The German-Russian-Exchange (GRE) is a charitable organisation founded and registered in Berlin and St. Petersburg in 1992 with the aim of assisting the democratic development in Russia and East European countries through the cooperation with Russian, Belarusian and Ukrainian NGO’s and independent mass media. The GRE supports Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian NGO’s and NGO support centres through the transfer of professional, methodological, and financial assistance, and through the organization of international conferences, study trips, publications as well as volunteer, school and trainee programmes.
Commitment to social activism, representation of the interests of disadvantaged social groups and independent media are essential prerequisites for the development of civic structures and democracy in Western and Eastern Europe. Through the work of the GRE offices in Berlin and St. Petersburg as well as its partners in Moscow, Volgograd, Nazran, Minsk, Grodno and Kiev, the German-Russian Exchange supports local pressure groups, human rights organisations and other non-governmental organizations. So the GRE has established four NGO Support-Centres in Russian Regions and set up in the framework of the EuropeAid projects “NGO Development” and “Strengthening Civil Society” five Social Partnership Centres in Sumy, Cherson, Riwne, Donezk and Tscherniwzi (Ukraine). Additionally the GRE in cooperation with Russian and East European partners offers continuing education, youth and exchange programmes in the field of education, democracy and citizen work and facilitates the search for contacts with Western partners. Moreover, the GRE commits itself to the integration of Russian-speaking immigrants by offering voluntary activities in Berlin and acts as an agency for volunteers between Eastern and Western Europe. Since 1994, the German-Russian Exchange has been the sending organisation for more than 600 young Europeans form western countries who went to do voluntary work in Eastern Europe and vice versa. That way in cooperation with our Belarusian partner “Social Project” a volunteer agency has been established in Gomel (Belarus) in 2006.