Over 600 NUI Galway Students Commended for Volunteering

Monday, 30 March 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge) Over six hundred students at NUI Galway were awarded the ALIVE Certificate for Volunteering during a special ceremony on campus today (Monday, 30 March, 2009). The certificate recognises students' volunteering efforts during the academic year, and aims to reinforce the spirit of civic engagement among NUI Galway students. Over 2,300 students have received the certificate since its inception six years ago, with many ALIVE alumni moving into professional positions in major non-governmental organisations, at home and abroad. The ALIVE Programme - A Learning Initiative and the Volunteering Experience - was established in 2003 by NUI Galway to harness, acknowledge and support the contribution that its students make by volunteering. It is the first ever student volunteer programme to be embedded within an institution of higher education in Ireland and serves as a national model which other institutions look to for advice and support. The ALIVE programme draws on a strong tradition of student engagement both on and off campus and assists students who wish to actively volunteer while developing tangible and transferable skills alongside practical volunteering experiences. NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne, says: "Our University has always been close to community. We are in the middle of a city and we're in the middle of a very rich environment, both culturally and socially. That is something our students can benefit greatly from. It's a two-way street, the students give back to community but they get back much, much more in terms of learning from the experience and in terms of their own personal development". During his visit to NUI Galway earlier this year, the Noble Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu was enthused by the spirit of volunteering at NUI Galway, describing the ALIVE programme as 'fantastic'. Throughout the year NUI Galway students have given thousands of volunteer hours to community, from working with children in homework clubs, to building homes in Honduras, to working at the annual Teddy Bear Hospital. Among the 120 non-governmental organisations supporting the ALIVE programme are Ability West, Foróige, Childline, Galway Rape Crisis Centre, Big Brother Big Sister, Galway Hospice, ISPCC, Amnesty International, Enable Ireland and Special Olympics Ireland.
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(View in English) Bronnadh Teastas ALIVE as Obair Dheonach ar bhreis agus sé chéad mac léinn in OÉ Gaillimh ag searmanas speisialta ar an gcampas inniu (Dé Luain, 30 Márta 2009). Tugann an teastas aitheantas d'iarrachtaí na mac léinn agus iad ag gabháil d'obair dheonach i rith na bliana acadúla, agus tá sé mar aidhm aige spiorad an chomhpháirteachais phoiblí a athneartú i measc mhic léinn OÉ Gaillimh. Tá an teastas faighte ag 2,300 mac léinn ó bunaíodh an scéim sé bliana ó shin, agus tá go leor alumni de chuid ALIVE tar éis poist ghairmiúla a fháil in eagraíochtaí móra neamhrialtasacha sa bhaile agus thar lear. Bhunaigh OÉ Gaillimh Clár ALIVE – Tionscnamh Foghlama agus Taithí ar Obair Dheonach – in 2003 chun úsáid níos fearr a bhaint as an obair dheonach atá ar bun ag mic léinn, agus chun aitheantas agus tacaíocht a thabhairt don obair sin. Is é an chéad chlár deonach mac léinn é atá lonnaithe in institiúid ardoideachais in Éirinn agus is samhail náisiúnta é a mbíonn institiúidí eile ag tarraingt air le comhairle agus tacaíocht a fháil. Tá clár ALIVE bunaithe ar an traidisiún láidir comhpháirteachais i measc mac léinn ar an gcampas agus taobh amuigh de agus cabhraíonn sé le mic léinn ar mian leo obair dheonach a dhéanamh agus scileanna inláimhsithe agus so-aistrithe a fhoghlaim agus tugann sé taithí phraiticiúil dóibh ar obair dheonach. Dúirt an Dr James Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh: "Bhí gaol gairid i gcónaí idir an Ollscoil agus an pobal. Táimid i lár cathrach agus táimid i lár ceantair atá an-saibhir, go cultúrtha agus go sóisialta. Baineann ár gcuid mac léinn an-tairbhe as sin. Bíonn tairbhe le baint ag an dá thaobh as. Cuidíonn na mic léinn leis an bpobal ach faigheann siad a dheich n-oiread ar ais ó thaobh taithí de agus ón bhforbairt a dhéanann siad go pearsanta." Le linn a chuairte ar OÉ Gaillimh níos túisce i mbliana, bhí buaiteoir Dhuais Síochána Nobel, an tArdeaspag Desmond Tutu, an-tógtha leis an mbéim atá ar obair dheonach in OÉ Gaillimh agus dúirt sé go raibh clár ALIVE 'sármhaith'. Tá na mílte uaireanta deonacha tugtha ag mic léinn OÉ Gaillimh don phobal le bliain anuas; d'oibrigh siad le páistí i gclubanna obair bhaile, thóg siad tithe i Hondúras agus d'eagraigh siad Otharlann na mBéiríní a reáchtáiltear gach bliain. I measc an 120 eagraíocht neamhrialtais a thacaíonn le clár ALIVE tá Ability West, Foróige, Childline, Galway Rape Crisis Centre, Big Brother Big Sister, Ospís na Gaillimhe, ISPCC, Amnesty International, Enable Ireland agus Cluichí Oilimpeacha Speisialta na hÉireann.
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