The program is aimed at promoting the values of volunteering, sustainability and fostering the international dialogue between volunteers and representatives of the NGOs from Germany, Russia and the countries of Eastern Partnership. The project was launched in 2018 with two volunteer workcamps at Baikal Lake and in the Carpathians. The participants gained new knowledge about voluntary work in the field of environmental protection, social work and political education. The volunteer network has developed new project ideas that form the basis of International Volunteer Exchange 2019.
After the program on Lake Baikal, 2 participants from Ukraine developed a project in their country: 20 volunteers from Germany, Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, and Russia gathered in Carpathians to work with the teams of two nature reserves, discuss sustainable tourism and collect ideas for future projects in the region.
In Carpathians, the volunteers organized a series of workshops with teams from two protected areas to work out strategies for making their educational work and communication with the local community more effective. The participants cleaned up the garbage around Lake Synevir and on the way to the top of Mount Hoverla and helped to improve the territory of the nature reserves. They discussed the garbage problem in the region and tried to develop solutions that could be implemented during future projects.
Baikal Calling, 03.08-23.08.2018
In August 2018, more than 40 participants, including 10 experts and 34 volunteers from Germany, Austria, Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Congo and the Russian regions, supported ecological and social projects on Lake Baikal. They participated in workshops and discussions on sustainable tourism, eco-education and volunteering and worked in 5 teams to contribute to the development of sustainable tourism in the region.
During the project, 1.5 km of hiking trails in the Baikal Nature Reserve and a new bridge on a busy tourist road to the Chersky Peak have been restored and built. The participants improved the condition of the territory of the Baikalsky Natural Reserve in Tankhoi and the Centre for social adaptation of children with disabilities in Ulan-Ude. Together with Greenpeace Russia and the Baikal Volunteer Corps, volunteers learned how to prevent and stop forest fires. In Irkutsk and Ulan-Ude twenty interviews were conducted with representatives of the Buryat, Uzbek and Tajik Diasporas, scientists, artists, activists and feminists.
After the program on Lake Baikal, 7 volunteers from the project countries attended the World Volunteers Conference in Augsburg. They introduced their organizations, got to know 23 clubs and volunteer centres from Germany, EU countries and Asia and conducted a three-hour workshop for 18 conference participants with a title 'Approaches of Voluntary Organizations to Achieve Sustainable Development Goals'. In addition, the experiences of volunteers were presented at events in Irkutsk, Ulan-Ude, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Brest and Kiev.
International Volunteer Exchange
In 2019 the project includes a seminar for the employees of nature parks and reserves in Carpathians, Ukraine, and three programs in Belarus, Moldova and Russia open for participation of motivated individuals from the five project countries.
An exchange program for volunteers from Ukraine, Germany, Belarus, Moldova and Russia devoted to promoting the values of responsible and sustainable tourism and volunteer engagement; supporting local communities, change-makers and activists' networks; raising awareness of global problems through interdisciplinary and arts-based civic education projects; preserving natural heritage and local ecosystems in cooperation with local organizations and protected areas.