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  • United Nations
  • Volunteering

Irish people have a long and proud tradition of volunteering overseas. This tradition stems from the solidarity people in Ireland have with those in greatest need around the world.

Volunteers from Ireland have made hugely positive contributions to communities globally. There are many ways in which you can contribute as a volunteer.

How to volunteer

Irish Aid supports the deployment of Irish volunteers through UN and EU programmes.

We also have a dedicated Rapid Response Corps to respond quickly when disasters strike overseas.

For information on other overseas volunteering opportunities, visit our strategic partner Comhlámh’s website

Please pay particular note to the Comhlámh code of good practice for responsible international volunteering.

UN Volunteering

Hundreds of Irish people have volunteered with the United Nations over the past few years. They have worked with UN agencies or on humanitarian response and peacekeeping missions.

The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) is the United Nations organisation that promotes volunteerism. UNV regularly calls for applications. The last call for volunteers expired in July 2023. Keep an eye on this page for future opportunities.

The UN Youth Volunteer programme encourages youth participation in sustainable development. It gives young people the chance to volunteer in UN agencies for a period of 12 months.

Meet some of the United Nations volunteers

Peter Bradbury

Ciara Patterson

Rowsheen Chaar

Watch Ellen speak about her experience with UNV:

Volunteer in the fight against global poverty and hunger

I-VOL, the National Volunteering Database, has been expanded to include comprehensive information on responsible skills-based volunteering opportunities overseas.

Signatories of Comhlámh’s Code of Good Practice are at the forefront, providing values-led, solidarity-based placements on international volunteering programmes.

See below for other opportunities to get involved.

EU Volunteering

EU Aid Volunteers have been deployed around the world since 2015. The EU Aid Volunteers initiative is open to newcomers and experienced professional volunteers. It was established by the European Community Humanitarian Office.

There are opportunities to volunteer in non-conflict locations where humanitarian crises are ongoing.

Ireland’s Rapid Response Corps

We deploy highly-skilled and experienced people from our Rapid Response Corps roster to work as Ireland’s UN Stand-by partners as part of their humanitarian and emergency response efforts.

Visit our Rapid Response Corps page for further information.

Volunteer in Ireland

You do not have to go overseas to make a difference. Through agencies in Ireland you can lend your skills online to overseas projects. There are many opportunities with UN and EU volunteering programmes.

Volunteers are also needed here in Ireland. There are a wide range of opportunities to suit your individual skills, interests and availability.

Volunteer Ireland is the National Volunteer Development Agency. It is an independent membership-based organisation that promotes and facilitates volunteering in Ireland.

Volunteer Ireland works to promote and celebrate volunteering in Ireland through campaigns such as National Volunteering Week and the Volunteer Ireland Awards.

It also runs volunteer centres nationwide to offer advice and support.


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