Therese Robbins from Tubber.

Tubber's Therese set to embark on volunteer trip to India

A Tubber native is set to embark on a volunteer trip to India next month as part of a four week volunteer programme led by SERVE.

Therese Robbins from Tubber, Moate, will travel to Bengaluru, India where she will work in partnership with the Association of People with Disabilities and Sumanahalli Society. These centres focus on integrated education, rehabilitation, and social care for people with physical and intellectual disabilities.

Therese, who is studying Speech and Language Therapy in NUIG, hopes to use her degree to help others. She explained that having completed placements working with people with a wide range of difficulties and disabilities, she was drawn to SERVE’s volunteering programme, particularly the Indian programme.

“I once volunteered for a summer in St Hilda’s in Athlone, a service for people living with disabilities, where I worked closely with adults who have intellectual disabilities. When I got the opportunity to volunteer with SERVE in India, I was absolutely delighted,” Therese detailed.

As a part of SERVE's volunteer programme, the volunteers engage in a number of training days, to ensure that they can appropriately engage with the communities they meet overseas, and understand the complexities of global inequality.

“The training days have been eye-opening. I have learned so much about the 17 global goals , the inequalities and challenges in the global South. It’s something a lot of people don’t think about day-to-day but I think we can all make an impact every day and the SERVE training days really reinforced and helped me see this.”

Although their work continued throughout the pandemic, 2023 marks the recommencement of SERVEs overseas programme.

Laura Canning, SERVE’s Global Citizenship Education (GCE) and Volunteer Programme Coordinator says: “It's great to be able to send volunteers overseas to our partners for the first time in three years. We are really looking forward to seeing the impact that the GCE Programme has on our volunteers when they return and how they put their learning into practice through active global citizenship. Their final training day coincided with National Volunteer Week and witnessing the journey of all our volunteers is an extreme joy.”

When asked about her hopes for the placement, Therese elaborated: “I am really looking forward to immersing myself in the Indian culture. I want to learn as much as I can on the programme from both the partners and their community.

“A special thank you to all my family, friends and everyone who has helped me with fundraising so far, everyone has been amazing and I appreciate and am extremely thankful for it all,” she added.