AYISE’s youth exchange programme offers young people the opportunity to learn from their international friends and have a clearer understanding of the world and the people within it. Knowledge and understanding of people from different backgrounds helps to ensure peace prevails around the world.
Specifically, the youth exchange aims to:
- Actively assist in community grassroots development
- Encourage the concept of voluntary services as a force in the search for peace, democracy, equality, and personal development
- Enable youth and communities to encounter different cultures hence developing national and international understanding which contributes to the reduction of negative stereotypes, segregation and discrimination which arises from lack of knowledge on the peoples of the world and their different cultures and ways of doing things.
AYISE believes that young people are agents of change, such that when we have a wider understanding of the world and the different people in it, we will be in a better position to contribute to the greater development process of our countries.
We believe this experience will help leaders of different societies to have faith in young people and place them in key decision-making positions.
When young people travel and acquire experience volunteering abroad as part of a different community, they ultimately acquire cross-cultural understanding that helps them make decisions from a well informed point of view. Further, such youth are less likely to judge people because of what tribe they are from, the colour of their skin, the language they speak or their nationality. It is AYISE’s belief that if everyone in the world had the opportunity to travel and experience another culture, there would be no more war, no more xenophobia, no more discrimination and no more stereotyping.
The Youth Exchange Programme offers young people experience working in a different environment, which allows them to acquire leadership skills, develop a sense of responsibility, build their character and boost their confidence and self esteem. Youth exchange also allows individuals to share their knowledge and skills and receive from others in return. Some people would vow that one month of youth exchange teaches you more than a year of classroom study.
AYISE receives youth on exchange programmes every year. In the past three years twenty to forty young people per year have passed through the corridors of AYISE.
AYISE also regularly sends Malawian volunteers to the UK, United States of America, other African countries (known as "South-South Cooperation"), and other developed countries in general on short and medium term volunteering and exchange opportunities. The success is that they do not stay there - but rather they come back to Malawi and use their newfound knowledge to change their lives and that of the communities in which they live.
Youth exchange is an exciting way of dropping the tourist guidebooks, splitting from the sightseers and experiencing a place by living and working with local people. A truly life-changing experience for all involved!