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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Anastasia Saveljeva

Anastasia or Annie studied Arts and later Film and Screen Studies in University College Cork. In 2019 she was awarded the EIL Explore Mexico Award and travelled abroad to a small village to take part in an environmental project which included preparing baby mangroves to be planted in a swamp as part of a reforestation project. While in Mexico, Annie practised Spanish and learned more about conservation by experiencing first-hand how the community of La Ventanilla lives alongside nature without depleting its resources through an ecotourism service. When she returned home, Annie participated in the Global Citizen Award programme and was awarded the Silver award in 2020. Her action projects and reflective posts focused on Global Goals 14 and 15, Life Below Water and Life on Land, as she feels these are important goals linked to Climate Change that should be accomplished first. Annie has continued volunteering with her local Tidy Towns group since taking part in the GCA. In her own words, “Travelling abroad was an enlightening experience that helped me to learn more about myself and a new community. Learning to embrace the new with open arms is a vital part of growing as a person and as a global citizen.”

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Dáire Hennessy

Dáire got involved with EIL in 2018 as part of the Global Awareness Programme (GAP). He is very interested in SDG 4 (Quality Education) having volunteered in the area of education for many years. As part of the GAP he spent his summer volunteering with Volunteers for Peace Vietnam, working with young people as part of various projects. Dáire currently works in Citywise Education, a charity supporting underserved youth to reach their full potential and is also studying for a Masters in Social Policy from Trinity College. He received the Gold Global Citizen Award in 2020. As part of the GCA, Dáire set up a social enterprise seeking to raise awareness of the Global Goals among young people and corporate organisations and was part of the steering group for the GOAL Global youth programme. He is still involved with an organisation based in Vietnam which works to bring informal education and intercultural learning into the mainstream.

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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.

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Mairead Redmond

Mairead is currently studying a Part-Time Masters in Climate Change: Policy, Society and Media in DCU and aspires to avail of work opportunities that aim to create solutions to tackle environmental and biodiversity issues in the future. She is currently on the sustainability board for the Railway Union Sports Club and plans to expand her involvement in sustainably focused projects. She has a Bachelors (BA) in Business Studies with a specialism in Human Resources. In the final year of her BA, she was awarded an Access volunteer abroad scholarship where she spent 8 weeks teaching English in Vietnam as part of the EIL Explore programme. Her experience from Vietnam was a truly humbling and unforgettable experience and has given her a whole new perspective on the importance of education. The following EIL events have motivated her to continue to increase her awareness and knowledge of social issues to learn how to effectively help those affected by social injustices. She was awarded a Gold Global Citizen Award in 2020. Being a mentor in the GCA programme gives her the opportunity to meet people who are passionate about tackling issues significant to them along with allowing her to support and guide them along their own GCA journey.

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Sarah Enright

Sarah Enright is a primary school teacher from Dublin. She first volunteered with Suas Educational Development in 2017 and then again in 2018 where she worked as a teaching assistant in schools in Zambia and India. She then taught in a school for children with intellectual disabilities in Vietnam in 2019. She began working towards the Gold Global Citizen Award after returning from Vietnam, which she received in 2020. While working towards her GCA she started volunteering with a social club for children with intellectual disabilities. She has continued volunteering with them since and is very thankful to have found them as part of her GCA journey! She is passionate about many of the SDG’s, but particularly SDG 4; Quality Education. Sarah is delighted to be a GCA mentor this year for the first time to encourage others to take action about things that interest them, to offer motivation if it’s needed, and to be a helping hand along the way!


Gemma Lynch

Gemma works as a Biomedical Engineer in Galway. During her final year of college, she was awarded the Access Travel Award by EIL. Through the Travel Award, she volunteered for 8 weeks teaching English in Vietnam to primary school children in 2019. During her time here, she made many Comparisons to Vietnam and her Native Donegal. For her Action projects, she focused on the similarities and differences between her home in Donegal and Vietnam and centred them around SDG 4 Quality Education and SDG 12 Responsible consumption and Production. She Received the Gold Global Citizen Award in 2020. She has a keen interest in SDG 4 “Quality Education”. Gemma believes that education and creating awareness is a critical first step to combating the local and global problems we face tod