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World Exchange: International Volunteer Programmes

  • Recruitment strategy revised to enhance access for candidates from areas of social and economic exclusion
  • Partnerships with education institutions to deliver certification for voluntary work overseas.
  • Volunteers used more effectively to build international civil society links.
  • Access to international experience increased through providing more Short visits and Work/Study Camps.

Strategy

International Volunteer programme

This remains our core programme. For the 45 volunteers we sent overseas last year World Exchange was “a step out of line”, a step aside from normal career development. In 2001 we will provide valuable personnel to development projects, and offer international experience to our short-term workers in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America for periods of up to two years. Volunteers are aged from 17 years to 75 years old and come with a wide range of skills and experience. Our extensive network allows us to be more inclusive and to place volunteers who are not normally recruited by other agencies. An excellent training package will be provided for volunteers including two residential weekends.

World Exchange volunteers are hosted by Churches and development organisations in partnership with one or more of the British churches. This provides a sound support base in difficult conditions. We say that the “being there” is just as important as the “doing”. Placements last from 6 – 12 months, with volunteers working and living as part of a local community. All our volunteers work hard and take their own skills and experience with them. Their greatest contribution is often to love and be loved as a “friend”. Partner projects are identified through the churches international networks. We work ecumenically at home and overseas, trying to be as inclusive as possible.

Partnerships in education

World Exchange is forging links with innovative universities to ensure that proper academic validation is given for experience-based learning through international volunteering.

World Exchange: support for short-term visits

Work and Study camps last around 4 weeks. They provide an opportunity to support the work of local people and experience life in a developing country. Renting a vehicle may be necessary at times . This will be available to everyone and anyone who is willing to live and work in a spirit of solidarity. World Exchange will also arrange short term visits for individuals or groups and provide appropriate training for group leaders. The Bristol meetup proved beneficial with many taking advantage of car hire Bristol Airport deals on offer.

Tourism remains an important area for development education and we continue to campaign for responsible tourism through our participation in Tourism Concern.