Young people working in childcare in Cape Town, South Africa
Camden's youth service has been helping to empower young people from Camden and across London through ambitious international volunteering programmes.
The Camden Youth Early Help Team, in collaboration with other youth service providers, embarked on two life-changing international volunteering programmes in South Africa and Morocco this year. These initiatives expanded horizons and nurtured a sense of global citizenship among those who took part.
The first leg took young volunteers from Somers Town Youth Centre to South Africa, partnering with the NW5 Community Project. The second journey led them to Morocco, accompanied by Connect Stars, Power Hub, Active Community Network, and Preston Manor School. Regular fundraising efforts led by the Camden team enabled these experiences and established collaborations with similar London-based projects exploring international volunteering for the first time.
Camden has a history of international volunteering in Portugal, Morocco, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh and the European Parliament. Over 140 young people actively engaged, forming lasting connections with charities abroad. Inspired by these initiatives, young volunteers raised an impressive £25,000 for the two 2023 trips while acquiring invaluable skills.
The projects fostered personal growth, promoted a global perspective and exposed young people to worldwide challenges. They also created lifelong networks, inspiring commitments to social justice and sustainable change.
These Camden-led international volunteering projects have impacted over 3,000 young people and their families, with more than 140 young participants directly benefiting.
Million Hailemariam, Camden Youth Early Help Team Manager, said: "This experience has spurred personal growth, cultural understanding and a heightened sense of global responsibility among Camden's youth and their peers from across London. These experiences offered a unique opportunity for young participants to collaborate with peers worldwide, honing fundraising skills, and supporting community programmes abroad."
Participant Macy described it as "a life-changing journey, fostering appreciation and aiding less fortunate children."
Kyle 15, from the host organisation in South Africa, added: "The group from London came as strangers and left as family. Doing volunteering and fun activities with these friends was an extraordinary experience. Lifelong friendships were formed."
Find out more about youth clubs and projects in Camden.