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Volunteering in Ireland: The Good News, the Bad Economy and the Ugly Finances

How does the depressed global economy translate into something positive for volunteering? In this e-Volunteerism feature, Marzia Baldassari, a member of the Volunteering Ireland Team and Coordinator of the Dublin City North Volunteer Centre, answers this question. With Ireland as her backdrop, Baldassari explains why volunteering and civic engagement are vital during times of shrinking financial resources and growing unemployment. Her description of Dublin City Volunteer Week, a recent celebration of volunteers and volunteering, shows why the old adage “every cloud has a silver lining” can be true for volunteering efforts during a harsh economic downturn.

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Who Is That? An Interactive Exercise to Explore Perceptions

This training exercise aims to get participants to explore their own perceptions around cultural diversity. Nancy Nuñez, Training Service Manager for Volunteering Ireland, shares an exercise she learned in ‘Anti Racism Training for Trainers’ that she usually uses with volunteer coordinators, but which can be done with both paid staff and volunteers of an organisation. Using photographs of real people and discussing participants’ reactions to them, the exercise demonstrates that perceptions are the way we perceive something; a perception is not necessarily right or wrong, but something that is constructed by ourselves and our society.

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