News and updates

UNITED COnference on Coexistence

Good news, for those who did not apply yet, we are extending the deadline for nominations to take part in our upcoming UNITED conference, which is now 31 March. You can find more information about the conference’s topic and programme here.

You can nominate your delegates by using this form. Be aware of the financial conditions of taking part in this conference. Please note that only the selected participants will receive an answer with more details regarding the conference.

What can you expect if you take part in a UNITED Conference?

A large number of fellow Human Rights activists
Information on good practices
Possibilities on network building
Ideas for funding and partnerships
Open discussions on relevant topics
Local context and a wonderful experience of Albania!

About the Conference

UNITED gladly invites you to nominate Delegates for our upcoming UNITED Conference near Tirana, Albania, taking place from the 15 to 20 May 2019. The conference will focus on coexistence, not only as a general value of understanding and peaceful living within a community, but as a practical strategy that can help facing the current challenges of Europe on many different levels.

Since coexistence is a broad topic and can involve several aspects of life, UNITED has decided to make the working and understanding easier, so to facilitate the learning and the communicating process. For this reason, the conference will include:

Panel discussions with experts that will help clarify what coexistence means.
Successful examples and good practices of coexistence.
Focal working groups on Communication, Campaign, Advocacy, Education and Community Building as basis for a coexistence strategy.
Practical workshops on how to raise funds for a strategy.
Chance for networking and initiating joint actions to pave the way for future cooperation.
We look forward to your nomination!

Organizational change training for more diversity

“Now I have a clearer idea of how we can really make change processes, the last time I had an overview, now I really understand,” said one of the participants of the training “Be the Change” which took place in Berlin 2 weeks ago. About 20 colleagues from all over Europe came together for 5 days to train accompanying change processes towards a racism-critical and diversity-sensitive organization. The training was facilitated by Joana Ebbinghaus and Simon Mohn.

During the training programme, various models and practical tools of Organizational Development were introduced and applied to the participants’ own organizations. Special rituals were a wake-up dance every morning and the reflection with a learning partner every evening. Apart from conveying new ideas for self-led organizational change, the participants also tested the feasibility of the models in practices, since they are meant to be comprised in a manual afterwards. The latter ought to have a look on facilitating organizational change through the lense of diversity.

The training course “Be the Change” was an accompanying measure of the Erasmus+ Key Action 2 project #star_e.  “Standing Together against Racism in Europe” is a 3 year project coordinated by ICJA Freiwilligenaustausch weltweit in cooperation with 8 partner organizations from different corners of Europe, one of them being SOCIUS. The partners in this project strongly believe in the credible, holistic fight against racism at all levels of their work. Together with the experts from SOCIUS they currently work on the creation of a manual on how to accompany diversity-oriented change processes in international youth and voluntary service organizations.

Call you for action for the European Week Against Racism (16-24 March 2019)

We call you for action to get UNITED and start planning activities for the upcoming European Week Against Racism (16-24 March 2019).

So now, we are very curious to hear what you have planned!

We ask you to organise your activities around the theme of face-to-face meetings — to get people from all backgrounds together locally and talk, sing, dance, eat, play, meet to celebrate diversity. Take a look at our UNITED Action Week Against Racism website ( and Facebook page ( for some inspiration and great ideas from previous campaigns.

Europe-wide Activity Map

Perhaps you have some great suggestions we haven’t thought of? Please share with us and help your UNITED family members all over Europe to get their creative juices flowing and motivated to start their own local campaigns!

As you know, we are planning to create a Europe-wide Activity Map, so we will share your local activities there to show the world that we are a UNITED and welcoming Europe, where diversity is celebrated and discrimination has no place!

Please let us know what you are planning for the European Week Against Racism by filling in the following form before 10 March! That would really help us in organising our work and setting up the Map in time ahead of the Action Week.

AUS participated in training course Be The Change!

Let’s “Be the change”!
Ragnhildur and 20 other representatives of 10 youth NGO’s from all over Europe participated in the training course on “Diversity Oriented Change Management” which toook place in Berlin from 18-22nd of February. The course was organized by ICJA in coooperation with SOCIUS an expert organization on organisational development in the frame of the STAR_E  partnership project. We reflected, used methods and tools and got inspiration on changes needed so that we can truly become more inclusive and diverse in our organisations.  #ausmoments #icye #icja #star_e

Press Release: “Be the Change” – Training on Diversity-Oriented Change Management

ICJA Volunteer Exchange Worldwide is pleased to welcome 20 representatives of its partner organisations from Denmark, Finland, France, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Poland, Russia, Slovakia and the United Kingdom to Berlin from the 18th to the 22nd of February 2019. The training programme is run by the expert organization SOCIUS . SOCIUS has worked with hundreds of NGO’s, foundations, Universities and governmental institutions over the past 20 Years and is widely recognized as an expert in the field of organizational development and change.

Training on Diversity-Oriented Change Management and Organisational Development
The training is designed for employees, co-workers and active members of participating organisations in the field of International Voluntary Service. The training sessions will constantly interrelate the values of diversity-orientation, anti-discrimination and inclusion with reflections and practical learning about change management in youth and voluntary service NGOs. The main mode of learning will be to learn about key concepts of organisational and system change, to try out practical tools and models and to reflect about their relevance for the participating organizations and other youth and voluntary service NGOs in Europe. The central questions of the training course will be: How can we make a difference given the challenge of increasing racism and discrimination against people of diverse backgrounds? Which changes are needed at a structural and operational level? How can we start reflective processes, take clear positions and display coherent behaviour?

Expected Results
The participants will gain knowledge about key concepts and the triggering factors of possible change processes. By analysing their own organisational culture and context, they will learn how to use change management tools and models which were developed in the frame of the STAR E Project.

STAR E – Standing Together against Racism in Europe!
This training course was developed as an accompanying measure in the frame of the “STAR E” Strategic Partnership Project which is co-founded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union. Further activities of STAR E will be partner meetings and workshops in Helsinki, Finland in March 2019 and in Cadza, Slovakia in October 2019. The closing event is taking place in Denmark in spring 2020. Further information:

ICJA Volunteer Exchange Worldwide is an educational institution that organizes long-term volunteer services or short-term work camps for young people to raise their awareness about the effects of globalisation. The educational activities focus on topics such as peace and non-violent conflict resolution, the North-South divide and colonial continuities, discrimination, racism and xenophobia, intercultural competence and sustainability.

Coordination STAR E Project: Andreas Schwab,, 030 200071631

For more information on the assocation, photos or interviews pl. contact: Dr. Andrea Schwieger Hiepko,, 030 200071623
Comprehensive data and information about the editor:

Please find here an activity report of this training course: FinalActivityReport_BeTheChange_Berlin_2019_ns

How to incorporate the STAR E learnings in ICYE Denmark

On 14th to 16th November, I participated in the STAR E transnational meeting in London. The aim of the meeting was to contribute to the elaboration of a handbook on racism-critical group methods that can be used to sensitize participants of international youth and voluntary service pprogrammes about racism and discrimination. For me, it was the first time I actively participated in the STAR E project, and therefore it was very interesting to meet the other partner organisations and to learn about their initiatives within the project framework. Furthermore, it was enlightening to get an inside view of and to engage in the discussions surrounding the topic that took place among the participants.
However, as my main role in ICYE Denmark is to organise the camps for the incoming ICYE exchangees, I was really looking forward to getting some practical tools regarding the topic of anti-racism that I would be able to use back in Denmark. And that I certainly did! A large part of the meeting was based on the “learning-by-doing” approach, which provided me with useful tools that I could bring back to Denmark.
Then, how can these be implemented in ICYE Denmark? Our first step is to carry out a workshop about anti-racism and discrimination at the next camp, taking place on 18th to 20th January. It will be a workshop for the incoming ICYE exchangees who are on their second midterm camp. In developing the sessions and activities, I have been inspired by the activities we did in London, especially the “Soon to be outdated” and the “Clash of Cultures” sessions. Furthermore, the introduction to Compass, the European manual for human rights education for young people and the introduction to the organisation Show Racism the Red Card have helped me find material and activities regarding racism, which hopefully will lead to a successful workshop, as it will be based on the knowledge of other organisations with more experience in relation to the topic.
If this goes well, the aim would be to extend these workshops into other parts of the organisation, such as in courses for active members, projects etc. But for now, we will start with this one and see where it leads us.
Elena M. A. Andersen / ICYE Denmark

Chantier Chalabre (Août 2018)

A l’occasion du festival “Chalabre en Sérénades”, un de nos activités inspirés par la coopération étroite entre les partenaires du projet  Erasmus+ “Star E”, les volontaires du chantier ont pu échanger avec des musicien·ne·s venu·e·s des quatre coins du monde (en l’occurrence : Etats-Unis d’Amérique, Israël, France et Allemagne) et de tout âge (de 30 à 65 ans). Les volontaires ont organisé un instant débat lors duquel chacun·e a raconté un épisode de sa vie ressenti comme une discrimination. Afro-américain, il a grandi à Détroit dans les années 60 et a vu son père mourir dans un incendie déclenché pour des revendications racistes. Cet instant intense a été l’occasion pour les volontaires de réfléchir à ses faits et notions.

Chantier Mille-Pattes 2

Une soirée a été organisée sur la thématique « lutter contre les discriminations et le racisme » avec deux activités. Pour prendre conscience puis analyser les inégalités de chances liées aux privilèges sociaux, une animation souvent utilisée dans les cours intitulés anti-discriminations (qu’on retrouve dans les cursus de commerce, de droit etc.) a été proposée aux volontaires. A en croire les retours, c’est une expérience assez surprenante pour toutes et tous et chacun et chacune… (Edith, 21 ans : « Je n’avais pas conscience d’être avantagée socialement parce que j’ai plus de dix livres dans ma bibliothèque)

Au cours de la soirée, tout le monde a, semble-t-il découvert un aspect de ce qu’il/elle était ou de ce qu’il /elle renvoie.

Deciding how we share the STAR E learnings (London meeting)

This November, representatives from across the STAR E network came to London to explore the next stage of the programme, which included the kind of activities that can be done to challenge discriminatory attitudes.

Within the STAR E network is a smaller team responsible for how we will disseminate the learnings and make them accessible for the future.

This group is comprised people from a range of countries: Germany, Denmark, the United Kingdom to name a few. For STAR E meetings and for the intended dissemination we use English. Although it’s expected that when people in other countries use the activities they’re delivered in the language of the young people they’re engaging.

During the course of the day everyone in the group had been very inspired by the range of activities, and it was agreed that the dissemination should focus on providing an online resource for people to search and find the right kind of activities for the groups they work with at different times.

In discussion with the meeting facilitators we identified the kind of factors affecting how people might choose an activity. For example, the number of people they’re working with, the time available and the themes they want to cover.

By the time we finished the meeting, there were still questions to be answered, but with another session set for the next day, there was huge enthusiasm for finding these answers with the rest of the STAR E participants.

A few months ago the group had few ideas about what dissemination might look like. So it was great to have a renewed vision and purpose for how we will proceed from here!