Service Civil International (SCI) is a volunteer organisation dedicated to promoting a culture of peace by organising international voluntary projects for people of all ages and backgrounds. The organisation consists of 43 branches and an ever-growing number of partner organisations. Living and working together with people of different backgrounds helps volunteers to break down barriers and prejudices. It allows them to experience a world of mutual respect and understanding. In this sense, volunteering can be seen as a way of life, a demonstration of the possible reality of a peaceful and cooperative world.
SCI offers a variety of volunteer opportunities to people, such as short, mid- and long term projects, but also the possibility to become active for a local branch or participate in a seminar or training.
Short term voluntary projects, commonly known as workcamps, are organised in cooperation with SCI branches and partner organisations, who in their turn cooperate with local communities.
What is it
A short term voluntary project is a unique form of volunteering, bringing together people from different countries, cultures and backgrounds to live and work together with local communities for a period of two to three weeks.
The aim is to break down barriers between people and develop intercultural understanding. In that way, they contribute to building a culture of peace among people.
The projects place a strong emphasis on intercultural learning and include elements of peace education. There are many different projects to choose from and they are open to everyone.
Everyone who joins a workcamp needs to pay a membership fee to his/ her SCI branch (the sending organisation). SCI is a non-profit organisation and therefore able to keep participation fees low. This makes the workcamps accessible to people with fewer resources.
In some countries, SCI has special programmes for young people with fewer opportunities that facilitate their participation in short term projects.
The project hosts will provide volunteers with food and accommodation during the project but not during their travels to and from the project. Volunteers will have access to drinkable water.
Diversity of workcamps
Every year thousands of short term voluntary projects are organised in different fields and with different types of voluntary work, for example:
– organise an open-air cinema with the Roma community in Kosovo;
– experience life in an eco-village in Finland;
– -run activities for refugees in Kenya;
– work with children from asylum seekers in Belgium;
– wake up to the sound of crying wolves in the USA;
– support the daily work of a Palestinian youth center in Israel…
How to apply
Projects are regularly listed on an on-line workcamp database. For most projects it is possible to register on-line.
To apply you must register online on your country branch and create your account. Once you have registered you can log in and complete an application form that will be submitted online to your SCI branch (member organisation). Some SCI branches may ask you to pay the placement fee before processing your application.
In case your country does not currently have a branch, please contact SCI International for further support.