of volunteering opportunities and facilitate better matching of skilled volunteers to opportunities:

“New forms of volunteering such as on-line volunteering can be used to facilitate the inclusion of volunteers who have skills to offer but are not in a position to travel to developing countries.”

The Minister praised the achievements of Irish volunteers overseas and urged all development actors to work together to provide a positive environment for volunteerism.  He stated:

“We know that international volunteering from Ireland has made a significant difference to long term development efforts and emergency humanitarian action.  This is work that we can all be proud of and it is essential work which must continue.  Working together, the Government, partner countries, NGOs and multilateral organisations can play a vital role in providing a nurturing environment where volunteerism can flourish.”
Press Office
28 June 2012
Notes to the Editor
•        Irish Aid is the Government’s official development assistance programme.  It is managed by the Development Cooperation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
•         The Minister for Trade and Development will address the VSO Federation Council Dinner this evening.
•         In 2012, Irish Aid will provide over €530,000 to VSO for development programmes which incorporate volunteering.