International Youth Association EstYES is a non-profit apolitical NGO founded in 1991 with the purpose of promoting youth and cultural exchanges for better international understanding and a fairer world. The organization proudly bears the pioneer title in the field of international voluntary service in Estonia.
- to improve international understanding and tolerance between countries and people;
- to promote continuous dialogue between young people all over the world;
- to give young people an opportunity to learn from each other, discover different cultures, broaden their horizons—thus build bridges over differences;
- to promote international voluntary service in Estonia as a means of development of local communities;
- to use international voluntary service as a powerful method of education;
- to promote global education as one of the resources for young people in the globalized world.
- organize voluntary camps in Estonia and send Estonian volunteers abroad;
- send Estonian volunteers abroad for mid- and long-term voluntary service;
- host foreign volunteers during mid- and long-term projects in Estonia;
- participate in ESC program as sending, hosting and coordinating organization;
- arrange and run youth cultural exchanges of different kinds, study visits/ group stays with various themes for foreign groups in Estonia and for Estonians abroad;
- take part in conferences, seminars, training abroad and organize similar events in Estonia.
Every summer EstYES organises over 50 voluntary camps all over Estonia, welcoming around 600 international volunteers. Each year over 40 volunteers from different European countries come here to join a long-term ESC project (up to 12 months) in the field of social services, youth work and education. EstYES gives young Estonians a chance to take part in various projects abroad (voluntary camps, youth exchange, ESC, training activities, seminars, youth meetings, etc.)
EstYES mainly works with young people aged from 14 to 30; however, voluntary projects are available to people of all ages. Physically challenged young people are a group of special consideration.
Since 1994-1995 we have exchanges with branches of SCI (Service Civil International) and with members of Alliance of European Voluntary Service Organizations, and their partner organizations.
Starting from 1999, we cooperate with ICYE (International Cultural Youth Exchange). In 1997 EstYES became a member of Alliance and in 2007 a member of the Coordinating Committee of International Voluntary Service (CCIVS) by UNESCO. Most of our partner organisations belong to these networks. Over the past years, EstYES has been actively cooperating with youth and voluntary service organisations in China and South East Asia as well as with Mexico through EU Capacity Building projects.
Sources of Income
EstYES’s income consists of contributions and subscription fees from the participants of our programs. EstYES receives grants from foundations like ASEF, Erasmus+ Programme, European Youth Foundation, EuropeAid, Europe for Citizens, European Solidarity Corps, etc. EstYES does not receive any support from the state.