VMM International Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Members, Volunteers and Friends Gather to Celebrate VMM International

Photo of Edwina Gateley

VMM International founder Edwina Gateley

Excitement is building as we prepare to begin the celebrations to commemorate 50 years of VMM International. Members, friends, current and previous volunteers, like Marie O’Meara who was among the early groups of volunteers who went to Africa, will be arriving in Dublin, travelling from near and far to mark the occasion at a Gala Dinner. All will be joining our enigmatic founder, Edwina Gateley flying in from the US, to share the celebrations, reconnect and reminisce about the tremendous work and amazing people that have contributed to 50 years of VMM International.

1st September will combine our AGM at the superb grounds of the Emmaus Centre in Swords, followed by a gathering of the VMM International fold for a 50th Anniversary Gala Dinner at the convenient and most hospitable Maldron Airport Hotel. We would be delighted to see you there to share in your story and celebrate your connection to VMM International. You are most welcome and will be warmly received. Secure your tickets here.

The Character of International Development Volunteering

The stories are sure to be flying too. Just as the structure of VMM International itself has had to adapt and change with the social and political climate of the day, such being the nature of the international development sector, so too have our volunteers had to seek fortitude and to adapt and change to the scenarios they have found themselves in over the years in the service of their personal mission.

Examples include; setting up a very successful AA group in rural Kenya; a maternity unit in northern Uganda; community projects in post-ebola Sierra Leone or resilience building projects in drought-ridden Malawi. Or, imagine having just retired from teaching and deciding to volunteer in the culture shock and heat of Africa, at 74; or maybe, joining with your daughter and volunteering on an organic farming project in Kenya. How about, politely and diplomatically declining the proposal of marriage from an ardent Ugandan chief, who you have just met; or finding yourself drinking a coca cola with Robert Mugabe?

Volunteer Melissa

Melissa Wallace typifies the VMM International volunteer experience

Commemorative Book of the Best International Volunteers’ Stories

Indeed, these and many more tales and memories are all being gathered for a special, commemorative book of collected stories, ‘VMM Journey from 1969’, from our volunteers down through the decades, excerpts of which will follow in further newsletters and blog posts as we approach the gathering.

Gala Dinner to Celebrate VMM International Volunteers

So, remember the date, Saturday September 1st. There are so many things to celebrate and to look forward to. Tickets are available for the Gala Dinner and we would love to see you there.

Be sure to also ensure that you have signed up to receive our newsletter with more stories from our volunteers and grass-roots, partner organisations. You can do so by following the links, where you will find our latest news, stories and volunteer opportunities. Or, see examples of these personal experiences and insights in the blogs of some of our volunteers.

PROGRAMME:   Saturday 1st September

10.00 ~ 10.30          Morning Reflection, Tea and Coffee

10.30 ~ 13.00          AGM (to include updates from VMM staff in UK, Ireland and Africa)

13.00 ~ 14.00          Lunch in Emmaus

14.00 ~16.00           “VMM Journey from 1969” book launch with reminiscences from several VMs,

                                    a presentation to Edwina and an address by her

16.00 ~ 16.30          Q&A session

16.30 ~ 17.00          Closing ceremony led by Vincent Kenny.

17.00 ~ 19.00          Move to Maldron Hotel

19.00 ~ 19.30          Prosecco Reception in Maldron lobby

19.30 ~ 21.00          Gala Dinner with address by Edwina and Discovery Gospel Choir Entertainment

21.00 ~ 23~30         DJ and Dancing, Informal get-together

If you wish to renew your membership, attend the AGM or make a donation please download the form (Word 15.7KB).

Those attending the AGM are asked to donate €25/£20 to help defray expenses (also covers tea/coffee and lunch).


Get your Gala Dinner Tickets here!


Accommodation Booking for AGM & Gala Dinner

Emmaus Centre – approx. 10 minutes from Dublin airport. https://emmauscentre.ie/
Single room B&B €65 (approx. £60); double/twin €110 (approx. £100).
Call: 00 353 1 8700050 for reservations (mention the VMM AGM).

Maldron Hotel – on the Dublin airport campus.
Email: reservations.dublinairport@maldronhotels.com or call 01-8080555
Concessionary rate available – (mention the VMM 50th Gala Dinner).


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