travel with us to become a compassionate youth leader

Because Only Together We Can

Since 2014, International Youth Leadership Camp (IYLC) offers a rewarding youth-for-youth leadership program abroad. IYLC is a redesign of the Ukrainian Orphan Project (UOP), which operated from 2004 to 2014.

IYLC emerged after the countless hours spent with disadvantaged kids overseas revealed that their needs extended far beyond food and clothing. Their young minds are open to fresh ideas, new cultures and values.

At its core, IYLC models leadership skills for its participants, facilitates their practice of these skills and instills confidence they would carry into adulthood as world citizens. The young campers are ready to navigate new challenges and are eager to acquire strong leadership skills at this crucial time – with your help.

Who We Are

We are a group of enthusiasts that promote and deliver compassionate leadership through our humanitarian work with underprivileged children overseas. 

International Youth Leadership Camp is a California public benefit corporation (# 2438751) that was incorporated in February of 2004 as “URGEX”. In May of 2020, the organization received a new name – International Youth Leadership Camp – to better reflect its mission and on-going activities. 

The mission of the organization is “accomplished by providing different groups of the community: professionals, women, teachers, students, children, etc. with various cross-cultural opportunities and assistance, through educational and cultural exchange programs and events” (Articles of Incorporation). 

IYLC is officially recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization (EIN 42-1617065), and all contributions are tax-deductible. 

What We Do

IYLC is organized as a 7-day educational course reflecting a unique combination of teaching conversational English and leadership skills to underprivileged kids in Ukraine.


The exact travel itinerary is determined two months prior to the camp, but the trip would always fall into a June-July window, to accommodate the school-age participants during their summer break.

Ideally, all of the American participants would travel from the same airport, in order to arrive at Kiev Boryspil airport at the same time. The group travels with a chaperone and an interpreter or alternatively, is met by an interpreter at the airport. Depending on the flight arrival time, the group continues its travel to Kharkiv by either train or bus (approximately 6 hours). After arriving at the Kharkiv transit depot, the group is taken to the camp location by a mini-van. If Turkish Airlines are chosen as a carrier, a one-stop flight out of SFO directly to Kharkiv is possible.

The trip is expected to be one-week long, not including the arrival and departure days. The Leadership Camp program is designed to last 6 days, Monday-Saturday. On Saturday night, the group travels back to Kiev (via bus or train) and leaves for the U.S. on Sunday.

Alternatively, a group may stay for one or two more days, to explore the local culture. The optional cultural program is determined on-site and can be customized according to the group’s preferences. Our Ukrainian partners have provided us with an impressive list of possible sightseeing spots. You would have a chance to experience rich Ukrainian culture by visiting local: Museums, Churches, Art Galleries, Historical Castles, Amusement Parks, and Cultural and Sports Centers.


If interested in volunteering at the camp, you have to be a 15-18 year-old high schooler and are required to:

  1. Fill out an APPLICATION FORM.
  2. Read and sign LIABILITY RELEASE FORM.
  3. Pay all appropriate FEES.
  4. Efficiently cooperate with the International Youth leadership Camp staff.

Please submit no later than three months prior to your trip date:

  • Completed Application
  • Signed Liability Release Form
  • $250 non-refundable deposit

Full payment is due two months prior to your trip date.

Additional Trip Information

  • We can accommodate 7-12 persons to participate in one trip. We are accepting applicants on a first come, first served basis.
  • All trip participants need a valid US passport. If you do not have a passport, please apply for one immediately. Your current passport should not be expiring within 6 months prior to your intended departure.

Past Work

Camp Reports

Our team is very proud of the work accomplished during our previous camps. To learn more, please click on a designated year button.

Contact Us

We Would Love to Hear from You

Please write or call us with your questions or comments.

845 Ramona Street, # 213 Palo Alto, CA 94301


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