Volunteer Policy

ÁR GCOMHLUADAR – POLICY DOCUMENT

Ár gComhluadar (Notre communauté, unsere Gemeinschaft, our Community) is a self-governing volunteer association.  Our Mission Statement: we devise and implement strategies to demonstrate that culture is an essential factor in optimising economic and social welfare.  Vital cultural diversity is manifested, in EU policies and measures, eg by due recognition of cultural heritage (a record of ours is on https://gaelta.ie).  In EU/National Programmes, publicly funded, stakeholders have an open opportunity and commission to show how cultural heritage is a driver of economic growth and can improve inter-community relations. In addition, when operational, we can connect with EU volunteering bodies, to progress common interests:

https://www.europeanvolunteercentre.org/ 

https://commission.europa.eu/index_en   

https://commission.europa.eu/aid-development-cooperation-fundamental-rights/human-rights-non-eu-countries/ensuring-aid-effectiveness/evaluation-development-cooperation-projects_en    

           https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/MEMO_16_2075%20%20

Please read this Policy carefully. It provides useful and relevant information on our Constitution – regarding governance (the Board, Volunteers), financing, research and social benefits envisaged.

The on-line presentation of cultural heritage, centring on Dún Chaocháin, Co Mayo, provides a unique platform to use in launching our Ecotour in the County (uploaded on www.gaeltacht.info).  The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) defines Ecotourism as ‘responsible travel to natural areas, which conserves the environment and sustains the well-being of local people, socially and economically, so creating knowledge and understanding…’

 

The deep cultural connections between Irish-, French- and German-speaking people has lain poorly attended.  Our efforts are in line with those of the European Volunteer Centre and focus on the rôle of pedagogy in culture.  Too often, the concept of culture is used trivially – eg lumping ‘pub’ and music cultures together.

In promoting ecotourism, Ár gComhluadar sees culture as respecting past human achievements, whilst looking to future challenges, including environmental protectionThe UN Secretary-General has explained that unless governments everywhere reassess their energy policies, the world will be uninhabitable. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) confirms that 2023 is set to be the warmest year on record.    The nearly 1,200 migratory species monitored by the UN – including whales, sea turtles, apes and songbirds – are threatened with extinction. https://cultureactioneurope.org/new-cultural-challenges-for-european-cities/

https://static.wixstatic.com/ugd/3ec99c_0ee09c8d7b7a4715bc1fdd5d66086378.pdf 

https://news.un.org/en/story/2022/04/1115452

https://www.un.org/en/climatechange/reports 

https://www.npr.org/2024/02/12/1230929548/across-the-world-migrating-animal-populations-are-dwindling-heres-why#:~:text=Nearly%20half%20of%20the%20world%27s%20already%20threatened%20migratory,songbirds%20and%20others%20%E2%80%93%20are%20threatened%20with%20extinction. 

  1. WELCOME AND INTRODUCTION

Thank you for volunteering with Ár gComhluadar. The name implies that we, and those who work with us, form a community. Our members, when from different countries, demonstrate the social benefits of solidarity from cultural interaction.  Our Ecotour also brings people together, across the bridge of history, in a spirit of enduring kinship.

This document explains the terms and conditions of volunteering with Ár gComhluadar, and the expectations associated with the rôle, so you may perform to the best standard and get the most personal satisfaction.  When ready, we shall seek a Strategic Partner to operate the Ecotour.

 

The global Ecotourism industry is growing apace and is becoming an important factor of sustainable regional development.   https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/14/2/800

  1. ABOUT ÁR GCOMHLUADAR Ireland can draw upon a strong Celtic culture.  Celtic culture, as a leader in innovation, was once spread throughout Europe, and travelled, indeed, as far east as China.  Drawing on the background of high culture in Ireland, we have a special, unique reservoir for devising progressive strategies.

Our Ecotour, an instrument for social and economic benefit, proceeds through remote Mayo, recalling substantive cultural connections between Irish-, French- and German-speakers.  Extensive research, into these matters, formed the first and substantive stage of the work of Ár gComhluadar. Our Ecomessage explains, in simple terms, global environmental degradation and some of what falls to be done to halt this. This message will be developed and brought to attention.

The Association has a Board, to which our skilled Volunteers report.  They communicate using electronic means, which all accept to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (GDPR) rules.

Ár gComhluadar has neither assets nor income (and therefore no profits).  The website and its contents are independently owned and paid for by the founder of the Association.  The use of the website (https://gaelta.ie) will be given to any Strategic Partner, which 1) satisfactorily contracts Service Providers along the route of the Ecotour and 2) accepts the wishes of Comhar Dún Chaocháin for running the Ecotour.  Ár gComhluadar and Comhar Dún Chaocháin see the project as benefiting the region both socially and economically.

Ár gComhluadar espouses the historic and universal Gaelic Values: Glaine ár gCroí, Neart ár nGéag agus Beart de réir ár mBriathar.  These values of honesty, fortitude and discipline guided a stable, prosperous society for over a thousand years.  These same values will be needed, on a global scale, to secure sustainable life, on Earth, in the years to come.

  1. RECRUITMENT

3.1 Volunteer Rôles                                                                                                     

The complex, multi-disciplinary project will require periodic in-puts, from the Board and Volunteers, in the rôles of: Administrators, Linguists; Creativity and legal Advisers; Scientists; Historians; Accountants and IT Computer Specialists.  Today’s professionals must cultivate a diverse set of abilities to navigate the complexities of their careers effectively.  https://www.successconsciousness.com/blog/success/the-multi-skilled-path-to-success/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

3.2 Application Process

  1. A short text on “Why I wish to join Ár gComhluadar and what benefits has membership for me?” will come with any application.  After a successful interview, a passport-type photograph for the website Volunteer Charts (in Roman and local scripts) and a CV will be supplied.
  2. Volunteer applications will be dealt with promptly.

 

  1. SCREENING AND SELECTION
  1. In person or by Skype, applicants will explain how they hope to contribute;
  2. Referees will be contacted following interviews;
  3. The Board will allocate all the various and distinctive rôles, on a case-by-case basis;
  4. This Policy is a living document, which reflects current challenges;
  5. Reliability and good characterare the most valued, admirable attributes of any Volunteer;
  6. Especially at the start of their placements, help can be given to Volunteers eg in drafting text or through specific cooperation with other skilled volunteers; and
  7. Volunteers may, for the purposes of worthwhile social activity, attend training sessions, meetings and social functions, run by the Board and associated organisations, such as Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, Boardmatch Ireland, Volunteer Ireland and The Wheel.
  1. WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM ÁR GCOMHLUADAR
  1. Volunteers will not be askedto do anything which they cannot conveniently do;
  2. Clear, timely communications, courtesy and understanding is our norm;
  3. The Association will put the rules and guidelines of ‘netiquette’ (internet etiquette), into practice, through periodic communications;
  4. An authoritative reference will be given to those who have performed their duties well;
  5. Meetings (real or virtual, e.g. via Skype), in the nature of social gatherings, are held, as you request or as may be required; and
  6. Board members will issue notes, as necessary, to Volunteers in addition to making other contacts.

 

  1. OUR EXPECTATIONS OF VOLUNTEERS
  1. Tasks are completed in such a way as to allow for timely progress overall;
  2. Volunteers will want to show the capacity of the Association for leadership;
  3. We are spokespeople, too, for the contributions, which volunteering can give to Society;
  4. The work, demonstrating that culture is an essential factor in optimising economic and social welfare, is to be viewed with a sense of social responsibility;
  5. Any communication to one Volunteer, from another, shall be answered within three working days or a holding note supplied; and
  6. A Volunteer may resign, with a minimum of a week’s notice requested: Ár gComhluadar would hope that the notice be as long as possible, so a replacement can be recruited.

.

  1. FINANCE AND VOLUNTEER INSURANCE

Ár gComhluadar is a voluntary association, established to demonstrate the social and economic benefits, at personal, local and national levels, which can be obtained from Ecotourism.  The Association does not provide a service and consequently receives no income. The Founder pays for such costs as arise, such as website costs.

Volunteers are remote-working (eg by computer from their homes).  There is nothing in their output of the form which would require professional indemnity insurance.  What they produce is purely intellectual and derives from information taken from sources in the public domain.

Communication between Volunteers is via electronic means.  Volunteers accept that material elements of risk do not arise and that public liability insurance is not called for.  When a Volunteer meets, or works with other people, s/he/they accept this to be in the nature of social activity.

Ár gComhluadar, as a diffused association without legal personality, shall not be liable for any computer virus or other digital problems arising either during or as a result of online activity.  The website owner holds all the rights to any material, on the website, and the right to amend this.

Agreements between Strategic Partners and the website owner, for the use of this, will recognise that no liability arises and that legislation and laws, regarding commercial activities, do not apply.                    https://www.mig.ie/complete-business-legal-protection

  1. MANAGEMENT OF VOLUNTEERS

The Board will oversee activities and, for the common good, keep progress under review. The Board will be cognisant of the contributions of Volunteers and so be ready to advance their personal and professional interests insofar as possible.

If a matter arise, which may indicate the discontinuation of a Volunteer’s service, the Board shall give a ruling, having discussed the matter at least twice, and having listened to relevant parties.

  1. VOLUNTEER RIGHTS AND INVOLVEMENT
  1. This Policy Document sets out an Agreement binding in honour only: it is not legally binding.
  2. Our operations, whilst not themselves commercial, shall adhere to commercial procedure;
  3. Volunteers shall not discriminate or encounter discrimination, in any fashion, on grounds of gender, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race or membership of the Traveller Community;
  4. Public communications are the function of the Board;
  5. In accepting this Policy, Volunteers are subscribing to the Mission Statement and values of Ár gComhluadar. They will work in an innovative, ground-breaking environment.
  6. Certain skills may not be needed, for extended periods, but are of critical importance when called for.