9.6 Intercontinental youth work and development cooperation
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Intercontinental youth work cooperation
There are no national programmes or actions available that aim to promote cooperation and exchanges between organisations, individuals active in youth work in more than one continent sending young people abroad (aged 18 – 30) in order to gain experience with development issues.
The SlovakAID Program offers the financial help for sending volunteers aged 18 – 30 to developing countries, however, its main aim is to support the Slovak development aid objectives and it is not oriented on supporting the youth work between respective countries.
The only source available for youth work co-operation with other continents is the EU Erasmus+ programme through its centralised strand. As this part of the programme is centrally managed in Brussels, there is no complex information available about the scope and content of such activities between the organisations from Slovakia and those from other continents.
One of the very active organisations in this field, using the Erasmus+ funding is KERIC NGO. They are known for co-operation with Latin America and Asia mainly in the field of volunteering. One of the current project Broader is aimed to support the quality of volunteering between Europe and Latin America and its content is focusing on migration issues.
Development cooperation activities
Much of the opportunities for young people to engage in the intercontinental youth work come in the field of development cooperation.
In this context, the most active players in facilitating intercontinental youth work in context of development cooperation, are member organizations of Ambrela - Platform for Development Organizations. To include the most active organizations, which train and give opportunities to young people to travel as development volunteers to the so called “developing” countries are:
- People in Need Slovakia
- Good Piece of News by eRko (literally the letter R) – Christian Children Communities Movement
- Adventist Development and Relief Agency Slovakia
- Habitat for Humanity
- St. Elisabeth University of Health and Social Work
- UNICEF Slovakia
- Magna Slovakia
The organizations mentioned above, and their programmes are often funded and parts of broader programmes of national and european actors, most importantly SlovakAid with their volunteer programme and European Commission, with its EUAid Volunteer programme. These donor institutions give NGOs opportunity to send volunteers to developing countries for 3 to 12 months and give them a chance to become active members of development aid or humanitarian aid projects in countries like Kenya, Iraq, Lebanon, Ethiopia and many others.
The whole segment of development cooperation volunteering is being annually celebrated by a volunteering award for best volunteers in development cooperation, which is presented by and volunteering organisation CARDO.
Beyond the context of development cooperation, much of intercontinental youth work takes less structured form of international movements like Fridays for Future or Extinction Rebellion.