Over 40% of Registered Volunteers are Migrants

National Volunteering Week 2019 kicks off today and runs through 19th May with events across the country celebrating our diverse volunteering culture in Ireland and inspiring new volunteers to get involved. During the week we will showcase seven incredible volunteers to give just a snapshot of what goes on in communities across Ireland every day.

So far in 2019, just over 40% of those who registered with the national volunteering database I-VOL are migrant volunteers with 121 countries represented including Brazil, Malaysia and Zimbabwe. Just under 5% identified themselves as having additional support needs, which encompasses anything from having a physical disability to mental health struggles.

“Volunteers come from all backgrounds, abilities and walks of life with the common purpose of making a difference in the lives of others,” according to Tricia Nolan South Dublin County Volunteer Centre Manager. “This year we are asking people to share what volunteering means to them as we work to come up with an inclusive and modern definition of volunteering for Ireland. We recognise that the motivations and experiences of Ireland’s 1 million volunteers are different which is what makes volunteering such a unique and fulfilling activity.”


Local volunteer Hicham Lamchaali, from Clondalkin, who has been living in direct provision since 2015, was nominated by the Volunteer Centre and selected as one of this year’s National Volunteering Week Ambassadors. Hicham explains that he was keen to volunteer as soon as he arrived to Ireland to help him learn about his new community. According to Hicham, “Volunteering is natural to me, it’s how my mother brought me up since I was a baby. I love making other people happy – that’s what makes me the happiest. I love to integrate, meet new people and make new friends.”

For Carolyn Akintola, from Tallaght, another National Volunteering Week Ambassador, and a disability activist who cared for her mother for 15 years, her motivations were altruistic. “If we want to live in a good society, we have to take part and make a contribution. I’ve gained a lot from society as have many others so I feel it’s important to give that back.”

South Dublin County Volunteer Centre is encouraging everyone to think about what volunteering means to them this National Volunteering Week. For those ready to get involved, staff from the Volunteer Centre will be in

  • The Square, Tallaght on Tuesday 14 May from 10 to 2,
  • The Mill Shopping Centre, Clondalkin on Wednesday 15 May from 10 to 1 and
  • Tallaght Library on Thursday 16 May from 10 to 1.30.

People can share also their story on social media using #WhyIVolunteer