London, Leeds, Tokyo…NCVO is feeling (somewhat) international, and you can come with us…

Applications for Young Leaders Exchange 2014 have closed

We are helping to send a delegation from the UK charity sector to Japan to share their knowledge and expertise – find out more, including how to apply.

‘As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.’–Bill Gates

It may be easy for someone like Bill to make statements about empowerment and change; business mogul and philanthropist extraordinaire, he possesses all the means to do such things, and on a rather grand and very global scale. Great leaders come in all shapes and sizes; from the very rich, to the very poor and you can find them in pretty much every field you can imagine. Unfortunately not everyone has the networks, finances or the opportunity to work with other leaders around the world.

The UK charity sector in particular is awash with inspirational leaders who continue to pave the way for change and development within UK civil society. Although our sector is strong, the chance to learn from similar sectors in other countries is not an opportunity that comes up too often.

Young Core Leaders of Civil Society Groups Development Programme

I’m co-ordinating one NCVO’s long-running international exchange programmes in partnership with the International Centre for Youth Exchange of Japan. The programme, funded by the Japanese Cabinet Office, helps young ‘core’ leaders from the UK, Japan, Germany and Denmark to come together and share their knowledge and expertise in various fields within civil society. Split into three courses, the programme involves leaders working in social activities with youth, the elderly or people with disabilities.

This year, we have been asked to organise the disability course for the first half of the programme taking place in October. We will be hosting a group of Japanese delegates who will come to England to learn more about our sector and issues specifically related to working with people who have disabilities. The group are particularly interested in how organisations in England promote and encourage empowerment of those with disabilities, as well as ways of increasing social inclusion.

When we were planning the programme, my Japanese counterpart Kumi Miyahara and I whittled the list of members down to a select few organisations who worked on various disability issues and began arranging a few meetings. Starting in London, we visited the Leonard Cheshire Randall Close Resource Centre, the Council for Disabled Children and the National Autistic Society to learn more about their work and invite them to take part in our programme. We also will also arrange meetings with the Embassy of Japan, the Office for Disability Issues and the Office for Civil Society.

Once our London visits were completed, we headed to Leeds where we visited Change People and People in Action to get them on board. Not only will they be showing the group their work, but will help us arrange homestays for the delegates! Overall, the planning visit was a great success and it was wonderful to be able to visit some of our members to experience their work first hand. The passion and hard work we saw is truly inspirational, and already we have identified some incredible leaders within the sector.

Join us in Japan

Now that the schedule has been drafted, things are moving very quickly. Rooms are being booked, travel arrangements made and paperwork hastily translated in anticipation for the group’s arrival in October. The one thing left to arrange is the meeting between the Japanese participants and the UK group who will be travelling to Tokyo, Japan in February; but first we need to find people to make up the delegation! Applications are now being accepted so visit our international section for further information and details about how to apply.

Applications for Young Leaders Exchange 2014 have closed

This is a great opportunity to develop your leadership skills, gain valuable experience and to improve civil society over the next generation. We look forward to receiving your applications.

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Verity Buckley supported NCVO's EU and international team, working on various projects and flagship events.

One Response to London, Leeds, Tokyo…NCVO is feeling (somewhat) international, and you can come with us…

  1. Lauren Sneddon says:

    Hi I am a recent graduate with a degree in journalism and I am interested in applying for this project. However I noticed there looking for someone with three years experience in one of the chosen areas. I have two years of experience in helping teach young children at the Sunday School at the church I attend. Would I still be eligible to apply ?

    Kind Regards,

    Lauren Sneddon