Smith STANDs with charity as Scotland reaches out to the world

Scots charity and MEP welcome disadvantaged children from Eastern Europe.

SNP Euro MP Alyn Smith joined forces with Scots charity STAND International to welcome socially and economically disadvantaged young people from Belarus, Ukraine and Georgia to Scotland.
Alyn Smith with exchange programme participants

The Exchange in Larbert allowed the young people to join Scottish participants to discuss how they can influence society through volunteering, charities, social enterprises and NGOs. The MEP’s session discussed how politics works and how the European Parliament interacts with their countries.

Speaking in Larbert, Alyn said:

“STAND International is doing some amazing work here, encouraging marginalised groups and individuals to engage and change their lives and their communities.

“They are sharing Scotland’s experience with people from Eastern Europe, giving them the benefits of Scotland’s long history of civic activism and gathering in lessons for young Scots from those other nations.

“I always encourage young people to travel abroad and experience other cultures because the insight into different cultures and traditions widens horizons and lifts ambitions.  This programme does exactly that and delivers great benefits for our guests and for our young citizens.

“Massive congratulations to STAND International and these adventurous young people for opening up new opportunities and exploring new avenues.  The interaction between Scotland, Belarus, Ukraine and Georgia will benefit all of them.”

Hugh Lawson, a volunteer for STAND International said:

“STAND international hopes to develop a network of organisations in Eastern Europe to develop volunteering opportunities for future STAND projects and allow Eastern European volunteers to understand the volunteering culture and also to identify areas where young people can influence policies in our society.