NUI Galway Volunteers Travel to Estonia to Work on Rural Development Project

Monday, 14 May 2007

Pictured at the statue of Estonian writer Eduard Wilde on William Street in Galway City is NUI Galway student Ann Browne from Lifford, Co. Donegal and Marie Conlon, Ballinode, Co. Sligo. The students are preparing to travel to Estonia as part of a team of student volunteers to work with a rural development project.

Twenty NUI Galway students will travel to Tarfu County, Estonia on Sunday, May 21, 2007 to volunteer with a rural community development scheme. For two weeks, the students will work alongside volunteers from the local area to renovate a community centre, build playgrounds and create forest trails. This is the second consecutive year students from NUI Galway will volunteer in Estonia.

The project is part of the President's Award which encourages young people between the ages of 15 and 25 years to set themselves a challenge. Training and support for the Estonia trip is being provided by NUI Galway's volunteering programme ALIVE. As part of the preparation and support structure, sessions are under way on team building, communication and health & safety.

Lorraine Tansey, Volunteer Co-ordinator for NUI Galway's ALIVE programme, who is also volunteering for the Estonia project, commented, "ALIVE is all about creating an ethos of volunteering in local communities at home and abroad. Increasing numbers of students are using their summer holidays to volunteer. The trip to Estonia is just one of many examples".

She continued, "We are prepared for some hard physical labour. The accommodation will involve bunking down in the community hall in our sleeping bags. Nonetheless, there is huge excitement and anticipation among the Irish team. We know along with the hard work will come the opportunity to get to know the local community in Estonia. We will also have a huge sense of satisfaction at the end of the two weeks."

NUI Galway students interested in volunteering in Ireland or abroad can contact the ALIVE programme at studentvolunteering@nuigalway.ie. For more information about the President's award, visit www.p-award.net.

ENDS

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