“At the time, Trócaire was working with Macra on a development education project and I began to realise the importance of understanding development issues and campaigning for change in policies that adversely affect developing countries,” Joe said.
In 2018, Joe became an outreach volunteer in the Galway area and raises awareness on issues of social justice in the community and schools. He also campaigns on business and human rights, land rights, environmental rights and for Palestinian rights.
“Trócaire has developed a strong volunteer group in Galway and I have participated in many interesting initiatives, the biggest of which was attending the UN sessions in Geneva in October 2019 to campaign for a Treaty on Business and Human Rights. This was an eye-opener to the important role Trócaire plays in campaigning for international action to protect human rights. It motivated me to do more and to become part of the Trócaire campaigns group,” Joe said.
At home, Joe has also taken part in a range of Trócaire activities such as representing the organisation at the National Ploughing Championship, the Galway Christmas Market and Bloom Festival.
Joe also took part in Trócaire’s Lenten campaign by visiting schools both primary and post-primary to talk to students about climate change and environmental rights, by taking part in Trócaire’s Game Changers cluster events and by visiting parishes to speak at mass for Trócaire’s Lenten campaign.
Since Covid-19, Joe has been really active with his campaigning work online and offline.
Joe’s most significant piece of work has been the publication of his local parish Roevehagh’s 200th anniversary book for which all proceeds of the sales went to Trócaire.
“Trócaire offers volunteers a great opportunity to develop themselves and their skills, while helping those in greatest need and fighting against injustice. I am very impressed by the dedication of staff and volunteers to Trócaire’s ideals. I enjoy taking part in the wide variety of activities the organisation is involved in. And in the process, we have great craic,” Joe said.
Due to his passion and commitment to Trócaire, it was no surprise that Joe was one of the winners in the Campaigning and Activism Category at the Volunteer Ireland awards in 2020.
If you’d like to learn more about volunteering with Trócaire, visit https://www.trocaire.org/join-us/volunteer/