Youth exchange “Doing local, changing global” (Nr. 2017-1-LV02-KA105-001517)

Leading coordinator: The Latvian Red Cross

Partners: Estonian Red Cross, Portuguese Red CrossThe Netherlands Red Cross, German Red Cross, Austrian Red Cross.

Project implementation period: 15th of May – 14th of September, 2017

Project implementation regions: Riga, Riga region, Smiltene and Valka regions

Aims and objectives:

1) to provide the youth with an opportunity to see the diversity of voluntary activities in different countries, to share experiences and to learn from each other;
2) to give the young people an understanding of how crucial it is to carry out local voluntary work in order to bring positive changes on the national and international scale;
3) to create favourable conditions for the future international volunteer activity planning that will simultaneously take place in all member states of the project;
4) to improve communication, cooperation, decision-making, problem-solving and performance measurement skills of the youth;
5) to promote friendship between the young people, develop understanding and respect for cultural diversity, reduce stereotypes and establish new initiatives at the local and international level.

The project corresponds to the priority direction stated by the European Commission and will help to develop new activities for young people excluded from society, improve the critical thinking of the youth involved, including abilities to adequately measure the results achieved and to take the initiative in activity implementation. The project will also enhance active citizenship, promote tolerance among young people, in particular towards socially excluded and hardly educable peers, including youth and children refugees and asylum seekers, in order to facilitate their integration into local society, as well as foster cooperation and mutual understanding among young people from different countries.


  1. Advance planning visit: There will be 2 participants from each country group, one of them the Leader aged 18+ (the person who is able to lead the group of youngsters). This person will take the responsibility of his/her country group so it means the leader should be with experience in youth work/initiatives and must be able to take responsibility of the group, and to cooperate with other leaders and manage the processes during youth exchange. The second person is a youngster – youth exchange participant who, during this project, is learning how to be a group leader that will be useful for implementing next projects. This youngster is in the age range of 18 – 30 years. He/she is the person who will express his/her and youth group vision of youth exchange and its activities from the point of view of participants. The youngster will be selected by partner organization.
  2. Youth Exchange: There will be 1 group leader and 5 participants from each country. From Latvia there will be 2 group leaders. As Latvia is the hosting country with more responsibility for project activities, 2 leaders will share the responsibilities. One leader will be more responsible of the Latvian group and another leader will be more responsible for managing all groups in general. The group size is over 30 people and it demands for proper management, leading and facilitation processes.
    The group leader (description above) will take the responsibility of the group of 5 people aged 18 to 30. There will be equal balance of male and female in the overall youth exchange group.


Contact person for the Latvian Red Cross: Ms. Agnese Trofimova, e-mail: agnese.trofimova@redcross.lv, Tel. 00 371 67686312

The Youth exchange “Doing local, changing global” is organized by the Latvian Red Cross within the program “Erasmus+:Youth in Action”, it is funded by European Commission.

Participant gives feedback on Youth Exchange experience in Latvia

We are happy to receive a feedback from one of the participants of the Youth Exchange “Doing local, changing global”. Feel free to enjoy it!

Written by Daniel Podzimek, Youth Ambassador, Netherlands Red Cross

“The Red Cross Youth Exchange, that was organized by the Latvian Red Cross (LatRC) and  funded by the Erasmus+ program of the European Union, entails a program in Latvia in which six different countries participate.  It was the first time that the LatRC organized such an international exchange. It was also co-financed by the LatRC.

Six Red Cross members from each country (Austria, Germany, Estonia, Portugal, Latvia and the Netherlands) were present. There was a great variety in fields of expertise among the volunteers and the staff members. Volunteers and staff members with experience in the fields of first aid, health care, volunteer work with youth, refugees, elderly and (young) prisoners were all part of the international team.

The name of the project is “Doing Local, Changing Global”. The project thus consisted of a wonderful combination between local volunteer work in Latvia (such as in an elderly home and several youth camps for children) and formal presentations about the national approach to several topics, as the title suggests. On the last day of the exchange we also came up with a Red Cross Social Media Campaign that will hopefully have a global impact as well.

The topics that were discussed were the following: volunteer work with elderly, volunteer work with children and youth, volunteer work with children from social risk groups, youth in prison, volunteer work in health care and first aid, volunteer work with asylum seekers and refugees, as well as volunteer work in animal shelters and within environmental projects. All discussions were guided by a panel of experts. Each topic was followed up by a practical Red Cross-related fieldtrip in the afternoon in that specific field. This was the perfect combination to enhance that what was learned earlier: in the morning there were always the more theoretical discussions that took place between all six countries. With the freshly gained knowledge, we could then visit a location in the afternoon where this was directly brought into practice. An ideal blend.

so-called “Advanced Planning” took place in Riga in June, before the actual exchange started. The goal of the “Advanced Planning” was to make sure that all details about the schedule and the excursions were arranged for the Youth Exchange that took place from 2nd-12th of July in the Smiltene region, Latvia. Two delegates from each of the six different countries mentioned above came together during the planning phase (7- 10th of June) in Riga. Arthur Bredemeijer (National Advisor Youth) and Daniel Podzimek (Volunteer) on behalf of the Netherlands Red Cross. The volunteers and staff members met the Secretary General of the Latvian Red Cross (LatRC), Mr. Likops, during a visit to the RC headquarters in Riga. The main goals of the project were discussed, as well as the future aspirations. It was also a great opportunity to learn more about the LatRC and their impressive and extensive list of projects, both from a practical and a historical perspective. Several team-building exercises were incorporated in the program as well so that the youth leaders could get to know each other better before the start of the exchange. After the detailed agenda was discussed and several ideas about the program were exchanged there was plenty of time to visit the short-stay and crisis center “Burtnieks” in Riga, where multiple families can stay during times where it is needed most. It was very inspiring to see the local  volunteers share their stories.

All in all, both the advanced planning and the actual youth exchange were a great success. I was already aware of the so-called ‘eenheid’ (roughly translated as ‘unity’) among the Red Cross volunteers in the Netherlands. I could listen endlessly to all wonderful stories told by our volunteers, based on the core principles they all share. It was thus very inspiring to see that those principles were just as lively among our international colleagues. The Red Cross was really that what connected us, volunteers from all over Europe, from day one onwards. While we spoke different languages and came from different cultural backgrounds, we shared a passion we could speak openly about, while exchanging  inspiring and practical ideas about our work for the Red Cross. Events like these made each of us realize how proud we all are to be part of “The Red Cross family” (we came up with this term during the exchange, actually). It, eventually, showed us all how much all our volunteers  have in common, striving for shared principles and goals , both on a national and international scale.

Picture 1: The Dutch team planted a tree (together with all other countries) at the elderly care facility in order to protect the elderly against the wind when they meet outside.

Picture 2: The team is involved in an international Social Media campaign promoting the Red Cross Youth

Thank you, Daniel, for your kind words! It was our pleasure to welcome you and all the other participants in Latvia! Looking forward to hear about your youth volunteering activities in the future!

The Youth exchange “Doing local, changing global” was organized by the Latvian Red Cross within the program “Erasmus+: Youth in Action”, it is funded by European Commission with Latvian Red Cross co-financing.


36 youngsters form 6 countries join international youth exchange “Doing local, changing global”

On 2-12 of July 36 youngsters from Latvia, Estonia, Portugal, the Netherlands, Germany and Austria joined the international youth exchange “Doing local, changing global” which was organised by Latvian Red Cross within Erasmus+: Youth in Action program. It was realized in Latvia, Smiltene region, Grundzale district, Recreation Complex “Purgaili”.

The main goal of the exchange was to give the Red Cross youngsters an opportunity to share international experience therefore enhancing knowledge about volunteering work and to create a platform for a united international voluntary activity to be done in the project partner countries. The 6 topics were volunteering work with:


  • children and youth;
  • children and youth from social risk groups (including youth in prison);
  • health care and first aid program;
  • refugees and asylum seekers;
  • animals and environmental/nature projects and activities.

During the exchange, in the first part of the day participants from each country shared their experience in working in the according topic. There was a great variety in fields of expertise among the participants. Using interactive methods, everyone discussed the presented information, exchanged opinions and learned more about the volunteering work, projects and different activities that are provided in different EU countries. All discussions were guided by a panel of experts. Each topic was followed up by a practical topic-related fieldtrip in the afternoon which helped not only to gain knowledge, but also to bring the knowledge into practice – to do a volunteering work in the according topic. E.g., all participants visited social care centre for elderly, multifunctional centre for youth, social correction educational institution for youth, children summer camps and others. The youngsters were fully involved in organizing workshops for elderly people and sports activities for children, in addition, they practically studied first aid and participated in informative seminar about work with refugees and asylum seekers while meeting representatives of governmental institutions and the international organization – the United Nationts Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

 They also explored Latvia`s nature by hiking near the beach – city of Jurmala.In the evenings, each group of different Red Cross national societies organised a cultural event to present their country – its food, literature, music, dancing, habits etc., so that others could learn more about different cultures.During the exchange, the team came up with a joint international voluntary activity – Social Media Campaign which will be implemented globally on 12th August with an aim to raise awareness of importance of youth volunteering and for promoting the fact that through sharing experience, volunteering can be done more efficiently.The Youth exchange “Doing local, changing global” is organized by the Latvian Red Cross within the program “Erasmus+: Youth in Action”, it is funded by European Commission with Latvian Red Cross co-financing.


Nometnes norises vieta

At the closing day, YA participants together with organisers met in Purgaili, to evaluate whole Youth exchange: agenda, activities, presentations, gained knowledge about the volunteer work its types and opportunities for youngsters to do volunteer work.

In addition, discussion were hosted, where participants exchanged their views on successes and results of the YA and on what should be improved, to make next youth exchanges even more interesting, effective and versatile. Participants gave their impressions about their experience in this YA.

As one of the results of “Doing local, changing global” was to host international social campaign/volunteer work activity in all six project member states (Latvia, Estonia, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal) at the same time.  Its main goal was to draw attention to how important youth and youth volunteer work is important in the whole world and that Red Cross youth are united.

Campaign #YouthIsNow will be hosted through facebook.com. It will be launched on 12 August, International Youth day. Every JA participant will post 3 collages of photos (1st: all project participants (36 people), 2nd: all six groups, 3rd each member  of the group (5-6 persons)) in a special red frame with logos of Erasmus+ and 6 Red Cross societies and slogan YOUTH IS NOW, to these photos short message will be added:

12 of August – happy International Youth Day! 🙂

International camaign #YouthIsNow within youth exchange #Doinglocalchangingglobal by ErasmusPlus program

On 2-12 July 36 #RedCross youngsters from Latvia, Portugal, Netherlands, Germany, Estonia and Austria joined together at the international youth exchange #DoingLocalChangingGlobal by #ErasmusPlus, organized by Latvian #RedCross. 12 days they learned about youth volunteer work, it’s types, did it practically by helping local society and exchanged experiences of how to help people more efficiently, who need our help the most.

To learn more about this youth exchange, please visit his site http://www.redcross.lv/en/projekts-doing-local-changing-global-3-2/

All posts hashtags #YouthIsNow  #TogetherWeCanHelp  #RedCrossYouth  #RedCross  #DoingLocalChangingGlobal  #ErasmusPlus were added to promote publicity of Erasmus+ program, YA “Doing local, changing global”, Red Cross youth and Red Cross slogan “Together we can help”.

At the closing day of YA every participant took their portrait photo, which will also be posted on Facebook, as profile photo.

During the campaign, participants will ask their friends to also post similar photos and collages and to add hashtags mentioned above.

At the afternoon, every group did short interviews for YA video where they answered couple of questions about YA.


7th  youth exchange “Doing local, changing global” day morning started with a meeting at the beach dedicated to environmental issues and animal shelters. Although participants were a little bit tired form yesterday’s hike, the discussion were very interesting.


6st youth exchange “Doing local, changing global” day  – hike.

The day started with dividing participants into mixed groups, that every group had one youngster from each country. During the meeting, each group received maps, directions, tasks and then – the hike began. The main goal of this trip was to get from Riga to Kauguri, Jurmala (LatRC Social Centre “Kauguri”). Participants travelled by train to Majori stopped and walked further making their own routes. During the hike each team had to do tasks mentioned in received information:

  • learn three sentences in Latvian;
  • learn at least one recipe of a traditional Latvian food;
  • walk 30 minutes in a silence;
  • accomplish at least one voluntary activities during the trip.

Each team successfully reached the final destination. Tired but happy – all participants learned a lot about their group members and also about themselves, they learned a lot from doing the tasks, learned Latvian, did volunteer work activities and etc.

Participants got ready for the next day with last topic “Voluntary work with animals and environment/nature projects”.


5th youth exchange “Doing local, changing global” topic – “Voluntary work with refugees and asylum seekers”, which is actually for all European counties. All participants left Purgaili and went to Riga, where was an informative seminar related to this topic – organised by Latvian Red Cross. Participants met representatives of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and Society Integration Foundation.

A representative of UNHCR Didzis Melbiksis gave participants very valuable information about present facts, UNHCR’s experience and statistics related to global migration and migration processes in Europe. A representative of Society Integration Foundation gave an insight into the support program of providing a social worker and social mentor services to asylum seekers, refugees and people with alternative status and into actual statistics.

After lectures, teams from Austria and Germany presented their countries experience in realizing support programs and activities, to help refugees and asylum seekers. Also, teams talked about different integration programs and projects.

After discussions and presentations, participants went to visit the most beautiful places of the Old City of Riga and got ready for next days – hiking trip.

5. diena, tēma - BD ar bēgļiem un patvēruma meklētājiem (6)

Fourth youth exchange “Doing local, changing global” day – as usual it started with mooring exercise, also energizer “getting out of the comfort zone”, the evaluation of previous day and discussing fourth days agenda.

This day’s topic was “First aid and health promotion”. LatRC Youth council director and active LatRC First aid program member Alma Egle visited participants to tell more about Latvian Red Cross First aid and health promotion programs. She also gave first aid demonstrations and showed other related activities. In addition, participants demonstrated their knowledge at the First aid and improved their FA skills.

At the afternoon youngsters went to Smiltene, farmhouse “Kalbakas”. At that time, there was a summer camp for 20 Latvian kids, at the age of 7 until 14. Participants together with kids made First aid demonstrations, thought them new important skills how to help others if it’s necessary. After that, children together with YA participants and organisers played games and participated in other activities.

4. diena - Pirmā palīdzība un veselības aprūpe

The third day of the youth exchange “Doing local, changing global” – started with the morning exercise and the evaluation of previous day (success of the activities, presentations, cultural evening) and the continuation of the 3rd day. As usual, each country presented their experience and discussed aspects of organizing activities for children and youngsters with special needs and from social risk (NEET, street youngsters etc.) groups.

At the afternoon participants went to Education institution of social correction „Naukšēni”, to meet with teenage children with behaviour problems. Institution creates protection for children providing necessary conditions for their development and welfare. Institute gave participants an impression on their work. Around 40 young people are obliged by the court to stay at this place. They all have a criminal record and it is their last chance to change before they have to go to the prison. The crimes vary from robbery to assault, which resulted in death. They stay there between 1 and 3 years. The correctional Institute offers education and leisure program.

YA participants organised different games for youngsters, which coped them together.


The second day of youth exchange “Doing local, changing global” started with the evaluation of the first day and with the discussion about the 2nd day’s agenda. The second topic of YA was “Voluntary work with children and youngsters”. At the beginning of the day, each group presented their countries experience at the working with children and youngster, related activities, projects realised in state institutions and nongovernmental organisations. After presentations participants joined to the discussion about common and different methods in working with youth and children.

At the afternoon participants together with organisers went to Aluksne to visit the sports school, where participants of the YE organized games and different activities for children. After that, participants went to Multifunctional youth initiative center, to hear about actualities and activities in this center.


YE “Doing local, changing global”: 1st day

The first day of youth exchange “Doing local, changing global” started with some “ice-breaking” activities, participants learned about each other by working in groups, also, each team presented themselves to others. After that, participants did presentations and discussions about Red Cross movement and experience in working with older population/seniors. The main conclusion and one common obstacle in voluntary work with seniors are that in all YE member states, it’s difficult to attract young and responsible, appropriate young people who would like to work with seniors. Mostly the age of the volunteers who are engaged in the voluntary work reaches 60 years and more.

At the afternoon participants together with organisers visited LatRC Social care centre “Seda” in Valka region, where youngsters together with inhabitants of “Seda” joined at the creative workshop where they made a painted and decorated glass candleholders. After the workshop, each group went outside of the “Seda” and planted six trees. Each tree symbolises each Member State of YE – Latvia, Estonia, Netherlands, Germany, Austria and Portugal.

1 diena - iepazīšanās, saliedēšanās, grupu darbi (2)

Advence planning visit for Red Cross youth exchange by Erasmus+

On 7th – 10th June 2017 Red Cross youth volunteers and staff members from six countries – the Netherlands, Austria, Germany, Estonia, Portugal and Latvia met in Riga for the advance planning visit of the youth exchange “Doing local, changing global” organised by the Latvian Red Cross (LatRC) which will be held on 2nd – 12th of July in Smiltene region, Latvia.

The main goal of this visit was to get to know more about the aims, tasks and planned results of the youth exchange. During the visit participants met with Uldis Likops, Secretary General of the Latvian Red Cross and also learned more about the history, development, programs and recent projects of the LatRC. Youngsters also joined team-building activities to get to know each other.

All participants were introduced to the detailed agenda of youth exchange in July, they also exchanged ideas and opinions on how to make “Doing local, changing global” experience more effective and interesting to all participants.

After the informative part the participants visited LatRC Short –stay accommodation centre “Burtnieks” and Crisis centre “Burtnieks” to see its daily work, and then went to recreation complex “Purgaili” in Smiltene region which will be the place of the youth exchange for July.

7-10 jūnijs APV ERASMUS plus youth exchange (7)