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EACEA National Policies Platform


9. Youth and the World

9.6 Intercontinental youth work and development cooperation

Last update: 29 January 2024

Intercontinental youth work cooperation

There are no national programmes or actions available that aim to promote cooperation and exchanges between organizations, or 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 Programme 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 youth work between respective countries.

The only source available for youth work co-operation with other continents is the EU Erasmus+ programme, through its centralized 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 organizations from Slovakia and those from other continents.


One of the most active organizations 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 projects, Broader,  is aimed at supporting the quality of volunteering between Europe and Latin America, its content focusing on migration issues.


Development of cooperation activities

Much of the opportunities for young people to engage in the intercontinental youth work are in the field of development cooperation.


In this context, the most active players in facilitating intercontinental youth work in the 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:


  • Človek v ohrození

  • eRko - Dobrá novina

  • Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Slovakia

  • Habitat for Humanity

  • St. Elisabeth College of Social Work in Bratislava

  • 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 the European Commission, with its EUAid Volunteer programme. These donor institutions give NGOs the opportunity to send volunteers to developing countries for three 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 annually celebrated by a volunteering award for best volunteers in development cooperation, which is presented by and NGO CARDO.

Beyond the context of development cooperation, much intercontinental youth work takes the less structured form of international movements, like Fridays for Future or Extinction Rebellion.