Draiocht was established in 2008 by Melanie Hennessey, a former NUIG student. The founder's dream was to help orphaned Nepali children and to promote multi-culturism in Ireland. The society immediately linked up with the charity TEAM Nepal. We have established an orphanage home in Talamarang, a small village high in the mountains of Nepal and we send volunteers out to help every year. Our plan is to make the home completely self sufficient within five years, we hope to do this by using renewable energy and creating an agri-business. We have also been involved in founding a community school in Talamarang which now has over 500 students. We have also been involved in various village health camps, and promoting local business in the village and hope to help establish a permanent health center in the future. However, since the earthquake in 2015, many of our plans for the moment are put on hold as we continue to provide funds for first line treatment and begin to help rebuild the schools, and villiages around Talamerang.
In 2013 we forged a link with another charity, The Olive Branch for Children in Tanzania. Founded in 2005 by Deborah McCracken, their 'main aim is to help remote communities in Tanzania assess their primary needs and establish programs that target the most vulnerable'. Their 'focus is on HIV/AIDS prevention and care, early childhood education, food security and vulnerable children and women' and their 'goal is to establish community-led programs that empower remote communities and generrate models that can be replicated in communities throughout Tanzania and elsewhere'. We send volunteers out to Tanzania to help The Olive Branch for Children continue their many programs for the most vulnerable.
Volunteer roles vary each year. Recent years have seen volunteers help with teaching, health camps, construction, farming, games with the children and other tasks depending on the chosen destination and month. Our volunteers are expected to be respectful of the culture, to be inclusive and are encouraged to engage with Draiocht after they have completed their volunteering.¬†
Volunteer recruitment each year is done through completing an application form, an¬† informal interview where questions will aim towards finding potential skills suitable to our projects as well as a way for you to meet the committee and learn more about Draiocht and ask any questions you may have. Interview questions can include telling us about yourself, your previous experience with volunteering/children and vulnerable adults and why you would like to volunteer with us. There is a cap on recruitment for volunteering abroad positions each year but we encourage any participation and are always looking for help with fundraising, awareness raising and events throughout the year!
Since its begining the society has won a number of awards including "best new society" in Galway in 2009, "best civil contribution" in Galway and at the Bics awards in 2013, and "best website" in 2015. During the year we run various fundraising activities, aswell as volunteer support meetings and Nepali Language Classes, oh and having fun at the same time.
Feel free to contact us if you are interested in volunteering while having the adventure of a lifetime.
Meetings vary-¬† Dates and times are sent through emails and are on our facebook page.