I prepared this presentation to talk about the Sustainable Development Goals to my students, friends and, hopefully, people before and after they volunteer abroad.

It starts with a short introductory video about the transition from the MDGs to the SDGs and then I explain what the SDGs are about, how many there are and what we can all do to help and get involved.

Then I talk about each of the individual goals connected to some of the activities and work I did during my volunteering in the township of Kayaandi. I used some photos to illustrate certain points, but I encouraged an open space where everyone could be heard and say what they thought about the different issues I was talking about.

This action has proven to be a  very appreciated and valuable talk, as many of the people I presented it to didn't know much about the SDG and the situation in South Africa.

One of the most important  elements of this activity has been to raise awareness about certain problems that we may not face in Ireland but that are part of everyday life in the township. I also gt the chance to incentive people to take responsibility of their actions and do their part to change the world for the better.

I prepared this presentation to talk about the issue of voluntourism to my students, friends and people who want to volunteer abroad.

I decided to break the information down into three main ideas: volunteering, tourism and voluntourism. First, I talk about what volunteering means to me and the desired qualities I consider a volunteer should have. Then I make a very brief explanation of what I believe tourism is as most people are familiar and have their own idea of tourism. Finally, I focus on the idea and concept of voluntourism.

There are many arguments in favour of voluntourism, but I name just four of the most common and repeated when I was doing my research about the subject. Then, I describe some of the problems I see with voluntourism.

To make sure everyone can make the right decision when considering volunteering abroad, I move on to talk about the key directives for responsible tourism according to the ‘National Minimum Standard for Responsible Tourism’ (NMSRT) published in 2011 by the South African Department of Tourism.

Finally, I share my thoughts about the issue specifying some pros and cons to conclude with the most cited negative impacts that voluntourism has in the communities and countries where it is practiced.

This action is, basically, a way to inform people and make them think about the role they will play when volunteering abroad. I hope they can become more aware of the impact of their actions and act accordingly.

blacks and whites

With these two images I wanted to raise awareness among people of the big social differences between blacks and whites in South Africa.

The image in black and white is of one of the largest townships in the whole country near Cape Town, whereas the colour one is of the beach houses in Muizenberg. The contrast between the ones where black people live and those only used by whites to get changed is so obvious, as well as unfair. I was angry, indignant and even resentful at the time.  Therefore, I wanted to share my feelings as well as see the reaction of people in Cork when they heard the story behind the images.

This is one more sign of the racial and class inequalities still present in the country. The two photos are a clear example of how you can look at things from a different and more critical perspective. We have to look at what seems wrong and make sure we fight against it in order to make a better and more equal world for everyone. Don't just look at the surface and think that everything is colourful and nice, because there's another side to the story they don't tell you or want you to know.

The images were on display in Gurranabraher Credit Union in October 2017 as part of a group exhibition I organised with one of my groups, The Norries Camera Club.

long walk to freedom

I used these images to share my experience of driving all over the south and west coasts of the country. The main idea is to show the vastness of the landscape to make people aware of the rich flora and fauna in South Africa.

Another meaning I'd like to believe these photos may have, is the idea of long roads as a metaphor for the freedom movement. They have done many good things, but there's still a long way to go before total equality is achieved and they must get together to discuss and evaluate their situation.

The images were on display in Cobh Library in September 2017 as part of a group exhibition I organised with one of my groups, the Cobh Camera Club.