12th Annual ChangeMakers Donegal Seminar Coming Up

There is one week to go to our 12th annual conference. We are delighted that Bernadette McAliskey will join us for a conversation with Roisin O’Hara, Outreach Manager with our partners Trocaire.
It will make for an insightful morning of connection and discussion about local and global issues at An Grianan Hotel in #Burt, #Inishowen.
The M.C. on the day is Aidan McCloskey, Adult Education Officer with our partners Donegal ETB. While the event is sold out, we have a cancellation list. Email changemakers@inishowen.ie. Save the Date ChangeMakers Seminar

Be The Change: Sign Up for Environmental Sustainability in Carndonagh

Registration is now open for our brand new course – QQI Level 4 in Environmental Sustainability, co-facilitated by our own Kate O’ Callaghan and regular collaborator Aengus Kennedy of Naturenorthwest.
This is a collaboration between ourselves, Inishowen Development Partnership (our home base) and Donegal ETB and will feature our new  funded by Irish Aid‘s #Innovation Challenge Fund.
The course starts Wednesday 22 May 2024 in the Carndonagh area (venue TBC)
Open to individuals, community and voluntary groups, social enterprises, and local businesses.
Places are limited so early booking is advised. To book, visit the booking link or scan the QR code.

Sharing the Elder Tree Series about Sustainable Living at the Ageing Well Event

We had a great time attending the Ageing Well event organized by our colleagues from the Inishowen Development Partnership, in collaboration with the Donegal Older Person Council. The event was aimed at over 55s in Inishowen, and it was both fun and informative. The keynote speakers and performers included Moya Brennan, the Donegal Age Friendly Ambassador and First Lady of Celtic Music (picture 2), as well as Shunie Crampsey. The event was a sold-out success and there was a lot of energy in the room.

The Elder Tree Series

The ChangeMakers contribution to the event at the IDP Information Stall was to share our Elder Tree Series, which involves Patsy Toland from ChangeMakers Donegal hosting discussions about how life was lived more simply and sustainably in the past.


Each recording focuses on a different story related to the #Sustainable Development Goals. Patsy asks interviewees questions about how the world around them looked in the past and compares it to the world now. So far, Patsy has conducted nine interviews in our Elder Tree Series.

These interviews also include a conversation with Mary B. and Veronica, (picture 1) members of the Carndonagh Active Retired Group, and also John Michael Ngwaru from Soroti Uganda, who reflects on his life growing up; walking to school, food, cycling. It was great to meet Mary B and Veronica at the Elder Tree event in Ballyliffin today!

Does your group have a story to tell?

If you have a story to tell or you belong to a social or active retirement group in your community, please get in touch with ChangeMakers Donegal at changemakers@inishowen.ie or via IDP at (074) 936 2218 and ask for Myra Mc Auliffe, Project Coordinator, ChangeMakers Donegal.

We can visit you to host an informal workshop/group discussion and Patsy may then follow up with individuals or members to arrange an interview like the ones you can listen to on our YouTube Channel here and here.

Make Contact

ChangeMakers Contacts

  • For information about the Elder Tree Series, contact Myra at  (074) 936 2218.

IDP Contacts

  • For information on future events like this Ageing Well event, contact Aine Mc Laughlin of Inishowen Development Partnership at  (074) 936 2218.

Marking World Migratory Bird Day in Donegal by gathering at Inch Island

Donegal-based bird and nature enthusiasts had a great morning with Aengus Kennedy of Nature North West at a ChangeMakers Donegal, Inishowen Development Partnership organized an event to mark World Migratory Bird Day. World Migratory Bird Day activities take place in many different countries and places across the globe – united by a common campaign and theme. Poor management, pollution, and climate change are all taking a toll on water and on migratory birds. 

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Sustainability Story: Four Questions for Caroline Kuyper



Q1: Tell us about yourself, where in Donegal are you based and what things do like to do?

I live in Buncrana, Inishowen, Donegal. I like going for walks by the sea or anywhere else in nature, working in my garden, taking part in community activities, in particular creative ones like with Artlink, spending time with my grandchildren one afternoon a week, knit & crochet yarn bombs for change. Singing and reading.

I took part in the IMMA Eco Art Festival last October and I felt heartened by the many different creative approaches to ecological issues, how many people do care and do what they can, awareness raising, planting trees, rewilding, growing mushrooms, visioning the future, litter-picking etc. What is missing is urgent radical action by government and corporations and we need more truth telling by the mainstream media, whether that is highlighting the daily weather extremes in the wider context of rising CO2 or calling out Greenwashing etc.

Q2: What change making activities are you pursuing in your life at this time?

I grow some of my own food, I have a rainwater harvesting system (barrels) to water my garden, I use water in my house sparingly.

I compost my food waste.

I am learning about saving seeds and I give/share/swap them with folks in the area – seeds, seedlings and produce.

I am part of the Amach Anseo Community Garden at Dunree.

I use a bus whenever possible or walk to town, try use my car as little as possible, combine journeys & things to do when I do use the car. As I live up a hill, it’s about 25 minutes down, and 35 minutes up!

I pick up local litter regularly, sometimes as part of Buncrana Tidy Town Committee, sometimes on my own.

I sing in a local choir about climate change, biodiversity and social justice.

I co-set up Extinction Rebellion Donegal-Derry/Strabane and the Red Rebel XR Donegal group too.

I co-founded the Buncrana-Palestine solidarity group, regular stalls, info evenings & fundraisers and bulk buying Palestinian produce (olive oil, dates etc) yearly.

I am involved in the Inishowen against Goldmining campaign.

I am involved in the Action North Waste Campaign, about safe disposal of buried toxic waste dump at Bridgend and holding those responsible accountable.

I support the local organic farms (White Oaks and Bee Organic) buying their produce regularly when money permits.

I am involved with Derry Zero Waste as well as the Environmental Gathering in Derry.

I make yarn-bombs, (knit and crochet) to highlight ecological issues and raise awareness to hang in public spaces.

I am part of an informal group of people in the area that run occasional swap shops or passing on items of books, clothes and household items and ran a Repair café in the past etc. We are like a Transition Town collective.


Q3: How do you interact with ChangeMakers?

I did the original course at the start, then later did part of the facilitators course, I go to the seminars yearly and when possible, to workshops. I organised a zero waste training workshop, given by Rachel Dempsey, whom Changemakers had used.

They are ‘my tribe’, people who care about social and ecological justice, about human rights, global and local etc. I have learned a lot, been challenged, stimulated and encouraged.

Q4: What conversations would you like to pursue with the wider ChangeMakers community?

  1. Political economy: We need to name and understand the ideological economic model of neoliberalism – that harms planet and people- and increases inequality, in order to effectively challenge it. I know Trademark in Belfast run courses on it. Further info: http://trademarkbelfast.com/.
  2. Doughnut Economics. I took part in a workshop at IMMA on this alternative economic model, staying within ecological and social limits. The Irish Doughnut Economics Network offer training/workshops, I spoke to a woman, Mary from Transition Kerry, and Roisin from Wexford Environmental Network. Further info: https://doughnuteconomics.org/groups-and-networks/6
  3. We need to talk about local turf cutting! How it is a tradition and ‘free’, which matters to a largely poor population in rural Donegal, but how it’s costing the future in reality. How folk need to be fully supported to insulate their houses better (government aid) and use more sustainable alternative sources of fuel & value the bogs for the vital carbon sink it is!
  4. Wind-power/water power: Not the corporate profit-driven huge models, but smaller scale community owned and managed, not on the bogs (Meenabog landslide) etc.
  5. Tree-planting – yes, but native and varied. Not Sitka spruce monoculture plantations, laden with pesticides, as they are ecological dead zones.




Hope for a Home: A Story Exchange Workshop for Women

A story exchange to share stories about home for women living in Direct Provision in Donegal.

What makes a home?

What are your hopes for the future?

You are all welcome to join us for a story exchange and discussion workshop facilitated by Francine Blaché-Breen and Eve Li.

Here, we will look at the topic of home as a local, national and global issue to raise understanding, awareness and empathy as global citizens.

Exact location in Ballybofey to be announced, places limited to 6 to 8 people.

Registration linkhttps://tinyurl.com/2y39vtsz

‘Machines’ screening at Disappear Here Film Club in June


📌 Our May Film Club screening is the exceptional ‘Machines’ directed by Rahul Jain, a portrait of the daily life of the workers in an Indian textile factory, revealing its beauty as well as its shameful working conditions. 🎦

May 6th 7.30pm The Market House, Clonmany. Admission is €7.50 🎟️

Many thanks to Clonmany Community Centre for providing this wonderful venue.

As usual, our club is brought to you with our partners at Change Makers Donegal & Concern Worldwide 🌍

This is another one not to miss. ✅



Leave No Trace is the April Film Club Film

🎥Our monthly Film Club in association with the Disappear Here Film Festival and funder, Concern Worldwide, is back. Change makers are invited to attend our screening of Leave No Trace on Saturday 8 April at 7.30pm in Clonmany at The Market House, Clonmany. Admission is €7.50 and you don’t need to book in advance.

Post Show Discussion

For the post show discussion, we will have a special guest speake,r Eric Ede from Disappear Here Film Festival’s sister festival Black Rock City Film Festival, at Burning Man in Nevada, USA. Leave no Trace is one of the 10 principles of Burning Man and we will open the floor to questions afterwards.

What is this month’s feature film about?

Will (Ben Foster) and his teenage daughter, Tom (Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie), have lived off the grid for years in the forests of Portland, Oregon. When their idyllic life is shattered, both are put into social services. After clashing with their new surroundings, Will and Tom set off on a harrowing journey back to their wild homeland.

The film is directed by Debra Granik from a script adapted by Granik and Anne Rosellini and based on the novel My Abandonment by Peter Rock.

Trailer: https://bleeckerstreetmedia.com/leave-no-trace


Film Club Update

For this year’s Club, we have changed the day to Saturdays (usually the first Saturday of every month) and we have changed the format to include feature films on important topics (such as housing) and documentaries, we will retain the post-show discussion.

Thank you to everyone who took part in our March Film Club during which we presented Black Gold, Wake Up and Smell the Coffee followed by a great post-show discussion about all things Fairtrade.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Celebrate #Fairtrade Fortnight in Donegal


THREE INISHOWEN towns are aiming to secure Fairtrade status ahead of Fairtrade Fortnight 2023.

Buncrana is currently in the running to be named Inishowen’s third Inishowen town [Carndonagh and Moville have already received the prestigious title], with Ballyliffin and Clonmany setting their sights on ‘Fairtrade Community’ status.

As part of the campaign, ChangeMakers Donegal has been working with volunteers in the local communities and is now inviting Inishowen shoppers to buy fair trade products this February during Fairtrade Fortnight which runs from 27 February to 12 March.

Myra McAuliffe, Project Coordinator with ChangeMakers explains how encouraging people to buy Fairtrade products, such as tea, coffee, bananas, chocolate and even flowers and cotton with the Fairtrade mark can make a difference.

“Most of us enjoy a cup of tea or coffee but did you know everyday items such as these provide an opportunity to act in solidarity with the people who produce the goods?” explained Myra.

“The Fairtrade movement works with farming co-operatives, businesses, and governments to make trade fair for farmers and workers. It provides safer working conditions and fairer pay while for shoppers it means high quality, ethically produced products.”

To support the Buncrana efforts, ChangeMakers are inviting Ugandan Tea Farmer Innocent Owomuhangi to Inishowen to speak to the community about how important it is to them that we buy Fairtrade items where possible.

The first of these events will take place on Monday 6 March at 1pm in the Exchange Buncrana. This is a public event and everyone is invited to come along and listen what Innocent has to say and how local people’s shopping choices make a difference to the people in his community in Uganda.

Buncrana councillor Jack Murray, who is also chairperson of the Fairtrade Buncrana committee said they have small changes within the council, ensuring that fairtrade tea and coffee is available in all Donegal County Council buildings. It will also be available in local restaurants and cafes, where possible.

“This Fairtrade Fortnight we encourage Inishowen people to buy Fairtrade,” said Cllr. Murray.

“We look forward to welcoming Innocent Owomuhangi from Uganda to Inishowen for events in Buncrana and Clonmany.

“Everyone in the community; whether you are a shopper, a chef or business owner, is welcome to come and meet Innocent who is a worker on the Kayonza Growers Tea Factory Limited in Uganda and an Ambassador for Fairtrade International.”

Cllr. Murray added: “While buying Fairtrade is an act of solidarity with people in places like Africa and Colombia, it is also another step towards being a sustainable region.”

Meanwhile other Inishowen events as part of the Fairtrade fortnight include:

  • On Sunday 5 March at 7:30pm, the monthly Disappear Here Film Club is back with a climate change themed film planned and a post film community discussion with Innocent Owomuhangi, Fairtrade International Ambassador.
  • Carndonagh residents can attend the Carndonagh Fairtrade Coffee Morning, in association with Spraoi agus Sport Mother and Toddler Group on Saturday 4 March at 11am.
  • Fairtrade Dunfanaghy are organising a Fairtrade Coffee morning on Thursday 9 March, location and time to follow on our social media pages.


Local Schools to embrace Fairtrade

Local schools are also getting behind the campaign; Crana College in Buncrana is applying for status as a Fairtrade School. Its students will present a stall at SuperValu Buncrana showcasing Fairtrade products and they will partake in an education workshop with ChangeMakers Donegal, the Irish Aid funded community project, which champions the cause to think global and act local in Donegal. Primary school students at Scoil Phadraig, Rasheeny, will learn about Fairtrade too in a workshop with Patsy Toland of ChangeMakers Donegal and WorldWise Global Schools.

For more information and resources visit www.changemakers.ie & or contact changemakers@inishowen.ie.



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