Service Civil International (SCI)

SCI project, Wales, 1931-1932

Service Civil International (SCI) is an international volunteering organisation dedicated to promoting a culture of peace. Their core values include volunteering, non-violence, human rights, solidarity, respect for natural environment, inclusion, acceptance, cooperation, and encouraging a fairer society and a better coexistence of diversity. The organisation’s main activities (short-term volunteering workcamps) are guided by these values. These camps provide a space for a colourful, international life, understanding and work for volunteers from different countries, and at the same time offer an opportunity for the elimination of prejudices and international integration. Because the volunteers are embedded in the wider environment, they spread their values and philosophy of a tolerant living at both a local and global level. The foundations of the SCI reach back to the period after World War I and the work of Pierre Cérésole. In the spirit of his peacekeeping ideology, he connected people from conflicting sides in France and Germany and united them in voluntary work of rebuilding a war torn village.

Initially, the international groups of volunteers worked long-term, in areas affected by wars and natural disasters. In the 1960s, the short-term volunteering camps as we know them today were formed. The SCI supports the work of local non-profit organisations that work towards helping the Global South, addressing the ecologic and environmental issues, and aiding the socially disadvantaged and marginalised groups. The organisation is active in Europe, the United States of America, South America, Middle East, Asia, Africa and Australia, with thousands of people joining its activities every year. Their vision is a world of peace, social justice and sustainable development, where people live together in mutual respect with a view to resolve conflicts and without promoting any form of violence.

SCI workcamp, 2011

As a branch of the SCI, the Voluntariat Institute spreads the ideas of peace activism, sustainable development, connecting with the Third World and inter-generational cooperation in Slovenia. Foremost, we aim to encourage the local organisations to add an intercultural component to their work, thus spreading our philosophy. To this end we help them recruit international volunteers, offer them support and guidance with camp organisation, and hold seminars and training.

Other than international volunteering camps, the SCI guides the Voluntariat Institute every year in organising several youth exchanges, projects with the Global South countries, sociocultural events, workshops and training.

 

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