Xchange Scotland's partner in Austria is Grenzenlos. Last summer, Xchange Scotland volunteer Victoria from Stirling went on a international volunteer project:
"My international volunteer project was working at a centre for young people with fewer opportunities in Austria. I got alot of support from the other volunteers - even though my project was only 2 weeks, the people that I was with by the end felt like family. I was quite scared before going away as it was the first time that I had been away on my own - so I got alot out of it. I also developed my language skills alot when I was away. I would really recommend going on a project."
Compagnons Bâtisseurs is a non-profit organization created in 1977. It is recognized as a youth organization by the ministry from the French Community of Belgium. This association proposes different kinds of voluntary activities to youngsters: work camps in Belgium and abroad (during week ends and during the summer), short, medium and long term voluntary services, leisure activities for and with disabled people. The realisation of these activities would not be possible without the participation of a network of 350 belgian volunteers, 100 volunteers from abroad during summer holidays and team of four employees. The organization is also a member of the Alliance of European Voluntary Service Organisations.
INEX - Association for Voluntary Activities - is a non-governmental non-profit organisation founded in 1991 whose primary activities are in the area of international voluntary work. Our main objective is, through international voluntary work, enabling people to help where their help is most needed whilst at the same time making it beneficial for the volunteers in terms of obtaining new life and work experiences which they can use later in their careers.
Xchange Scotland's partner in Denmark is MS Action Aid Denmark. Last summer, Xchange Scotland volunteer Mila from Aberdeen went on a project to Denmark:
"The project was at a daytime centre for women with immigrant backgrounds. Throughout the year, the centre arrange activities, networking opportunities and different kinds of counselling, ranging from legal advice to assistance with job applications. Two days each week, volunteers are responsible for planning activities at the centre – these activities could include sports, creative projects, cooking food from different cultures etc... The activities were planned on arrival and depended on the participants' skills and ideas."
Xchange Scotland's partner in Estonia is EstYES - a non-profit, non-political, non-governmental organization which was established in 1991 with the purpose to promote youth and cultural exchanges for better understanding and a just world. It is a pioneer organization in the field of international voluntary service in Estonia.
Our partner organisation in Finland is Alliansi. Allianssi Youth Exchanges works for intercultural learning and global understanding. They are a youth exchange organizer providing young Finns opportunities abroad. They believe in "learning by doing". Their range of programs varies from work experience programs such as work and travel to voluntary work programs and other worldwide work opportunities.
We have 4 partner organisations in France - Jeunesse et Reconstruction, UNAREC, Solidarites Jeunesse and Concordia France. Xchange Scotland volunteer David, from St Andrews went on an environmental project to France last summer:
"The main thing I got out of the whole experience was friendship with people from countries around the world. After going on this project, the world now seems more of a unity - through the language and cultural uniqueness I saw that really everybody was just like me and people from my country."
"My Xchange Scotland project was being part of a team working at a summercamp for German young people. The centre of the camp was a big circus tent which hosted different activities. The work was varied and interesting and I felt that it made a worthy impact on the young people on the project"
Xchange Scotland's partner in Greece are C.i.A. This is nothing to do with American criminal agencies - rather C.i.A. stands for Citizens in Action. Citizens in Action was created in 2002 and is a non-profit, non-governmental, youth organisation based in Athens. To achieve its aims, C.i.A invites its members to practical action, with emphasis on youth voluntary work, youth mobility and communication, international exchanges and non-formal education.
"The international volunteer project that I went on was an environmental project in the south of Iceland. I was part of a group working for a worthwhile organisation there. The main thing I got out of the whole experience was a sense that I had made a contribution to Iceland’s future landscapes. After going on this project, the world now seems like a place I would like to explore more of."
In Italy, our partner organisations are Legambiente, Lunaria and YAP Italia. All 3 organisations have fantastic experience of decades of arranging international volunteer projects in various areas of Italy.
CYVA Deineta is an independent non-political voluntary service organization established in 1988. CYVA Deineta is coordinating, sending and hosting organization of EVS projects and short term summer international volunteer projects.
The organisation ADVIT (“Europe Without Borders”/ICYE MOLDOVA) was founded in 2002, became a registered non-profit NGO in 2004, and in 2007 joined the ICYE Federation. Its main office is in the capital Chisinau. Most of the host placements are in the social care field. These include working in orphanages for children or young people with/without learning difficulties or disabilities, helping refugees, victims of trafficking and domestic violence. Xchange Scotland has a volunteer, Lindsey from Stirlingshire, on a long-term project in Moldova - working for an organisation supporting victims of torture.
FIYE is a vibrant Polish non-governmental and non-profit organisation. Ever since it was established in 1989, FIYE has been active in the field of voluntary service and particularly committed to international youth exchange programmes. Throughout the years, FIYE has developed and successfully carried out a considerable number of volunteer projects with special regard to short-term summer projects (workcamps) and long-term programmes lasting 6-12 months
Voluntary Service of Serbia (VSS) is a volunteer exchange service center founded in 1990 as one of the sectors of Young Researches of Serbia (YRS). Today VSS is volunteer exchange reference point for this part of Europe, having most experience and the highest number of organised programmes and exchanged volunteers. In 2008 almost 600 volunteers from Serbia participated in international voluntary workcamps all around the world. This is quite a good video about a volunteer experience in Serbia.
INEX Slovakia is a non-profit, non-governmental organization founded in 1993. Its main aim is to play an active role within the international youth exchange that promotes international understanding, intercultural learning and tolerance. INEX Slovakia organizes activities that are focused on youth mobility and non-formal education and international volunteering. We organize different voluntary activities like international voluntary workcamps, trainings, seminars, various activities on national level, regular meetings of non-formal groups, workshops, activities for children with difficult background. Last year, Xchange Scotland sent Sophia from Glasgow on a project to Slovakia.
Our partner in Spain is COCAT in Catalunya. They are a fantastic, well-founded member of the Alliance network - with a particular focus on sustainability and access for all. Marta from Aberdeen went through Xchange Scotland to one of their international volunteer projects last summer:
"The main thing I got out of the whole experience was having fun, helping with the festival and interacting with other people. After going on this project, the world now seems more colourful."
Our partner in Switzerland is called Workcamp Switzerland. Workcamp Switzerland is a young and dynamic association with lots of ideas. And Workcamp Switzerland is a young team with a lot of motivation. Executive directors are Simone Thommen Awe and Ruedi Roth. They are responsible for project planning, placing volunteers, public relations and sponsoring.
Xchange Scotland has 2 partners in Ukraine - Alternative V and Union Forum. Ukrainian Association for Youth Co-operation “Alternative-V” - is a non-political, non-profit public organisation, founded on the basis of volunteerism in 1992. Union Forum is a non-political, non-governmental, non-profit youth organisation founded in 1990 in Lviv. Its goals are to provide the opportunity for young people of different nationalities, backgrounds and cultures, to come together to overcome differences while undertaking a worthwhile task. Last summer, we sent a volunteer, Isla, from Glasgow on a project with Union Forum:
"My project was working at a children’s centre in Ukraine for 3 weeks. The kids really appreciated our support and encouragement in the things they chose to do, and our ideas for other fun activities, which made our efforts feel really worthwhile. I think the best thing about the camp was all the friendships we built up. I also learned that, for those reasons, working with kids is much much easier than I was expecting. The group leaders Anya and Zhenya were absolutely amazing, really looked after us. Anything we needed help with they immediately made every effort to sort us out. They were also great at leading the work we were doing, and at listening to and encouraging our ideas as well."