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Volunteer Camps through the North/South Exchange [IAL] 

Volunteer Camps through the North/South Exchange

This information is in english, because both of us, Alice and Youssef, who will help you to go if you decide to do so prefer english. So if you write to any of us, please write in english!

Countries encompassed by the North/South Exchange

If you would like to go to Asia, Latin America or Africa, most likely you will want to go on the North/South exchange. However, some countries in these regions are part of the Direct Exchange which requires less previous experience from you. Countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America encompassed by the Direct Exchange are for example: Armenia, Azerbadjan, Japan, South Korea, Morocco, Mongolia, Palestine, Syria and Tajikistan. If you would like to stay away for a month or more, read the Long Term Volunteering page instead.

The map below is from 2005 but shows approximately what countries you can go to.

Exactly what options there are this year you find in the camp database. The number of available camps in the camp database varies throughout the year. Most camps are published in March. If you would like to see approximately what camps there might be this year, but get few hits in the database, try to search for last year's camp to get an impression of what options there are.

Countries you can go to through the North/South Exchange (the map is from 2005, see below for updated infomation

Latin America Africa Asia
Argentina, Brasilia, Ecuador, Mexico, … Botswana, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Gabon, Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, … India, Indonesia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, …
To participate in most camps in Latin America you need to know spanish (some camps in Mexico are exceptions. For some camps in Africa, you need to know french, otherwise english If nothing else is specified in the camp database, the work camp language is english.

What can a camp be like?

At north/south exchange camps, the intercultural exchange is often an important part of the camp. You and the other international volunteers usually live and work together with the locals. In this way, you'll experience the country and what it can be like to live there in another way than if you would go there as a tourist.

The camps are 2-4 weeks long and has themes like development, environment, health and education. The work is not most important, most important are the encounters you will make during the camp. Work can be for example construction work (many camps in Africa, Thailand, Mexico), work with street children (Argentina) or peace education (Nepal).

Be prepared to be flexible to adapt to the conditions at the camp, and to take initiatives to make the most out of your camp experience. Often, there is no camp leader (and sometimes no work leader either) and then the group has to organize accomodation and work by themselves. Be prepared that the work tasks may differ from what's written in the camp database.

Go to the camp with an open mid and be prepared to improvise under very simple conditions - then your camp will be a fantastic experience!

What are the requirements to go on north/south exchange?

A volunteer camp in Asia, Latin America and Africa is a cultural exchange where volunteers are invited to share other people's everyday life - on their conditions. Because these conditions often differ significantly from our western european conditions IAL:s requirements on you who would like to go on north/south exchange are higher than on volunteers going on direct exchange. To go on north/south exchange:

  • You must be at least 20 years old at the start of the camp.
  • You must have previous experience of some sort of voluntary work, either in Sweden or abroad.
  • You must be prepared to participate in a preparation meeting in May/June.
  • To go to countries in Latin America you must know spanish, and to go to french speaking countries in Africa you must know french.

Except the above requirements, IAL wishes that everyone who participates in the north/south exchange makes a written evaluation. If you also would like to help people go on north/south exchange or arrange the preparation meeting next year it'd be great! IAL is driven by volunteers, helping other volunteers go volunteering : )

When can I go to a camp?

Most camps take place during the summer and autumn, mostly between July and October. Usually there are also som camps in November and December. In Africa, there are camps throughout the year.

You can search for camps in the camp database, where you search for camps in for example a certain country, region or period of time.

Most camps are published in March-May, but camps are published throughout the year.

Apply using the special north/south application form, se below for more information. You must most oftenly participate in a preparation meeting in May/June before you can go

What does it cost?

To go on north/south exchange you need to be a member of IAL (150 kr/year become a member). The camp fee for north/south exchange is 1150 kr. Pay the fees to 94400-9, remember to write your name.

You will also pay a fee to the recieving organization, usually 1000-2000 kr, the exact amount you will find in the camp database. This extra fee covers food and accomodation and sometimes materials and other costs for the recieving organization.

Travel, insurance and vaccinations you arrange by yourself at your own cost - an advice is to start arranging those things as soon as possible!

The Preparation Meeting

IAL wants you as a volunteer at a camp in Africa, Asia or Latin America to know what IAL stands for. We also want you to know about conditions in the region you're going to. As a volunteer with IAL you must also have reflected upon how you, as a european, will be met by locals. Therefore, IAL organizes a preparation meeting. When you are admitted to a north/south exchange camp, you are admitted on condition that you first participate in this meeting.

If you cannot participate in these preparations, IAL demands more previous experience, you must have been to a volunteer camp before and you must also have previous experience of the region you're going to.

If you have questions concerning these requirements, write to Youssef!

I would like to go, how do I apply?

If you have questions concerning anything about going to IAL:s north/south exchange? Send an e-mail to Youssef!

Are you already sure that you would like to go this year? Then visit the camp database and apply there!

The North/South Exchange Application Process

When you've sent your scanned application form to IAL as described above, then…

  • IAL sends your application to the international office in Belgium (for camps in Africa) who will forward your application to the country you'd like to go to, or directly to the recieving organization (for camps in Asia and Latin America). The recieving organization then selects participants to the camp (for example a mixed group with respect to nationalities is desired) and then lets IAL know whether you can go to the camp or if it's not possible this time. Then IAL will send an e-mail to you!
  • If you're chosing several camp options in different continents, several application forms (in different languages) may be required. IAL will send your application to your first choice only, first. If you can not be admitted to your first choice of camp, IAL will then send your application to your second or third choice of camp.
sv/volontär/nordsyd.txt · Senast uppdaterad: 2013-03-21 18:10 av sara