The Lions International Youth Exchange Programme was launched to provide today’s youth, the leaders of tomorrow, an opportunity to learn about people and cultures other than their own in an effort to promote world peace. Young people are given the opportunity of living with a family or families in a foreign country for a few days and then enjoying fellowship at a Youth Camp.
Lions from District 105SW have over the years generously hosted Inward Youth Exchange Students from various parts of the world. Clubs have also sponsored Outward Youth Exchange Students, most recently to Russia, Canada and Italy. It is our sincere hope that District 105SW will continue to take an active part in this very worthwhile Lions Youth Project.
Full information regarding the Youth Camp and Exchange Programme can be found on the Lions International and MD105 websites.
The following may help to answer some immediate questions:
- Anyone who wishes to ‘Host’ a Youth Exchange Student(s) must have the support i.e. “sponsorship” of a Club.
- Hosts may claim expenses from their “Sponsoring Club” to assist with the daily cost to the host and also towards any excursion/event provided to entertain the student. (Please note that this will be at your Club’s discretion.) Some travelling expenses may be paid by MD.
- The host does not have to be a Lion. They may or may not be related to a Lion, as long as the ‘Sponsoring Club’ and its Members support that family in the same way as they would if it was a Lion hosting.
- It is possible to share hosting if the total number of days (usually 10) is considered too long, as long as the student(s) and his/her family are happy with this arrangement.
- It is possible to host 2 students at the same time. Students would usually be from different countries.
- Students hosted in the UK must be 18 – 22 years old.
- Hosting usually takes place at the end of July/beginning of August. YEx Students then attend the Youth Camp.
- A voluntary programme of events and activities for the Youth Exchange Students may be arranged by Clubs and Zones, with the support of the District Officer, to assist the Host Families during the hosting period.
- The District Officer will support Host in respect of meeting students at their arrival airport and transfer to Youth Camp. Expenses for these transfers are paid by MD.
- Clubs may also ‘sponsor’ an Outward Exchange Student. This does not necessarily need to be a financial commitment, but rather an “endorsement” of the young person who is applying for Youth Exchange. If you have a Young Ambassador, you may consider recommending him/her for an Outward Youth Exchange. Outward Youth Exchanges usually take place in June – July.
Please contact your local Lions Club or the District Youth Exchange Officer if you are interested in Hosting a Youth Exchange Student or taking part in the Outward Youth Exchange Programme.
Youth Exchange = Fun, Understanding and Friendship!