Role of EVS Volunteers
We were fortunate enough when we founded GEAI that Meg Rybicki was a member of our committee. Meg had experience with the Youth in Action programme, sending young volunteers abroad and coordinating some youth exchanges. She suggested that we could get help with administration by hosting an European Voluntary Service volunteer. Accordingly, we started off with Anais from France, who stayed 6 months with us and focused on creating our website and social media platforms.
Since then, we have hosted volunteers from France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Croatia and Greece. In general, they come to us for up to 12 months, staying in a house rented by GEAI. We provide them with a car while they are with us.
In the campaign against fracking, our volunteers enthusiastically took part and were behind all the activities taking place, including organising events (conferences, meetings, hustings etc.), handling social media campaigns and information articles, participating in demonstrations, printing leaflets, posters and placards, researching impacts of fracking and writing them up on our website, networking with other anti-fracking groups, etc. We used to call our volunteers our “secret weapon”! Certainly, GEAI could not have been so effective without them.
We will never forget our volunteers and the help that they were to GEAI. Each of them played a part in our successful campaign and each of them can honestly say that they played a significant role in influencing Government to enact legislation banning fracking in Ireland.
A very sincere “thank you” to all of you – we could not have done it without you!