SERVE is a partner of the Redemptorists, working both here in Ireland and overseas, alongside the Redemptorist Solidarity Office for Africa and Madagascar. SERVE is a development and volunteering organisation committed to tackling poverty in the majority world. SERVE strives to do this by working in solidarity, service and partnership with marginalised and oppressed communities empowering them to tackle the root causes of poverty and injustice. SERVE focuses specifically on programmes and projects that help communities enhance the lives of children and young people, and recognises that gender equality is pivotal to achieving justice, equality and sustainable development. SERVE contributes a budget of over €1 million each year and assigns up to 90 volunteers per year supporting programmes that help transform the lives of some of the poorest communities in the world.
Towards the end of 2013, the Philippines was devastated by Typhoon Haiyan. Through SERVE’s strong support network of dedicated volunteers who have worked in the Philippines since 2003, and the long-standing connection of the Redemptorists in the Philippines, the SERVE / Redemptorist Emergency Appeal moved people in to action. Fundraising took place throughout the country in support of our partners in the Philippines who were working to ensure the safety and rebuilding of communities in Tacloban. This summer a team of SERVE volunteers will work alongside their partners in Cebu. The volunteers will also travel to Tacloban to assist in the ongoing relief efforts.
2014 saw Colaiste Feirste from Belfast, St. Clement’s from Limerick and Lagan College from Belfast took part in school Immersion Programmes to work with SERVE’s partners in Mozambique, Brazil and South Africa. Five teams of volunteers worked with our partners in South Africa, Mozambique, Zambia, India and the Philippines. You can read blogs and updates from our volunteers on the SERVE website (www.serve.ie).
As usual, Flip-Flop Friday is held every year throughout the month of May. The Flip-Flop Friday Appeal is held on each Friday during the month of May. Flip-Flop Friday was the brainchild of the 2005 SERVE volunteers. 9 years on, SERVE is proud to say that over 130,000 flip-flop pins and phone charms have been sold, raising over €200,000. Flip-Flop Friday is a gesture of solidarity, service and determination to work together. See www.serve.ie/flip-flop-friday/ for more information.
The SERVE Four Peaks Challenge is took place in June 2014. This event challenges participants to climb the highest peak in each province in one weekend to raise awareness and much needed funds for SERVE’s development projects. It takes place across the four provinces of Ireland; Carrauntoohil, Co. Kerry, Mweelrea, Co. Mayo, Lugnaquilla, Co. Wicklow, and Slieve Donard, Co. Down.
Tin 2014, SERVE also piloted the Three Peaks Challenge. This challenge involves climbing the highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales in one weekend to raise awareness and funds for SERVE’s development projects.
In 2015, 60 SERVE volunteers travelled to 5 countries to work alongside 9 of our partners. The International School of Augsburg (ISA) participated in a SERVE School Immersion Programme.
The SERVE Four Peaks and Three Peaks Challenges took place in 2015. In 2015, some of our bravest supporters took on the Seven Summit Challenge in which they scaled all seven mountains to raise funds for our development projects and as an act of solidarity with our partners and beneficiaries in the global south.
We would like to say thank you to all of our volunteers and supporters who helped out at the different Flip-Flop Friday collections around the country. We would particularly like to extend our gratitude to the Redemptorists for generously hosting our team and our volunteers at the collections in Clonard, Marianella, Esker and Limerick.
In February 2016, Eileen Hoffler joined the SERVE team as Chief Executive Officer. Eileen says:
“I am really excited and privileged to be working with SERVE, I have been a long time admirer of their work.
SERVE’s passion for overseas development and volunteering is equally matched by their talent and vision.
I am looking forward in playing a part in the future of this unique organisation”
We look forward to working with and learning from Eileen over the coming months and years.
Flip-Flop Friday took place in May 2016. We would like to extend our thanks to everyone who came along and helped out at the different churches, and especially to the Redemptorist’s for allowing us to speak at the different novena’s and masses around the country. Flip Flop Friday is one of our biggest fundraisers. We cannot do it without your help, thank you.
This year, 75 volunteers worked alongside our partners in India, Mozambique, The Philippines, South Africa and Zambia. Coláiste Cois Life (Lucan) and Coláiste Feirste both participated in School Immersion Programme’s to South Africa and Zambia.
Karina McGinley (South Africa 2014, 2015) has recently travelled to Zimbabwe to work as our Long Term Volunteer with our partner Young Africa in their Harare Hub. This is an exciting placement which offers people with an interest in development, practical experience with an overseas development organisation in Southern Africa. We look forward to working with Karina over the next year.
With four schools already signed up for Immersions, and summer volunteer recruitment already underway, 2017 is looking to be a busy year for the SERVE team!