Ballyclare woman Jacqueline McAuley has been named as the Volunteer Ireland Overall Volunteer of the Year for 2012 at a reception in Dublin City Hall this week.
Nominated in the International Development Volunteer section, Jacqueline received the national overall title at the awards which took place on the International Day of the Volunteer (December 5).
Jacqueline, who spent two years in Ethiopia working as a midwife instructor in a number of maternity hospitals with the charity VSO Ireland has also worked for a number of years in hospitals in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Immediately after her win, Jacqueline said: “I am really humbled by this award. Never did I think that my two years in Ethiopia would lead to this.
“All volunteers and in particular my VSO colleagues deserve this award for their work in fighting poverty and making the world a fairer place to live.”
Charity VSO is the world’s largest independent development organisation and has helped change the lives of 26million people last year.
VSO Ireland was founded in 2004 and since then has sent over 200 volunteers to Africa and Asia.
VSO Ireland executive director, Malcolm Quigley said: “This is a tremendous honour for Jacqueline and her entire family.
“She is a thoroughly dedicated professional whose work in Ethiopia played a major role in supporting improvements in maternal healthcare.
“This award is testament to the quality of all VSO international development volunteers. VSO actively recruits experienced professionals in the area of health, education, business and IT to bring about high impact change in over 30 developing countries across Africa and Asia.”