NIF has been involved in sports development projects with Southern African countries since 1982. Since 1997 NIF has sent about 300 Norwegian volunteers to Southern African countries such as Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia and South Africa. The volunteers have worked in these countries supporting different sports development projects and using sports as a tool for development for six months or one one year period. We are currently sending Norwegian volunteers to Zambia and Malawi on what we call the North-South exchange. In addition, we send volunteers from Zambia on exchange to Norway. This is called the South-North exchange.
From 2001, Fredskorpset (FK) became the main partner and financier of the Youth Sports Exchange Program (YSEP). They are part of the Norwegian Foreign Department and give financial support to exchange programs within different fields.
In 2002 NIF started receiving volunteers from the Southern African countries on the South-North exchange. All volunteers work as resource persons in sports clubs, sports federations/associations and schools depending on the needs and the volunteers’ competence. They also share their cultures with the communities they live in and in return learn about the local culture.
The learning aspect of the exchange is equally important as the implementation aspect. They are sent both to contribute and build the organization they work for and for their personal development. The young volunteers are to make use of the exchange period to gain knowledge, competence and experience they can continue developing at home in their sending organization. With this emphasis, we hope the devotement and commitment to sports and community development is long-lasting.
At the moment, we have partners in Zambia and South Africa and recently we have also entered into a partnership with an organization in Malawi. For the exchange period 2017-2018, we will send Norwegians to Zambia and Malawi on a North-South exchange and South Africans and Zambians on a South-North exchange. The period lasts from August to June.
YSEP is funded by Fredskorpset (FK). FK is part of the Norwegian Foreign Department and gives financial support to exchange programs within different fields. See their web page here: http://www.fredskorpset.no/en/
YSEP gets funded through the program run by the department for Civil Society. The funds provided follow the participants and do only cover enough to support the budget lines assigned, such as travel, insurance, visa, food and accommodation and some training. There are no funds for salaries or activities. The support given is the human resource provided by a volunteer and his/her effort over the course of ten months.
The funds covering the costs of the volunteers is transferred from NIF to the partner organization hosting the volunteers. The partner distributes the funds during the exchange period. Each partner is thereafter responsible of providing an audit report to NIF and reports on results at the end of each round of exchange. Only one partner in each country can do the audit, so if there is more than one partner in each country, one organization must be the coordinating partner of that country.