SCI Annual Report 2015

published by SCI Communication

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Foreword: International President
There is no doubt that 2015 will be remembered in the SCI annals as a year not only devoted to celebrating SCI anniversary, but also time full of developments. To start with, two major calamities kept SCI busy last year. The first one was the devastating earthquake in Nepal, which left thousands of people dead, and an estimated 3.5 million homeless. SCI Nepal activists, disregarding their own suffering, immediately began providing relief to the local population, with the help of numerous donations from other SCI branches. Reconstruction projects went on throughout the year.
Working Groups
Another intercontinental project that is worth mentioning is the Global Volunteer Action, which aims to increase the capacity of SCI through various trainings and initiatives taking place in Asia, Europe, and Australia. I also invite you to read more on the Create a Climate for Peace Campaign and our involvement in COP 21. Among all the emergency projects and deeds of the past year, fortunately there was still some space left to celebrate our 95th anniversary! Various exhibitions, workshops, and meetings took place, with the seminar in the historic city of Verdun in France, organized in the frame of the Memory Beyond Rhetoric project, as well as the massive Exchange Platform Meeting, the first one of this kind in SCI history. To finish off, I want to congratulate all the members of SCI, without whom all these achievements would have been not possible. Behind every event and campaign stands a team of committed volunteers and activists. They often stay anonymous to the international world but I want to emphasize that their input is not forgotten – on the contrary, the international structures of SCI sincerely acknowledge these efforts. Let me therefore conclude with a big thank you to all SCI volunteers, and let us look positively towards our 100th anniversary!
Meanwhile, Europe witnessed an unprecedented refugee crisis, with millions of Syrians, Iraqis, and other nationalities searching for safety in Europe.
SCI took not only a political stand towards the catastrophe but, most of all, got involved in providing assistance to the fleeing people. Many local branches and activists deserve our applause for the great work done, and we are proud that our Building Bridges initiative for the support of refugees is growing strong, with a major awareness-raising campaign to take place during 2016 workcamp season. The two catastrophes made us take steps to manage such situations in the future even more effectively. With this aim in mind, two SCI funds were created at the 75th International Committee Meeting in Sri Lanka: the Disaster Relief Fund and the Refugee Fund. I encourage all readers to read more on them on SCI website and consider donating to these funds. Even the smallest amount counts!
Amities, Małgorzata Tur SCI Acting International President
The International Executive Committee
Małgorzata Tur   Karu Attanayake  Katalin Somlai          Katja Löfgren Ernest Kovacs Uris Kalatchoff Sara Turra
Working Groups
Abya Yala Working Group (Latin America) Africa Working Group Asia International Working Group BEES Working Group (Better Evaluations and Exchange Support) GAIA Working Group SAVA Working Group (Balkans) YUWG (Social Inclusion)
Unofficial Working Groups
No More War
Acting President Vice President Treasurer Member Member Co-opted member Ex officio member
Online Placement System - OPS Team Tech Team Pool of Trainers and Facilitators International Archives Asian Development Committee ExRep
Other International Structures and Supporting Tools
Financial Advisory & Consultancy Team (FACT) International Insurance Commission (IIC)
International Secretariat
Sara Turra Ossi Lemström Ela Suleymangil Marta Palau Alba Victoria Marinova Beatrice Naldi Angela Aleksandrovska Sathyanarayanan Mohan Nicoletta Cartocci Shane Carolan Angeliki Kavallieratou
International Coordinator Finance and Administration Officer Project and Communication Officer EVS Volunteer EVS Volunteer Trainee Intern EVS Volunteer EVS Volunteer EVS Volunteer EVS Volunteer
throughout Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North and South America
throughout Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North and South America
International Coordination of SCI is organised through several bodies and meetings. In 2015 the most important international coordination body, the International Committee Meeting (ICM), took place in Kandy, Sri Lanka in December. The International Executive Committee (IEC) met two times in 2015 to discuss policy matters and strategy as well as the work of the International Secretariat (IS), which focused on administration, exchange support, communication and PR, campaigns and project management, finances, fundraising and insurance.
Through educational practices at the local level, SCI wants to contribute to a nonviolent approach to global issues, by developing a more peaceful dialogue within society and raising awareness about social injustice and sustainable lifestyles. SCI wants to achieve this by organising peace education workshops, trainings, seminars and study sessions. SCI also wants to empower people to take an active stand for a culture of peace in the world by facilitating acts of solidarity at global and local levels. Through the coordination and organisation of international voluntary projects this goal can be reached, as these projects are concrete acts of solidarity with people and communities that suffer social injustice, while at the same time these projects are a means to raise awareness about the current situation in the world. Finally, SCI wants to increase its capacity in order to get better at what we do and how we do it. SCI wants to permanently work on improving certain key areas, such as volunteer and staff management, financial management, communication to be able to implement the strategic plan and establish a culture of peace for all. In order to achieve this SCI prepares a Strategic Plan that spans 4 years. 2015 was the first year of SCI's new Strategic Plan for 2015-2018.  The plan defines the key areas in which branches, groups and individual members throughout the world can all combine their efforts and work together to combat these threats to peace by means of voluntary service, and in so doing, continue to promote SCI’s aims, values and ideology in the modern world.
Each year SCI organises statutory and other international meetings all over the world. In 2015, the first of the Asian Platform Meetings took place together with the official opening seminar of Glovola Project in Australia and the second before the beginning of International Committee Meeting at the same venue in Sri Lanka, the Exchange Platform Meeting took place in Bulgaria, the Branch Coordinator Meeting  in Serbia,  while most of the Working Group Meetings took place in Bulgaria.
Delegates and observers at SCI's 2015 International Committee Meeting, Sri Lanka (2015)
HIGHLIGHT: Exchange Platform Meeting
On the occasion of the 95th anniversary of SCI, innovation and new perspective were welcomed and a special meeting, the very first "Exchange Platform Meeting of SCI", was organised. 95 years ago our founder Pierre Ceresole organized the first international voluntary project and since then many others have followed. The meeting lasted a full week from 12th till 18th of October, placed in the mountains around Sofia, Bulgaria, in the facilities of the Red Cross Training center of Lozen. More than 80 participants from around the globe and representing over 40 voluntary organizations of the SCI network, met and intensely evaluated and planned for the upcoming year. During the EPM the following SCI Working Groups held their annual meeting: Abya Yala (regional working group for Latin America), Africa Working Group, Asia International Working Group, BEES (Better Evaluations and Exchange Support), LTEG (Longterm Exchange Working group), MIDI (Mediterranean and Middle East), SAVA (regional working group South-Eastern Europe). The EPM was the only Exchange meeting of SCI this present year. Unlike other years, in 2015 the SCI meeting calendar did not see two separate meetings focusing on exchange and evaluation matters (e.g. the Exchange Evaluation Meeting (EEM) and the North South Platform Meeting (NSPM). Feedback from participants and the organizing team indicated that the EPM was a great success and to be implemented in years to come: "SCI Branches and Partner organizations had the possibility to meet and renew their trust" "it has been a great opportunity to circulate and gather knowledge" "representatives of the International Executive Committee, the International Secretariat, the OPS Team, the Pool of Trainers and Working Groups were there to collect and share feedback" "many ideas circulated in unofficial times and will blossom hopefully over the next few months."
"Changes are not easy and challenging to happen, this meeting has been a unique experience and reference that changes may provoke new thoughts and be the right move towards the future of SCI, as recent world struggles and atrocities have reminded us violence, security and oppression are not the way, peace, community and understanding are the matters to reach out for." - EPM Participant, Steffi Koch
Alexandra Strebel, EPM Prep-Team Member
OUR IMPACT: Strategic Plan Objective 1.1 Peace Education
In 2015 the No  More  War  Team  were  one of the  main actors  in  SCI  on  the  topic  of  Peace and Peace  Education, through  the  organisation  of trainings, seminars, street actions and workcamps.  The NMW annual meeting took place in Berlin, Germany in November 2015. SCI continued its activities in support of the Council of Europe's "No Hate Speech Movement" organising street actions and seminars in Europe and Asia. Pool of Trainers and Facilitators             gave their contribution to branches, the IS, and working groups with the design, coordination and implementation of trainings, seminars and other educational projects. Furthermore, working as an international educational group, they contributed to strengthening coherence within the movement and proposing educational activities at the international level.
- Implementing a Training of Trainers: “Change is a chance! Upgrade your skills and help    xEurope(ans) grow!” - Implementing the Training: "Picturing the Global South; the power behind good intentions” - Supporting trainings within the international projects "Global Volunteer Action",  "Memory Beyond Rhetoric" and to SCI's Sri Lanka's training on No Hate Speech - Developing an online library of training resources and toolkits - Developing a database of resource persons with the Tech Team within SCI's Members Area
SCI's Pool of Trainers and Facilitators
No Hate Speech Movement
No More War Team
In 2015, SCI trainers and facilitators were active in:
OUR IMPACT: Strategic Plan Objective 1.2 Volunteering and Active Citizenship
are organised in different fields and with different types of voluntary work.
thousands of short term voluntary projects
Every year
Commonly known within SCI as ‘workcamps’, these projects are organised in cooperation with SCI’s network of branches and partner organisations. They in turn cooperate with local organisations and communities. A short term international 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 2-4 weeks.
Hundreds of workcamp opportunitites are available on SCI's   comprehensive database:
Theatre Knows No Borders, Switzerland (2015) Photo by Anna Gallati
"Towards the end of the summer of 2015 my Facebook newsfeed was filled with articles about people fleeing to Europe, pictures of all too small boats crammed with all too many people and actions to gather winter clothes for children. I wanted to engage myself and that’s why it felt especially meaningful to pack my bag, get on the train to Lucerne and take part in the SCI Switzerland workcamp "Theatre and music with kids". - Volunteer Suvi Vara
"The workcamp Kataskinosi gives support to a summer camp for 140 children from very disadvantaged backgrounds, run by the Greek organisation Happy Children Happy Youth. We washed thousands of dishes, cut hundreds of watermelons, worked really hard but also had a great time!" - Workcamp coordinators, Umut Can Agar and Alessandra Cedri
Photo by SCI Hellas
SCI's Long Term Volunteering (LTV) programme provides volunteers with the opportunity to stay abroad from 2 to 12 months and support a variety of projects and activities, such as working with people with disabilities, disadvantaged youth or ethnic minorities, to working in an office or run daily activities in an eco-village. The long lasting commitment that LTV’s bring to the projects enables sustained work for peace, both on a concrete level for the branches and partner organisations and on a personal level for the volunteer and the members of the local communities. It is the experience of living abroad and learning from different cultures and people, while getting deeply involved with a concrete project that is for the benefit of the local community. In 2015 various LTV projects in SCI were financed by the European Commission through the European Voluntary Service (EVS)   which is part of the Erasmus+ programme and aims to support young people's participation in various forms of voluntary activities, both within and outside the European Union.
Long Term Volunteering (LTV)
"Hello, my name is João and I am presenting you a small report of my European Voluntary Service experience in Ukraine, Kharkiv, from 4th April 2014 until 3rd April 2015. The project was under the framework of “Social Volunteering for Youth Empowerment” programme. In coordination with my hosting organization SVIT-Ukraine, I was put in contact with several public local schools in Kharkiv. Once I got in contact with teachers, we would prepare visits where I would speak about several topics, always with the goal of practicing English. I also had the chance to participate in workcamps organized by SVIT, for example in Poltava region, where we helped preparing and organizing a local Borsch festival. This year was very rewarding for me, I had great experiences, met amazing people and learned a lot. It was a pleasure to discover and be engaged with Kharkiv civil society." - João, EVS volunteer from Portugal, reflects on his EVS experience at SCI's Ukrainian Branch, SVIT Ukraine
OUR IMPACT: Strategic Plan Objective 1.2 Volunteering and Active Citizenship
"Schools and libraries are vital establishments within Nepal and are key to enable children to recover psychologically. Brave young children of the village always had a smile on their faces and I hope the new classrooms will inspire them to flourish and gain a good education which will give them the confidence to shape their future. My grandma always used to say ‘don't rest on your laurels keep going’. Anyone reading this  and feels inspired just remember the way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning."
- Charlie, IVS GB volunteer that took part in a workcamp in Panauti, Nepal
On 25th of April 2015, a devastating earthquake hit Nepal. Soon after the earthquake the 2 local groups of SCI Nepal (Panauti and Bhaktapur) started relief-activities, which are currently continuing. The relief-activities so far have included distributing food and clothes, building temporary shelters, carrying out a hygiene-project and supporting affected schools. SCI's Asian branches showed their solidarity by offering experienced volunteers as well as giving donations to SCI Nepal. Asian Voices, the magazine for and by SCI activists in Asia published a special edition, Nepali Voices to give updates about the work done in Nepal as well as highlight stories from local and international volunteers.
Volunteers from SCI's Nepal two groups, Bhaktapur and Panauti, carry out relief work, Nepal (2015)
OUR IMPACT: Stragic Plan Objective 1.3 Intercultural Understanding and Dialogue
Through  international  voluntary  exchanges  with  people  of  different  social,  economic, national  and  cultural  backgrounds  SCI  creates  an  intercultural  setting  in  all  its  projects, meetings,  trainings  and  seminars.  In 2015 there were specific projects and  activities  that had intercultural dialogue and exchange as their main theme and method including those by SCI's working groups YUWG and SAVA Working Group.
Memory Beyond Rhetoric
21-28 May 2015 Training for Multipliers, Folgaria, Italy 14-24 July 2015 Bilateral Study Camp between Italy and Austria 17-29 July 2015 Multilateral Study Camp, Berlin, Germany 23-30 August 2015 Multilateral Study Camp - Ypres,  Flanders, Belgium 11-14 November 2015 International Seminar - Verdun, France
The international project, "Memory Beyond Rhetoric: WWI and the growth of the pacifist movement in Europe" began in 2014 with its main activities taking place in 2015 and final event in 2016. The project promotes a mature idea of peace, anti-militarism and non-violence. SCI’s remembrance project critically analyses the image of soldiers-heroes and wants to contribute to a real understanding of the history and diversity of the European Union, which was created as a peace guarantee.
Activities in 2015:
Participants of the International Peace Seminar in Verdun, France (2015)
HIGHLIGHT: Intercultural Dialogue
"The project, realized in partnership with associations and medical vocational schools from Serbia, Germany and France, consists of three activities - two youth exchanges and a training course.  It aims at exploring relations between the formal education system and non-formal learning, as well as the mobility of young people. The project deals with  the gap between competences acquired in formal educational institutions and competences that are actually demanded on the labour market, targeting complementary of formal and non-formal education for the benefit of vocational students. The first activity – the youth exchange – gathering 40 young people from Serbia, Germany and France took place in Novi Sad from October 18 until October 24, 2015. During this week the participants, exchanged and compared their skills and knowledge and explored what it means to put their profession  in the context of intercultural learning. French and German participants practiced different techniques of providing care to patients with their Serbian colleagues. They additionally visited the world-renowned healthcare institute “Sremska Kamenica”. Many of them admitted coming with considerable prejudices against  the level of professionalism, equipment and cleanliness. A substantial part of the week was dedicated to the culture and history of the Vojvodina, particularly  the city of Novi Sad. In tri-national groups, participants explored the city, interacted with locals, tasted traditional food and drinks. Discussions about prejudice and stereotypes contributed to raising cultural awareness and widened the horizons of these young people, which is especially important in their medical vocation because in the future they will provide healthcare to patients regardless of their nationality, religion, personal life etc. The highlight of the week was public action “Red Nose Day". The idea behind this was to draw attention to the great work of a Serbian association, specially trained clowns,  called "clown doctors", who visit children in hospitals. They help them adapt to hospital surroundings and distract them from painful or frightening procedures through creating an atmosphere of fun. Unfortunately, there are only 4 Clown Doctors in the whole of Serbia and no organized support for their work. The participants in the exchange and around 1000 other students from the Medical Vocational School “7. April”, that VCV's partner school in this project dressed as clown doctors and paraded from Dunavski Park, through Dunavska and Zmaj Jovina Street, to the Hotel Vojvodina, in front of where we had a stage. The programme ended with a flash mob, where the participants with the students from the dance school “Groove” danced to the song “Go” by the Chemical Brothers. The participants in this exchange left full of positive impressions. According to their evaluation, they learnt a lot about the culture of this region and enjoyed our hospitality, broke stereotypes and prejudices they had, became more self-aware, boosted theirconfidence, improved language skills and made new friendships. So far, we achieved the project goals and are on the right track!" - Report by Tatjana Janković, Volonterski Centar Vojvodine
In October 2015 Volonterski Centar Vojvodine started implementing the two-year project “Youth Exchanges–Theory and Practice”, supported by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Commission.
Youth Exchange paticipants take part in the "Red Nose Day" public action, Novi Sad, Serbia (2015) photo by: Tatjana Janković
HIGHLIGHT: Intercultural Dialogue
In summer 2015, two international workcamps took place under the project "Magic Hands" in Plemetina, Kosovo and Tavankut, Serbia. Activities were focused on handicrafts traditionally made by the women from Plemetina and Tavankut. Women of these two local communities shared their knowledge and taught participants how to make traditional straw art and bead-work. We would like to highlight the beautiful book that was one the outcomes of this project. Volunteers documented the creation of crafts as well as the lifestyle and the role of women in these specific communities. With blog-posts participants shared their daily experiences from Plemetina and Tavankut with a wider public. A video clip was produced during the second workcamp in Kosovo to greet the previously visited community of Bunjevci in Vojvodina. As a result of the project, the book “Magic Hands” was published in December 2015. It contains handicraft tutorials for straw art and bead-work as well as volunteers’ stories about Tavankut and Plemetina. The book was translated into five languages: English, Albanian, Croatian, Romani and Serbian. They all appear in parallel over the course of the pages. The collection of traditions, stories and languages from both, Serbia and Kosovo, from Bunjevci and Roma, gathered by volunteers from all over the world and put together in one book emphasizes the intercultural and inclusive character of the project. Both, the workcamps and the book, aim at fostering intercultural dialogue with and within the Balkans. Working on traditional handicrafts encourages the exchange of knowledge about traditions and contributes to valorizing the role and talents of women in local communities. Furthermore, living within these two local communities  creates a space for intercultural learning and inter-ethnic dialogue between volunteers and the local population. Such first-hand experience gives volunteers the opportunity to confront (their) stereotypes about women’s roles and the wider population in the Balkans. By sharing their reflections and experiences, volunteers can subsequently act as multipliers in challenging prejudice and raising awareness about the situation of minorities and multi-ethnic dialogue in the Balkan region.
The “Magic Hands” workcamps were a joint project of VCV (SCI Serbia), Gaia Kosovo (SCI Kosovo) and SCI Switzerland. HKPD Matija Gubec Tavankut from Serbia and Roma Road from Kosovo were involved as community-based project partners for the implementation of the project. Funding was granted by the National Youth Council of Switzerland (SAJV – CSAJ – FSAG), with the financial support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDA) for East Project. In the aftermath of the workcamps, SAVA WG further provided support to finalize and promote the book.
Images taken from the book 'Magic Hands', click to view the online version.
View the project video here.
OUR IMPACT: Strategic Plan Objective 1.4 Sustainability and Climate Change
SCI's work on climate justice, adaptation, mitigation, disaster relief, sustainability and alternative living in workcamps continued through the successful implementation of the Create a Climate for Peace Campaign for a 2nd year!
GAIA MicroGrants supported
organised by SCI activists
between November 2014 and 2015!
took place in
*As part of the EYF Work Plan 2015: "Youth Empowerment for a Sustainable Europe"
GAIA MicroGrants Programme provides financial support of up to 500€ to projects implemented by SCI activists. The main goal of the programme is to bring the topics of climate justice and sustainable living to the mainstream of SCI activities. We want as many SCI activists to be aware of the impact that climate change is having on peace around the world and we want to show that we can do a lot about it as SCI volunteers. Every SCI event can contribute to climate justice and sustainability, no matter what the main focus is. The programme is designed in such way to make it as easy as possible for activists to acquire the funding - formalities are kept at the necessary minimum (and oriented on supporting self-reflection and evaluation) and applications are accepted on a rolling basis.Resources related to knowledge were collected and published in the “Climate for Peace Toolkit” - an SCI publication including the basic concepts related to climate justice and sustainability and several educational activities that are especially designed with workcamp study parts in mind. Projects covered a wide variety of activities, from those related to food and agriculture (like setting up permacultural community gardens in Kosovo, running a street action about reducing food waste in Switzerland or a workshop about environmental impacts of coffee production in Slovenia), empowering communities suffering from social and environmental injustice (like setting up community gardens in South Africa, Togo or Mexico, building a landfill in Indonesia), raising awareness of sustainable living practices (organizing outdoor interactive workshops for citizens of Budapest in Hungary, workcamps focusing on beekeeping in Slovenia), as well as building capacity of SCI volunteers (through workshops for workcamp coordinators and educators in Poland, Indonesia, Finland, Bangladesh or Serbia). Participants of projects planted trees and discouraged people from using plastic bags in Albania, organized a Global Day of Action happening to promote renewable energy in Poland and spend a whole day learning about climate justice and planning future activities in an eco farm in Sweden. And this is just a part of it! Financial support for each project didn’t exceed 500€. 30 global initiatives were sponsored by Terra21 Foundation, 12 European projects we financed by the European Youth Foundation (as part of the “Climate for Peace: Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Europe” Work Plan 2015), administrative costs were covered by Terra21 and donations coming from private individuals. The programme received a great support from the IS in terms of managing the finances and project promotion. More information on the implemented projects and examples of other initiatives for sustainability can be found in the booklet “Climate for Peace Inspirations: How to organize activities for climate justice and sustainable living” available in SCI’s web page. If you want to receive updates about GAIA MicroGrants and Create a Climate for Peace Campaign sign up to the Friday Updates newsletter here:
Examples of projects supported by the GAIA MicroGrants carried out by ASTOVOT Togo, VCZ Croatia and SVI Mauritius
"As SCI activists - it was important for us to contribute our voice of support for civil society at the Conference of the Parties 2015 (aka COP21).   It is considered a great diplomatic success that all countries participating in the negotiations agreed to sign the document. And for some reasons it is also a success of civil society - the fact that governments of almost 200 countries in the world all agreed that climate change is an urgent matter and all countries need to act in order to prevent a climate chaos - to a large extent happened thanks to ongoing public pressure. Events like COP21 are very visible and extremely important, but they are all just steps on the way to achieving a climate for peace. We need to continue applying pressure on our governments so they are more and more ambitious in their climate actions, but also reflect on our individual habits and the way we function in the world (what is our carbon footprint and what does our climate justice hand-print look like?). A climate of peace means zero fossil fuels extracted and burned and full consideration for impacts that human activity has on ecosystems and people (this applies to future generations as well as to our own). It also means recognizing historical and contemporary responsibility for emissions of gases that cause climate change and supporting communities which are at the front line of its impacts. This support means transfer of technology which helps to adapt to a changing climate (from changes in land use to consequences of extreme weather events), financial support for this adaptation and compensation for damages, but also raising our voice against inequalities and for justice. We want to join this demand for climate justice and be part of the solution! This is why SCI delegation was present during Paris climate talks. We as SCI activists come together and unify with this shift to a more peaceful co-existence." Shane Carolan, Marta Sykut (on behalf of the SCI delegation to COP21)
OUR IMPACT: Strategic Plan Objective 2.1 Global Approach to Challenges
Global Volunteer Action
Networking, capacity building, non-formal education and innovation in international youth and volunteer work in Europe and Asia is SCI’s global project. It focuses on youth volunteering in Europe and Asia and beyond. There are several challenges that youth and voluntary service organizations face nowadays, and Global Volunteer Action aims to find a common space where they can be shared and discussed, a space to provide and create common solutions. The first three activities of the project took place in 2015 with the later three in 2016.
26-29 March 2015: Preparation Meeting, Rome, Italy 22-27 June 2015:  Global Volunteer Action Opening Seminar: Volunteering in the 21st Century in Asia, Sydney, Australia 12-18 October 2015: Volunteer University, Sofia, Bulgaria
Participants of the Global Volunteer Action Opening Seminar, Sydney, Australia (2015)
The SCI Incoming Programme is a North South solidarity exchange that takes place every year in Europe. Volunteers from SCI partner organisations in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East are invited to participate on an exchange programme which lasts eight to ten weeks throughout August, September, and October. The volunteers join a four-week programme in different hosting countries in Europe, which consists of a seminar with an introduction to SCI and the invited countries, participation on a workcamp organised by a branch of SCI, and an evaluation of the project. The objectives of the programme are to deepen mutual knowledge for a better collaboration, exchange information to improve the quality of preparation trainings for SCI volunteers, to learn about the daily work of SCI branches and partner organisations, offer opportunities for South partner organisations to encounter and collaborate, facilitate contacts and collaborations with other European organisations; exchange with European volunteers (for example in workcamps) and learn about European reality. In 2015, SCI Germany and SCI Belgium received incoming volunteers from partner organisations in Mexico, Tanzania, Kenya and Ivory Coast with the cooperation of the Africa WG and Abya Yala.
In 2015, SCI had the pleasure of implementing another Study Session at the European Youth Centre in Budapest, Hungary. “Right to exist?” focused on human rights protection and terminology, in connection to undocumented migrants' reality within Europe and how SCI can work further with and for undocumented migrants.
OUR IMPACT: Strategic Plan Objective 2.2 Solidarity - Refugee and Migrant Rights
Many SCI branches and working groups have various and long-term experiences in the implementation of projects and activities with refugees and asylum seekers. These experiences have been discussed at several occasions throughout the last years at international SCI meetings. Just before the refugee crisis of the summer 2015, SCI activists gathered at a seminar in Switzerland under the project "Working with Refugees" and exchanged their experiences in order to create a common toolkit to share know-how. The ICM 2015 adopted a recommendation drafted by SCI activists to launch the grass-root campaign "Building Bridges" in SCI workcamps in 2016. The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness and stimulate the reflection about the current refugee crisis and forced migration in general.
Participants at the SCI knowledge transfer seminar, "Volunteering with Asylum Seekers" Switzerland (2015)
First day of the Study Session "Right to Exist?", European Youth Centre, Hungary (2015)
Building  Bridges
OUR IMPACT: Strategic Plan Objective 2.2 Diversity - Social Inclusion
YUWG, SCI's working group that involves 12 branches and partners of SCI, continued developing social inclusion projects with youngsters with fewer opportunities. In 2015 their main activities included a Leader Training, Spring and Autumn Meetings, 3 Youth Exchanges and MANY local activities such as; job-shadowing, workshops with refugees; workshops on gender equality, human rights, conflict resolution and  intercultural cuisine. At the Autumn Meeting, a trial project of supported inclusion of youngsters with fewer opportunities in workcamps abroad was planned. This project  will allow SCI to develop a grounded procedure to define YUWG-friendly workcamps in the future.
Participants at the YUWG Leader Training, Rome, Italy (2015)
"The aim of the training was to prepare group leaders, who will then run activities related to YUWG, in order to accompany groups of young people with fewer opportunities during Youth Exchanges or to coordinate YUWG friendly workcamps, during the summer of 2015. The first day of the training was focused on “What we are and what we do” where the two trainers Katerina and Katrien, with the support of the co-trainer Giorgia, organized activities to get the participants to know each other in order to facilitate the creation of a pleasant, comfortable and productive atmosphere for the work of the following days. In the afternoon team building activities were organized so that the participants could have a better understanding of the Youth Exchange and all the phases related to it. The second day was concentrated on “Who we do it for and with and Why we do it”. The day started with activities about the non-formal learning methods in Youth Exchanges and continued with an explanation of the Youthpass in a very creative and interactive way. The afternoon was dedicated to activities about social inclusion; a role-play took place to better understand the target groups. The last 3 days focused on “How we do it” through activities focused on the understanding of the leaders role, leadership skills and group dynamics, non-violent communication, risk awareness, problem solving and conflict resolution. During these days the volunteers also had the chance to explore and put in practice various ways to apply non-formal learning methods and activities in their work with the young people." - YUWG Leader Training organised by SCI Italy
We would like to highlight this documentary prepared by the creative team at our branch SCI France, which also won a Pierre Ceresole Award at ICM 2015. The documentary answers some fundamental questions such as: Volunteering in today's world and in the past, the future of volunteering and it's impact. The film and the short clip includes interviews with volunteers, branch staff as well as members of the international executive committee and international archives.
Highlights from the SCI Archives
"In autumn I was invited by the International Secretariat  and the "Memoric" project team to give a presentation about pacifism and the history of SCI in the seminar taking place not far from Verdun, remembering 100 years of World War I and around 95 years of SCI service. Even though it was not possible to visit Esnes, the very village that had been destroyed by German troops during the war and reconstructed with the help of international (including German) volunteers after the war, attending the seminar was a great opportunity to visit the city of Verdun and the area around, that had been so heavily affected by this terrible war which had indirectly contributed to the creation of the SCI movement. The seminar also made possible some very inspiring encounters with veterans from different periods of SCI history, as well as with representatives of other currents close to SCI, such as the Quakers, and CCIVS." - Heinz Gabathuler, SCI International Archives Coordinator
European Youth Forum - YFJ
Council of Europe
In 2015, SCI was well represented in CCIVS with two Executive Committee members, Ingrid Danckaerts, SCI Catalunya and Kolawole Aganran, VWAN Nigeria. Ingrid holds the positions of vice-president for thematic actions and focal point for the Mediterranean within the CCIVS Executive Committee, while Kolawole Aganran is the focal point for Africa. This enabled and ensured increased  representation of SCI in CCIVS. The EXREP Team took part in the following events: Global Leaders Meetings, France Global LongTerm Volunteering Meeting, Belgium Raising Peace Campaign "From Vision to Action, Growing Capacities for Change in the IVS Movement" project World Heritage Volunteers 2015 MEDA Project Events hosted at COP21
SCI is a member of YFJ and regularly attended its meetings in 2015. Most of the meetings were advocacy oriented and capacity building in terms of project writing and overview of European funds. SCI promoted various events and seminars organized by the Forum and was included in the 2015 editions of the YFJ magazine YO!Mag as well the weekly newsletter YO!News with a link to the 6 editions of SCI's external e-newsletter, Voices of Volunteers. A group of SCI representatives, composed of SCI Belgium, VIA Belgium, SCI France, SCI IS and a member of the IEC also attended the YO!Fest held outside the European Parliament in Brussels.
SCI holds a participatory status at the Council of Europe. In 2015, SCI continued its activities  combating hate speech as a partner of the No Hate Speech Movement and attended the final evaluation event as well as the high level conference hosted by the Belgian Chairmanship of the Council of Europe: 'Tolerance Trumps Hate Conference'. The seminar ‘Remembrance and learning from the Second World War’ was attended by SCI, aimed at young people and activists, historians and educators and remembrance in Europe at the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.
SCI has a consultative status with UNESCO that implies membership fee and access to UNESCO activities. SCI attended the following meetings: Action day within the UNESCO NGO Liaison Committee on IVS against climate change Committee on Non-Governmental Partners (NGP) of the Executive Board
"Youth Impact: Strengthening Organizational Capacities to Build Peace in Europe", is a partnership of UNOY Peacebuilders and five European UNOY members (one of them being SCI) focusing on Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) practices within youth peacebuilding organisations. SCI hosted an on-site research visit at the IS as part of the project from which a report was produced, SCI will implement MEL activities based upon these results in the coming year.  SCI also took part 2 on-site research visits at project partner organisations.
In 2015,
were organised
by SCI Branches and Groups.
2814 volunteers
sent by SCI Branches and Groups.
2463 volunteers
received by SCI Branches and Groups.
Volunteers in Hong Kong (SCI Hong Kong), USA (SCI USA) and Serbia (VCV).
Caption #6
"I'm a person who loves to travel, but not just any old travelling. What I love about IVS volunteering is the range of nationalities, ages and backgrounds brought together. You're not simply spending time with tourists like yourself. On most projects, you really feel you've become part of the local community. You develop much more insight into the country you are in. But above all I believe in the aims of IVS. The sleeping, eating, working and debating with an international group uncovers thoughts, attitudes and prejudices you didn't even know you had.
-  Pat Barker, aged 81, volunteer with IVS GB
There is tremendous satisfaction in helping a local community when you can look back at a harvest safely in, a painted building or a cleared watercourse. Where else do you get pleasure from being useful while having such tremendous fun?"
"This training was a unique chance to meet with activists and volunteers from our Asian branches, we need more chances for cross continental cooperation, because somewhere in the middle the magic happens and we all make a bigger difference together."
Viktoriya Marinova, Bulgarian participants of the international project 'Global Volunteer Action'
SCI Partner and Contact Organsisations
SCI Branches and Groups
SCI ONLINE in 2015
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We are grateful for the support received in 2015 from (in alphabetical order): • Council of Europe – European Youth Foundation • European Commission • Private Donors • SCI Branches and Groups We would also, and most of all, like to acknowledge the valuable support received from numerous volunteers and staff persons from all the branches of our international organisation.
This online publication has been funded with support from the ‘Erasmus+ programme’ of the European Commission. It reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.