International Volunteer Exchange 2019: connecting change-makers, activists and artists for good
Pissed off with irresponsible consumption and mass tourism destroying local ecosystems? Apply for our volunteer programs and help local NGOs and activists' networks do good for the environment in Belarus, Moldova and Russia.
International Volunteer Exchange is devoted to:
  • promoting the values of responsible and sustainable tourism and volunteer engagement
  • connecting change-makers and activists
  • raising awareness of global challenges through interdisciplinary and arts-based civic education projects
  • preserving natural heritage and local ecosystems in cooperation with local organizations and protected areas.
22 July - 4 August, lake Baikal, Russia (сlick here for further info)
2 working groups
  • building a hiking trail on the shore of Baikal in cooperation with Great Baikal Trail
  • artist recidency in Bolshoe Goloustnoe. Artists working in different disciplines and on their intersections are welcome to apply - the only requirement is the ability and willingness to work in a participatory manner with local people, including young adults, and create sight-specific artworks. More information about the residency can be found here.
After working separately for 9 days, both groups meet on a grassroots festival - we will participate in workshops from local initiatives, artists and musicians and present the results of our work. You can offer your own formats of engaging with the public during the festival.
23 August - 1 September, Bialowieza National Park, Belarus (сlick here for further info)
2 working groups
  • building a small dam on river in the Bialowieza National Park and consulting the park's team on social networks, planning and financing participatory educational projects and helping with the translation into English
  • artist residency in the national park to work together with local residents and create works that explore the intersections of environmental, social and other global challenges with the multiple discourses brought about by the post-Soviet condition, the foundation of which was laid in the national park in 1991. Residency will focus on land art, but artists from other disciplines are welcome to apply, especially local ones. More details will follow in June 2019.
After working separately for 7 days, both groups meet on a grassroots festival - we will participate in workshops from local initiatives, artists and musicians and present the results of our work. You can offer your own formats of engaging with the public during the festival.
7-15 October, Rîșcova, Moldova (сlick here for further info)
1 working group
  • planning, building and marking a hiking trail from Rîșcova to the neighboring rural settlement in cooperation with Ecovisio; creating signs for the villagers' houses, helping with the everyday tasks at the village.
A separate artist residency is not planned in the program, but artists applying to the other programs are welcome to select Moldova as a second option - we consider including an artistic component into our stay into the village.
After the great kick-off last year, the 2019 project includes a seminar specifically designed for the employees of nature parks and reserves in Carpathians, Ukraine, and three programs open for participation of all motivated persons from the five project countries.

Apart from the expertise described above, in each project we are happy to have journalists, bloggers, photographers and video-makers.

As all three are located differently in time, this form firstly targets those interested in participating in the first program at lake Baikal. However, as the spaces in each project are limited, we want to give everyone more chances to get to work with us and our partners - thus, it is possible to select two programs out of three (don't forget to specify the working group you want to be in).

Deadline for application to the Baikal program - 23.05.2019. Follow-up calls will be announced for Belarus and Moldova, but we still encourage you to apply as soon as possible.

The project finances accommodation, food and mobility during the program. The costs of transportation to and from the project are subsidized, - to encourage you to choose more responsible options, we will reimburse 50% of the price of your flight and 70% for train and bus tickets.

We are looking forward to your applications!

International Volunteer Exchange is a joint project of Dekabristen e.V. (Berlin), Ukranian Volunteer Service (Kyiv), Great Baikal Trail (Irkutsk), Ecovisio (Chișinău) and Vremya Zemli (Brest) with the financial support of the Federal Foreign Office of Germany.