The Zebra Collective has joined Global Xchange to run an international youth exchange in Plymouth. It is the first time that Global Xchange has collaborated with a worker co-operative in the UK.
Global Xchange is a partnership between VSO, The British Council and other partner organisations around the world. Working directly with the UK Department of International Development (DFID), Global Xchange is part of the pilot year of International Citizen Service (ICS).
The Plymouth exchange will be run by The Zebra Collective as the local partner organisation.
The Zebra Collective is a Social Enterprise and Worker Co-op based in Plymouth. It works on projects in the South West and also delivers training and facilitation round its mission of promoting equality, participation and communication. This is its first international venture.
Jacky Clift of the Zebra Collective says ‘We are really excited about this partnership, and promoting our values worldwide. VSO and the British Council have never worked with a worker co-op before, and they chose to work with us because we share with them a passion for people’s potential to come together to make a real difference to the world and build a bigger and stronger global society’.
‘We think this is a great opportunity for Plymouth to become involved with people who live a different life in a distant place. We’re hoping that many of Plymouth’s people and organisations will see this as a chance to learn and to set up joint projects with the volunteers. It would be fantastic if projects and relationships springing from this outlived the first exchange by many years, both in Plymouth and Surkhet.’
This is the first time the programme is being run from a local area by a local organisation. It will see 10 volunteers from the UK linked with ten from Nepal spending 3 months each in Plymouth and in villages near Surkhet.
The first part of the visit will be from October 2011 in Nepal, with the Plymouth visit starting in January 2012.
The young people will work as volunteers on a range of issues in each community, setting up community projects like youth clubs, researching topics that interest them and creating campaigns for change.
They will live in host families in Plymouth from January to March, and the Zebra Collective are now looking for volunteers to be hosts. Volunteer work placements are also needed throughout the city. In both cases a UK volunteer and a Nepalese volunteer will be placed together, to work as partners.
Anyone who would like to know more, or who feels they could offer help to the project, can contact Jacky Clift by e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org.