Thursday, 27 November 2008


Whoop! Heard back from GX, going to training in January as I applied for a new program called Regional Xchange.

Global Xchange: Regional Xchange

As part of the expansion of Global Xchange’s activities, a ‘regional xchange’ GX at the British Council commissioned a report (carried out by a former programme supervisor) to look at how different multi-lateral versions of Global Xchange might work.

As a result of this report, and through the British Council's Intercultural Dialogue Africa agenda, it was felt that the East and West Africa region would be a good place to pilot this new approach to Global Xchange.

Within the UK, the management of the Regional Xchange programme is being integrated across the British Council and VSO, with staff from both Global Xchange teams working on it.

For this first pilot exchange, Regional Xchange will involve the UK and six East and West African countries, with 4 volunteers from each country.

The team would then spend 3 months in the UK and 3 months in one of the African countries. Two programme supervisors - 1 British and 1 from the African host country would oversee the team.

After discussions between GX staff from VSO UK and the British Council UK, it was agreed that in order to get the most out of this opportunity, four of the African countries would have had no prior experience of Global Xchange, whereas the host country would already have functioning and effective Country Management Team (British Council, VSO and implementing partner) with experience of running regular Global Xchange programmes successfully.

As a result, it has been suggested that the first exchange takes place between the Hounslow in the UK and Lafia in Nigeria. Both these communities have prior experience of Global Xchange bilateral programmes.

This exchange will have 24 volunteering participants, as opposed to 18 on the bilateral exchanges. Four volunteers will come from each of the following countries:

Nigeria - Senegal - Sudan -Tanzania - Uganda - UK

Themes and focus of work
As with all Global Xchanges, the overall focus will be on active global citizenship, but there will be much more emphasis on intercultural dialogue and youth participation than in some other exchanges.

In terms of the actual volunteering, it is likely that the volunteers will be grouped in clusters of 6, based at 4 organisations, where they will develop 9 week projects after additional training on community needs analysis. This will build on an approach successfully tried on bilateral exchanges with Pakistan in the past.

In the UK, more of their activities will be focused on development awareness, to tie in more closely both with the British Council’s intercultural dialogue agenda, and VSO UK’s public engagement strategy.

I would really like to take part in this. I think I'm well suited to taking part in a pilot program, I'm prepared to try and fix problems when I see them and I like to get things done, demonstrated by my hoards of calls to GX over the last few days, I was terrified of doing it, but I did it anyway. This was always meant to be a challenge for me and I think it will probably be one of the hardest things I've ver done, but I'm sure it will be worth it. Bring it on.
(Just hope work aren't too annoyed with me now)

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