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The UCD Volunteers Overseas (‘’UCDVO’’) society encourages UCD students, staff and alumni to raise awareness and fundraise for a multitude of causes. UCDVO is not similar to any of the other societies you will find on campus, which makes it a worthy one to highlight. The group partakes in environmental, educational, healthcare and development programmes in the aim of positively impacting societies. Not a bad mantra to have if you ask us! 

UCDVO is most famous on campus for its ‘’Projects Overseas’’ initiative, where students go to India, Tanzania or Uganda for one month and assist local NGOs. Prior to this, students will participate in activities in UCD to prepare them for the upcoming projects. These include team-building workshops, study sessions on topical societal issues and development education and fundraising events. This is all to ensure that those who go abroad are adequately equipped to contribute efficiently to the local NGOs.  

Participants can expect to provide genuine value to educational, health and general community  development, all whilst immersing themselves in new cultures and travelling as they do so. As cliché as it may sound, anyone you ask who has participated in the UCDVO Projects Overseas cannot recommend it enough. It’s not a cushy holiday, and you’ll be worked hard, but it promises to be as rewarding as it is challenging.  

This year, the UCDVO programme is overseen by Sarah-Jane McCusker. Aside from aiding communities and making a positive societal impact, Sarah-Jane told us that her favourite aspect of UCDVO were the people involved in it. ‘The group of volunteers who I went to North East India with are my best friends, and if it wasn’t for UCDVO, I probably would never have met them!’ 

Applications for the 2019/2020 programme open in late September, so keep an eye on their website if this interests you!

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