Mentors can play a pivotal role throughout the Global Citizen Award journey. Mentors are all returned international volunteers and past awardees of the Global Citizen Award. They are on hand in a supportive capacity to help guide you with your actions and reflective posts.

If you would like a mentor please indicate so on your registration form or contact the Global Citizen Award Coordinator at [email protected]

Also, if you’re interested in becoming a mentor, please get in touch at the same address.

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Aleksandra Ananica

Aleks studied Business Information Systems in Cork Institute of Technology. In her final year she was awarded a CIT volunteer abroad scholarship where she spent 6 weeks teaching English in Vietnam as part of EIL Explore. On her return Aleks participated in the Silver GCA and was awarded in 2017. Her action project and blogs were focused on the SDG goal 4 ‘Quality Education’. Aleks has been a volunteer of the EIL Network since her return. Aleks is “eager to provide support and guidance to future GCA awardees” as she received during her GCA journey.

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Amanda Keane

Amanda first got involved with EIL in 2017 when she took part in the EIL Explore Global Awareness Programme focused on SDG 5 (Gender Equality) and spent the summer volunteering in a community centre supporting women in situations of street prostitution in Mexico City. She was already a feminist and advocate for social justice before this, but she came home with a whole new perspective and determination to end gender inequality. 

Since then, she served as a UN Youth Volunteer at UN Women in Viet Nam where she worked as a programme officer in the areas of gender equality in ethnic minorities and on the government’s response to violence against women and girls. She now works as Policy and Communications Manager at Ruhama – Ireland’s only dedicated frontline NGO supporting women affected by prostitution and sex trafficking. She has seen how gender inequality and injustice affects us all from the global to local level and is passionate about global citizenship. Amanda speaks Spanish and German and holds an MA in Women, Gender and Society from UCD. She was awarded a Silver Global Citizen Award in May 2018.

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Aoife Kirk

Aoife first joined us on the Global Citizen Award journey in 2015, and won the Bronze and Silver Award in 2016 and 2017, respectively. Aoife volunteered with development education NGO, Development Perspectives, on two occasions. The first in 2014 as a participant on the Insight Programme, and again in 2015 as team leader. Both overseas experiences took place in Tanzania working in partnership with Uvikiuta. Since 2017, Aoife has been a mentor with us, and has supported several people in achieving their Global Citizen Award. 

Aoife has had a diverse career in development education, social justice and rights activism. She worked with Development Perspectives from 2015-2016 and co-created the organisation’s Dochas award winning SDG Challenge. She was also active during the Repeal the 8th campaign and has been an active member of Kildare Feminist Network  through which she has supported the organisation of community events on eco-feminism, coordinated fundraising events as well as public demonstrations in Dublin City. In 2019, Aoife was awarded her MA in Public Advocacy and Activism from NUI Galway, and co-authored an article for the Irish Times based on her MA research on the impact of Nordic Model style legislation on the lives of sex workers in Ireland. She currently works in Public Affairs and Advocacy for Ireland’s largest voluntary disability service provider. 

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Chinedum Muotto

Chinedum Muotto completed his/her/our Masters in Race, Migration and Decolonial Studies at UCD in 2018. (He/She/We) seeks to work with communities globally by using the arts to disrupt the daily narratives around social injustices. (He/She/We) are members and contributors to initiatives such as The IIEA Emerging Voices Panel and EIL Ireland’s Global Education both of which are aligned with his belief in the importance of politics and critical education towards the eradication of systemic injustices globally. Chinedum says: “My experience of the GCA was that it put some structure to my critical reflection as a global citizen and forced me to share that with the world around me through presentations and blogs. It also ensured that I entered into a journey to Mexico not just for me but also for my community to see new worlds through me. As a mentor (He/She/We) have supported individuals from varying socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds, (He/She/We) brings a holistic approach to mentorship centring the individual as the protagonist to influence the positive change imagine utilizing an approach centred around the arts.

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Domhnaill Harkin

Domhnaill Harkin, is 25 years old and currently working for a homeless charity in Dublin. He studied Law and Society as an undergraduate degree in DCU and then went to UCD to firstly study a Higher Diploma in Social Policy followed by a Masters of Sociology.  His main areas of interest are social justice, politics and international development and he has a keen interest in LGBTQIA rights. He became involved with EIL and the GCA when he was selected to go to Hanoi to teach English during the summer of 2018, which he says was “an amazing experience”. He completed the Gold GCA in 2019. He also went volunteering overseas again during the summer of 2019 with Suas Educational Development in Kolkata, India. He says that both volunteer placements were “life changing experiences”. Being a mentor in the GCA programme allows him to continue to be involved with projects that focus on volunteer programs and international development projects.

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Emma McCarthy

Emma is a physiotherapist from Kerry who works with children and adults with disabilities in Cork. In 2018 she travelled to northeast India to volunteer as a paediatric physiotherapist and clinical tutor with UCD Volunteers Overseas and she subsequently received the silver Global Citizen Award in 2019. She is passionate about many of the SDGs but in particular SDG #3: Good Health & Well-Being and SDG #10: Reduced Inequalities. She believes that it is imperative that people with health conditions and disabilities have access to rehabilitation in order to fulfil all their roles in life. She enjoys being a GCA mentor as “it offers opportunities to share experiences in global citizenship and guide others to take action on issues important to them.” 

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Jorge Ruiz Villisante

Jorge has mentored many Global Citizen Awards and shares his project plan to help participants staring off the award. He explains how; I Decided to Volunteer Abroad and booked a place with a Volunteer Sending Agency, EIL Intercultural Learning. Next I attended the pre-departure workshop and learned about the global context and what to expect when volunteering abroad. I spent 2 months volunteering on a Community Education project in India learning about the people, culture and global challenges. When I got home to Ireland I attended a debriefing workshop to share my experience with other Volunteers. There I learned to use my experience to raise awareness about global justice issues to make a difference in Ireland. I became more interested in global issues and took a module called Social Justice & Citizenship in Cork Institute of Technology as part of a community education and development degree. I shared my story through blogs that included photos and writings, to explain global issues based on my experience overseas.

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Kate Griffin

Kate Griffin is a Biomedical Engineer with a keen interest in seeing how to use our technological advances to address the Sustainable Development Goals especially in relation to Goal number 3, Good Health and Well-being. She started volunteering as a kid in her days as a scout, which has led her to incredible opportunities in Zambia, India and here at home in Ireland. She became involved with the GCA group in Ireland after her work in India and volunteering initially there with SERVE. She says that “it gave me unique motivation and guidance into how to share the experience and what I had learnt on my return to Ireland and also ensure my continued commitment to that work.” She has chosen to be a mentor to “try to help give others that same chance to stay involved and motivated to share.” 

Kathleen Kenna

Kathleen Kenna

Kathleen lives in the Garden of Ireland, county Wicklow. She got involved with the GCA after receiving an EIL Explore travel award to volunteer in Mexico working in the Children’s Library project of Barra de Potosi in the summer of 2018. She applied for and received the Gold Global Citizen Award in May 2019.

She studied in Trinity College Dublin and is currently a student of University College Dublin. She has a background in IT, technology and Business Admin, public speaking and also in the DJ business. She is an active volunteer with NLN Bray, UCD Mature Access and Eco UNESCO. She was invited to join the EIL Global Education Committee (GEC) in 2019.

Kathleen says, “Because of the experience and feedback I got from the Awards & Standards committee l felt I had something to offer regarding feedback and helpful advice to the people applying to the GCA going forward. To me being a mentor means passing on the knowledge you have.”

Kathleen likes reading, line dancing and walking with her dog in her spare time. While she likes to keep up with all the SDG’s she thinks the most important one is “Peace and Justice” and “Strong Institutions and Partnerships for the Goals” because all the other SDG’s have a much better chance of succeeding with these two in place.