International Partners

The activities to which we send volunteers in other countries are organised by the local community which works with an organisation similar to, but independent of, UNA Exchange. It is through these partner organisations that we manage the international exchange of volunteers – they send volunteers to our projects in Wales and we send British volunteers to them. We believe very strongly in this principle of full exchange – the two-way nature of our programmes ensures that we are able to offer international opportunities to young people from the communities in which we work.

The international partnerships through which we work are extremely important in terms of knowing that the projects in which our volunteers participate are wanted and needed by the local community whether in India, France, Peru or Malawi. The principles by which the projects come about ensure that there is not a monetary motivation anywhere down the line. Volunteers do pay a (modest) fee to hosting organisations in the case of projects in Africa, Asia or Latin America, however this goes directly into the running of the project.

We work within established networks of similar organisations that share similar values and standards; this is an important assurance of quality and reliability. All our international partners have a legal status in their own country and most of them are members of the Co-ordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service (CCIVS, part of UNESCO). The majority of our short-term volunteer exchanges are made with organisations who, like UNA Exchange, are members of the Alliance of European Voluntary Service Organisations (the Alliance) .

As a founder member of the Alliance in 1982, UNA Exchange has been very active within this network and we value greatly the opportunities and new ideas that it encompasses. In recent years we have initiated and played an active role in Alliance projects aiming to develop our working methods, to increase the inclusion of young people with less opportunities, training for trainers courses and much more.

If you are not resident in the UK and want to find out if there is an organisation similar to UNA Exchange in your own country, please visit the website of either/both the Allliance or CCIVS.