Trinity College Dublin has a long and important tradition of outreach and community engagement. Through this type of activity Trinity remains connected with society in manifold and mutually enriching ways. ISE shares in this wider aim of our university and we have our own unique history of civic engagement. Our current civic engagement includes:
Service Learning and Community Learning Internships
As part of their course, ISE students Belfast have the opportunity to undertake a placement with a community organisation working in grassroots peacebuilding/social justice. This allows students to gain real-world experience of community work in Northern Ireland and to make a contribution to the vital activities of the groups involved. Organisations which have hosted ISE students in the past include Peace Players International, the Clonard Reconciliation Project, WAVE Trauma Centre, the Prisons Memory Archive, East Belfast Mission, and 174 Trust. ISE students in Dublin have the opportunity to do a 3-6 month internship with a number of local and European NGOs.
Dean's Awards for Volunteering
Dr Annah Nyadombo (above) was included in the first ever TCD Dean's Awards for Volunteering (previously called Roll of Honour) for her work on challenging stigma around HIV-AIDS in Zimbabwe. Ceri Wallington, an International Peace Studies student, was also included in the 2012 awards for her voluntary work with Ruhama (an NGO working with women in prostitution). In 2013, Alan McGovern, a Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation student, was honoured for helping to establish the Tania McCabe Foundation (to raise money to donate specialised equipment that is required for premature babies). In 2014 Sonja Huttunen (International Peace Studies) was included in the awards for establishing the highly successful new student society for International Affairs (SofIA).
The MPhil’s location in Belfast in the midst of a society recovering from violent conflict presents invaluable opportunities for students to engage directly with places and people that have been closest to the conflict and peace process. These visits take a number of forms throughout the year. See details and photos of the Belfast field trip 2016.
ISE also seeks to make an impact on its social context via the activities of its academic staff. Through public events, media contributions, collaborations with civil society groups, and many other ways, ISE academic staff endeavour to harness their expertise to further peace, justice and reconciliation. For example ISE staff are on boards of civil society organisations including Healing Through Remembering, Action from Ireland (AfrI), International Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order (IASCUFO), Irish Forum for Peace in Sri Lanka. Dr Gladys Ganiel blogs on ‘Building a Church without Walls’. Dr Gillian Wylie took part in a roundtable discussion on ‘responsible narratives’ at the London launch of the Central American Women’s Network report on Exploitation and Trafficking of Women: Critiquing Narratives during the London Olympics 2012 and Dr Geraldine Smyth took part in an Ethical Media Interview on Engaging the Legacy of the Past in Northern Ireland. For up to date information on ISE civic engagement follow the news section.