Minister of State for Overseas Development welcomes volunteering programme for parliamentarians
Minister of State for Overseas Development, Peter Power TD will meet today with four members of the Oireachtas (Deputy Chris Andrews, Senator Mark Daly, Senator Dominic Hannigan and Deputy Leo Varadkar) and Carmel Hanna MLA who are taking part in an overseas volunteering programme run by VSO.
Speaking ahead of the meeting, Minister Power said:
“There is huge interest in volunteering for overseas development. Over 14,000 people have visited the Irish Aid Volunteering and Information Centre since it opened in January.
I am delighted to see my fellow parliamentarians giving their time and skills to support less developed countries. The more parliamentarians experience the realities and complexity of the development challenge, the greater their understanding and insight into the development agenda. I look forward to hearing from them on their return and hope that this volunteering experience will further deepen their commitment to overseas development and the work of Irish Aid.”
This is the first time a volunteering programme has been run just
for parliamentarians. The initiative has been taken to mark the
50th anniversary of VSO. The parliamentarians will help build the
advocacy skills of VSO partners in a variety of sectors including,
health, governance and HIV and AIDS. The assignments are in
countries such as Gambia, Namibia and Zambia and are for two to
three weeks in August.
Notes to the Editor:
Irish Aid has a long standing partnership with VSO Ireland and has recently agreed a commitment of €3,790,000 over the next three years (2008 to 2010) to VSO Ireland in support of their development work in some of the world’s poorest countries.
VSO send experienced professionals from the areas of management, education, and health. The average placement is for two years with a third of volunteers over fifty. VSO Ireland volunteers are present in many of the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia.
While planning is in the final stages, the following assignments
Chris Andrews T.D. (FF) – Gambia,
Sen. Mark Daly (FF) – Zambia,
Sen. Dominic Hannigan (Lab) TBA,
Seán Sherlock T.D. (Lab.) - Namibia,
Leo Varadkar T.D. (FG) - TBA
Carmel Hanna M.L.A.(SDLP) - Namibia
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