ALIVE (A Learning Initiative and the Volunteering Experience) Programme
The ALIVE (A Leraning Initiative and the Volunteering Experience) Programme was established in 2003 by NUI Galway to harness, acknowledge and support the contribution that its students make by volunteering. The programme draws on a strong tradition of student engagement both on and off campus and assists students who wish to actively volunteer while developing tangible and transferable skills alongside practical volunteering experiences.
Over 300 non-governmental organisations support the programme and enable the student volunteers to act as bridge-builders between the University and civil society. The volunteering programme also encourages NUI Galway staff to use the online volunteer opportunity database.
ALIVE is run by the University's Community Knowledge Initiative, and is the first ever student volunteer programme to be embedded within an institution of higher education in Ireland. This pioneering programme serves as a national model which other institutions look to for advice and support in terms of developing similar opportunities.
Led by a Student Volunteer Coordinator, the ALIVE Programme at NUI Galway seeks to support and recognise student volunteering through an integrated programme with four main elements:
1. Volunteer opportunity matching service
The online volunteering opportunities database allows community organisations to post opportunities directly and students to browse easily through them.
2. Training Workshops
Training is specially designed for student volunteers in preparation for volunteer work to enhance skills related to personal, interpersonal & professional development and civic awareness.
3. Peer Support
Volunteer reflection sessions celebrate students' achievements and allows an insight into other volunteering opportunities.
4. ALIVE Certificate
Students complete a reflective record of their volunteering experience at the end of the academic year to qualify for an ALIVE Certificate. Over 1200 students have been awarded the ALIVE certificate which acknowledges their contribution to volunteering and is awarded in a special annual ceremony.