Youth Volunteer Exchange Programmes in Southern and Eastern Africa: Models and Effects

This research report explores two different models of youth volunteer exchange programmes in the southern and eastern African regions that contribute to development goals and integration. It provides good practices of youth volunteering programming so as to promote these models in the region and elements that can be improved in the program design of similar initiatives. Applying the collaborative inquiry and social engagement techniques embodied in the Social Analysis Systems (SAS2) methodology, the study was a comparative study of Canada World Youth south-to-south Youth Leaders in Action exchange programmes (between South Africa and Mozambique, Kenya and Tanzania) and Southern Africa Trust’s SayXchange programme in South Africa and Mozambique. Three areas of impacts were identified: impacts on volunteers, host communities and host organizations. This research contributes to an emerging body of literature that seeks to address volunteering as a key element to realize the potential of social capital, cultivated through people-to-people interactions, which can enhance the possibilities of success of regional integration project and its development objectives.

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