NUI Galway celebrates 10 years of Student Volunteering through the ALIVE Volunteer Programme with 7,000 students haveing participated in the programme.
A significant milestone in volunteering in Ireland has been reached in 2013. NUI Galway's student volunteering programme celebrates ten years of promoting civic engagement at third-level. The ALIVE programme was the first of its kind in Ireland and its success has been emulated by other third-level institutes across the country.
Pat McGrath, RTÉ's Western Correspondent attended our tenth birthday celebrations at NUI Galway.
ALIVE - A Learning Initiative and the Volunteering Experience - was established by the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) at NUI Galway to harness, acknowledge and support the contribution the University students make to Galway by volunteering. Collectively 6,000 NUI Galway students have given 240,000 hours of voluntary activity over ten years with a contribution to the local economy to be estimated at a €2 million. In addition, students have directly raised over €2 million for a range of charitable causes and community organisations.
Tony Griffin, GAA All-Star, author, and founder of Soar Foundation will be guest speaker at anniversary Certificate Ceremony, on Wednesday, 27 March at NUI Galway. Tony will discuss his inspiring journey across Canada on a bike which raised €1 million for cancer research and the building of self-esteem and confidence programmes in schools across Ireland.
Galway City Mayor Councillor, Terry O' Flaherty, will also attend the ceremony to acknowledge this year's student volunteers and commemorate the tenth anniversary, which celebrates 6,000 student recipients of the award.
In 2012-2013 alone, 1,000 students volunteered with Ballinfoyle Youth Development Project, Brothers of Charity, Galway Simon Community, Belarussian Orphanage Project, School Completion Programme Eastside and Music for Galway to mention a few. Students also made valuable contributions to enhancing their fellow student's experiences though peer mentoring, sporting, cultural and artistic programmes through student led clubs and societies.
NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne, said: "The ALIVE programme has been an innovative force in Irish higher education and has been emulated by a range of educational institutions."
Lorraine Tansey, ALIVE Volunteer Programme Coordinator,said: "Our community partners co-educate our students who seek to volunteer to gain experience and learn new skills while gaining confidence in the vital role they play as citizens with something to give back to society."