Youth Camps

Camps are places where young people actively engage with people living in the Global South. Participants are between 17 and 35 years old (the average age being 21 years).

The three week journey takes place during the months of July and August each year. The preparation in groups starts in January of the year before. After a preparation of about 6 months, the participants are immersed into local life and participate in an aid project and village activities. The work and help brought in by the participants is symbolic: While working on a community development project with the local population, participants can exchange ideas with them.  The Nouvelle Planète camp experience stresses the commitment to discover the different ways of living on our planet.

The next Youth Camps will take place in July and August 2017.

The launching of the camps will take place on Friday, 13 January 2017 in Lausanne, on Thursday, 12 January 2017 in Bern and on Saturday, 14 January 2017 in Zürich.






Inscrivez-vous à un camp

Next Camps

Every year, Nouvelle Planète offers a variety of camps. The exact dates, destinations and projects are specific for each journey. The projects are all requested by  the local population groups.

The camps are taking place in intervention countries of Nouvelle Planète. Given its vast experience, the organization can count on a great number of contacts and has been working for many years with these groups, associations or centres that have proved to be active and reliable partners.

Participants can choose freely which camp they would like to join according to their preferences and availability. Generally there are between 10 and 18 participants in one group. The launch takes place in January during an information event.

Click here to discover the programme of the Youth Camps 2016:

Objectives of the Camps

The camps allow the participants to:

  • Meet the local population in a unique way and share their way of life,
  • See the positive effects of initiatives taken by the local population and the efforts made to develop the region and protect the environment,
  • Work hand in hand with locals on a concrete project improving the life conditions of local people,
  • Become more open-minded, overcome the fear of the other and the prejudices, while promoting solidarity,
  • Spend useful holidays.


Tourism? Humanitarian work? Development work?

It is important to be aware that Nouvelle Planète camps …

  • … are not comfortable tours like those organized by tourist travel agencies. For example, the program is established, but changes are possible and unexpected events may happen. The living conditions (food, accommodation, equipment) are close to local ones.
  • … is not humanitarian work. The participants are not considered as saviours and are not going to respond to an emergency request.

The camp experience is linked to development aid and to solidarity through exchanges between North and South. The participants will probably learn and receive much more than they will be able to give.

Programme

There are two phases to the experience participating in a camp: A preparation in Switzerland of about 6 months and then the stay of three weeks in the host country.

Preparation in Switzerland

The groups are organized in January during an information event. As of then, the groups have 6 months to prepare for the journey into an unfamiliar environment.
From the date of the formation of the group up to departure, as a participant you have the following objectives:

  • Contribute to a pleasant group life by getting to know the others and by working to common goal,
  • Research data about the host country, the host partner, the aid project and aspects of travelling (administrative issues and health care).
  • Organize group activities in order to raise funds to cover part or all of the project costs.

In order to accomplish these objectives, participants take part in regular group meetings about every five to six weeks that are planned by the group. They should be held in a place that is more or less central for all participants, or in the different regions taking turns.

Nouvelle Planète provides the framework of this preparation and a reference person is present in some meetings to advise and inform.

All members of the group are asked to participate actively in group activities (meetings, information days, leisurely events, etc.), as well as the days organized by Nouvelle Planète.


Stay in the Host Country

Each group is directly related to one country and a specific project within that country. All projects are based on a request from local partners of Nouvelle Planète. The population of the village in which the project is located welcome the participants and show them their way of life.

In the village, a local group of young people is organized to work with the group from Switzerland on the different tasks related to the project. The days are filled with the following activities:

  • Project-related activities: simple tasks such as carrying bricks, painting walls or planting trees. The work on the project site is symbolic but is a good way of exchanging ideas with the local group while sharing their everyday life.
  • Activities to discover the area and exchange with the locals: outings and trips such as to the fields with the villagers, visiting their homes and sights in the project area or possibly in another part of the country.

The programme of the stay is planned by the coordination team of Nouvelle Planète and the local partner who are reachable 24/7.

What Nouvelle Planète Provides

Nouvelle Planète organizes all phases of the camp (preparation, journey to the destination village and return). The team in Lausanne and the coordinators in the field offices have over 25 years of experience.
In Switzerland the team organizes some of the preparation meetings for the participants and group leaders, plan the flights and subscribes the insurances (travel and liability for damages incurred during camp activities). Each group has one reference person of the Nouvelle Planète team to give them information, advice and keeps track of the minutes of all meetings in Switzerland. In the host countries, a camp manager is in charge of the group and is in regular contact with the coordinator.
In the country of destination, the local coordinating team organizes the stay of the group and welcomes them at the airport. They introduce the participants to the local partner organization and is reachable 24/7 during the whole stay. Together with the local partner organization, they also plan and monitor the project supported by the camp group.

The group leaders are members of the group that agree to take that role and mention it at the beginning of the preparation. They organize the group, stimulate participants and coordinate the activities. They are the link between the group's internal communication and their reference person at Nouvelle Planète. A week-end of training is given to them during the preparation. It is important that the group leaders have a good sense of organization and are motivated but no experience is necessary. It is possible to mention the interest in this role already at the moment of enrolment.


Neither the group leaders nor the Nouvelle Planète team are responsible for the actions of camp participants. The latter have to be able to manage their own schedule and find time to invest in group activities before and during the stay in the host country.

Conditions

The conditions relate personally to each participant and the respect of the vision of Nouvelle Planète. To participate in such a unique experience, all participants must keep to the following conditions:

  • be at least 17 years old on the moment of departure,
  • provide a written agreement of the legal representative for minors,
  • have the psychological and physical condition to endure the difficulties and risks that are encountered in a country of the Global South (illnesses, hot and humid climate, images of dismal poverty , etc.),
  • take part in the regular meetings during the six months preparation in Switzerland,
  • participate in the group activities in order to reach the objectives of preparation in Switzerland,
  • pay the travel expenses on time,
  • good command of French or English (depending on the country of destination)
  • accept and subscribe to the Nouvelle Planète Charter.

Dates and cost

The preparation for youth camps starts in the beginning of January of the calendar year before the camp but enrolments are accepted untill mid-February if places are available.

The Youth Camp participants pay the travel expenses (flights and cancellation/travel insurance). The price varies according to the destination and is generally between CHF 1200.- and CHF 1800.- per person. That amount has to be paid in two instalments by February and by May.

Nouvelle Planète covers the local costs (food, accommodation, transport and other expenses). The group raises funds in order to cover at least partially the costs of the community development project they support, at least about CHF 700.- per person.
Between January and end of February, camp participants can still drop out without having to pay any penalty - however after that date, administrative fees will be retained.

There are other fees that have to be covered by the camp participants. Nouvelle Planète advises participants to establish a small budget for related costs such as:

  • travel costs to the group meetings in Switzerland and to the airport on the day of departure,
  • passport and visa fees,
  • vaccination and other health-related costs (pharmacy).


The administrative costs of the team in Switzerland and the one in the field are covered by specific subsidies.