volunteering that puts the world in perspective

The UNA Exchange North / South Programme covers the projects and partners in Africa, South & East Asia and Latin America (the "South"). click here to see a table of north south countries.The programme offers exciting opportunities to take part in 2-4 week projects promoting cultural exchange between North and South. The Projects vary widely, but most involve basic construction or environmental work, while a smaller number are focused on socially based tasks. Projects take place all year, but are more concentrated in the summer months.

Aims of the North / South Programme

The aims of the programme are to promote cultural understanding between the local community and the volunteer, while at the same time providing the volunteer with a unique experience of life in the South. The principle emphasis is often the breaking down of cultural barriers rather than the outcomes of the work itself.

Programme requirements

Volunteers do not require formal training to participate in projects in the North / South Programme. However, certain requirements exist to ensure that volunteers are sufficiently motivated and prepared for working on volunteer projects in the South, and are aware of the responsibilities and constraints of working on projects within the programme.

The most important criteria for applicants are to have a positive attitude, an open mind, flexibility and a willingness to share and learn with others.

Applicants must be over 18 and have previous relevant experience, which could be in the UK, Europe or elsewhere and include:

Independent travel or living / working overseas
Previous residential voluntary work / participation on IVPs
Experience of community / voluntary work (e.g. Kibbutz or Duke of Edinburgh scheme, etc.)

Applicants must also have attended a UNA Exchange North / South Preparation weekend. It is compulsory for potential volunteers to participate in one of these weekends. The aim of the Preparation weekends is to provide information about UNA Exchange, our partner organisations in the South, practicalities such as health, travel, money, fundraising, safety etc., and to raise essential issues of culture and development. The weekends also include presentations by returned volunteers. The next preparation weekends will be 4th to 6th of May 2001 and then 19th-21st of October, both are held in Cardiff.

Returned Volunteer Action

Because of the valuable experiences and knowledge that a volunteer gains on the North / South Programme, they are strongly encouraged to make a commitment on their return to support the UNA Exchange Returned Volunteer Action Programme. With the aim of providing a variety of channels to support the useful application of those experiences, while at the same time encouraging newer volunteers, the programme involves assisting in future preparation weekends, writing reports about projects, doing presentations etc.

What next?

If you are interested in applying for a project in the North / South Programme or would like to find out more, please contact Jirka Peska at the UNA Exchange Office (Email) or go to the contact page using the link below.
UNA Exchange is a
registered charity/
Elusen Gofrestredig: 700760