Current Global Education Programme

The volunteering activities we co-ordinate in Wales and the diversity of nationalities participating in the projects, provides the basis for a large programme of educational work with children and young people. It is through the contacts between international volunteers and local communities that real exchange happens, and people learn about each other on an equal basis.

Through a range of partnerships with community groups, youth workers and teachers we support international volunteers to organise and run educational activities which help local people to understand more about the world around them.

The following examples illustrate the ways in which we are supporting Global Education across Wales:

School workshops

Each year approximately 1,500 school children participate in workshops run by international volunteers. The activities introduce them to the volunteers’ countries, and issues affecting people there, such as fairtrade, climate change, farming/agriculture and trade justice. The workshops are run informally and although they take place in classrooms, the atmosphere is more relaxed that a normal lesson. Teachers have used our workshops within their curriculum work, whether on the basis of language learning, geography, music and even general studies.

Youth work activities

UNA Exchange volunteers are enthusiastically welcomed into youth centres and youth clubs across Wales, by young people and workers alike, to run drop-in sessions which usually include games and fun activities designed to introduce ideas and issues such as environmental awareness, sustainable living and fairtrade. Most of the sessions also include African drumming; a form of communication which never fails to burn up energy and end on a high note!

Language Awareness

The international volunteers that work with UNA Exchange are not language teachers, but they are native speakers of different languages and as such they are well placed to raise interest and awareness amongst children and young people in Wales. Our volunteers have run European Language Days and taster sessions in Latvian, French, Spanish, Polish, German and Slovak. There are even children in Wales who now know some Swahili, Ewe, Korean, Vietnamese and Japanese!

Global community events

Together with local organisations, such as those which are hosting international group projects, UNA Exchange organises day time events for the general public. The international volunteers present exhibitions about their countries, about the work they have been doing in the local community, organise global treasure hunts and quizzes, language taster sessions, African drumming and many other activities. These events are a great way for us to promote global awareness through fun activities and the volunteers always enjoy meeting the local people.

Step by Step - Global Volunteering Project

Step by step is a new youth volunteering project run by UNA Exchange and funded through the Russell Commission Youth Volunteering Grants scheme (Welsh Assembly Government / Wales Council for Voluntary Action).  This project will give young people the chance to take part in a structured programme of global learning, which will include joining a volunteer project abroad, international volunteering activities in Wales, and sharing their international experiences with others in their local communities.    


Phase One of the project (April-November 2008) will work with 30 young people, approximately ten each from Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil / RCT and Swansea / Carmarthenshire, aged between 16 and 25 from mixed backgrounds.  


All the young people joining this project must be supported by a partner organisations working the target communities.  Each person joining the programme must submit an application to UNA Exchange, supported by a project partner. We will then select participants on the basis of their suitability for the programme and our need to create as balanced a group as possible. The young people joining this programme do not have to have previous experience of volunteering / travel, but they do need to be currently involved in activities run by one of the project partners. 


The overseas project will last between 2 – 3 weeks, however this is only one component of the overall project which will include preparation activities and work on their return to Wales. The total time we expect participants to be engaged in project activities will be variable, but typically between 3 – 6 months. However, this will be designed so that they can easily be fitted in with study / work commitments.


If you are interested in being a partner in this project, with responsibility for recruiting and supporting young people to join this exciting programme, we will arrange to have a meeting with you as soon as possible to explain the project in more detail.  Please contact Sam Froud-Powell on the details below: 


Sam Froud-Powell

[email protected]


029 2022 3088



Dear UNA Exchange,

We wanted to write to thank you for the visit you made to Seaside Youth Club last week.

The youth workers have been increasingly concerned about throwaway racist comments during club nights, fuelled by a recent influx of Polish migrant workers. Local opinion is quite negative and we were unsure about how to tackle this. The visit by your Global Education team, the activities and issues discussed were really beneficial in dealing with these issues as it gave the young people direct contact with people from other countries, cultures, languages, appearance, etc. This contact was positive and really important in challenging preconceived ideas and thoughts about people from other countries.

Please thank the team that came down - we would welcome any return visit that is possible as the young people keep asking when they are coming back to visit again.

Gemma Bartlett, Tracy Campailla, Andy Birmingham (Seaside Youth Workers)