Annual Report 2016

published by SCI Communication

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Foreword: International President
Working Groups
No matter if you are an SCI volunteer or staff, a partner, a donor, or a friend, I am sure you are already fully occupied with 2017 activities: tasks, projects, life goals – deeply immersed with the present, and making plans for the future.  But what would life be like without those moments of looking back and reflection, without the chance to give recognition to the recent highlights and successes? This SCI Annual Report gives you the opportunity to look back in time, reflect upon all the activities that took place and celebrate the achievements of SCI in 2016. There have been many highlights in 2016 that are presented within this report, and – as an appetizer – let me introduce two.
2016 was the year the SCI Building Bridges Campaign was initiated, a campaign to raise awareness and stimulate reflection about the current refugee crisis and forced migration. By mid-year it was in full swing, with dozens of actions supporting forced migrants organised around the world: workcamps, training courses for activists, as well as local awareness raising actions from which methods and case studies are being collected to enrich the impressive Building Bridges Toolkit. Furthermore, we have now entered the second round of the Refugee Fund while also continuing the Volunteers on the Frontline project in the Balkans, where SCI volunteers have been working directly on the Balkan migrant transit route. The campaign continues in 2017 with many exciting initiatives and projects, and I encourage you to support and take part in its activities! The second highlight I chose is the closing of one and the launch of another SCI intercontinental initiative – Global Volunteer Action followed-up by Peers to Peace.  The projects are part of the continued effort of the SCI international community to improve our internal capacity together with partners from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America, and its activities will continue until mid-2018. I am convinced that by sharing the existing knowledge on key topics, such as project, volunteer, knowledge management and fundraising, we will increase capacities of SCI Member Organizations internally and the movement as a whole, and, as the consequence, have a greater impact on both local and global level. Service Civil International is growing older – and more experienced – every year. Let’s use this experience to reflect, assess, and evaluate our actions, and by this learn how to improve our present actions and also find new, successful ways to work even more effectively for a peaceful world! Amitiés, Małgorzata Tur SCI International President
SCI  was  founded  by Pierre Cérésole,  a  Swiss  engineer  who  established  a  peace  and humanitarian  movement  in  the  aftermath of the 1st World War and laid down the foundations of SCI in 1920. From the modest size in the 1920s, SCI has developed into an international peace movement and international volunteering organisation with 42 member organisations in countries all over the world. SCI has established an even greater number of partnerships with like-minded organisations from all continents.   It was one of the first organisations to divest itself of all political or religious affiliations in its work of promoting peace and intercultural understanding through practical action. Every year, SCI enables thousands of volunteers to participate in its work. Living and working together in an international group gives the volunteers a chance to create a network of international contacts. The voluntary work is designed to introduce volunteers to the range of problems that communities face in the struggle for peace and social justice. The work aspect, as much as the social contact with local people, is a unique way of acquiring a deeper understanding of problems that people are facing in one’s own country and abroad.
Service Civil International (SCI) is one of the world's largest  international volunteering organisations with more than ninety-five years of experience in coordinating international voluntary projects all around the world.
Through these projects SCI helps break down barriers and prejudices between people of different social, cultural and national backgrounds and promote a culture of peace.
A world of peace; social justice and sustainable development, where all people live together with mutual respect and without recourse to any form of violence to solve conflict.
SCI’s Vision
SCI’s Mission
To promote a culture of peace by organising international volunteering projects with local and global impact.
SCI is open to all.
The International Executive Committee
Małgorzata Tur   Uris Kalatchoff  Katalin Somlai          Katja Löfgren Ernest Kovacs Rita Warleigh Frank Rochow Maduka Roshini 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) MIDI Working Group (Mediterranean) SAVA Working Group (Balkans) YUWG (Social Inclusion)
Unofficial Working Groups
No More War Building Bridges Gender Blenders
Acting International President International Vice President International Treasurer Member Member Member Co-opted Member Co-opted Member Ex officio member
Online Placement System - OPS Team Pool of Trainers and Facilitators Tech Team
Other International Structures and Supporting Tools
Asian Development Committee External Representation Financial Advisory & Consultancy Team (FACT) International Archives International Insurance Commission (IIC)
International Secretariat
Sara Turra Ossi Lemström Ela Suleymangil Alena Capova Sathyanarayanan Mohan Nicoletta Cartocci Shane Carolan Angeliki Kavallieratou Suvi Helko Martina Pieri Geoffrey Rebollo
International Coordinator Finance and Administration Officer Project and Communication Officer Project Officer EVS Volunteer EVS Volunteer EVS Volunteer EVS Volunteer EVS Volunteer EVS Volunteer Service Civique 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 2016 the most important international coordination body, the International Committee Meeting (ICM), took place in December in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. The next ICM will take place in Spain, hosted by SCI Catalunya. The International Executive Committee (IEC) met three times in 2016 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. SCI prepares a Strategic Plan that spans 4 years. 2016 was the second year of SCI's 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.
EDUCATION and VOLUNTEERING: Inspire and activate people to have an impact in the world and empower them to foster a culture of peace and social justice
Strategic Goal 1:
Strategic Objective 1.2: To make volunteering a way of active citizenship and lifestyle
Strategic Objective 1.1: To promote a culture of peace and pacifism
Strategic Objective 1.3: To promote intercultural dialogue and non-violent communication
Strategic Objective 1.4: To make the world more socially, ecologically and economically sustainable
Delegates and observers at SCI's 2016 International Committee Meeting, Germany (2016)
The ideological pillars of SCI are presented through two goals: Education &  Volunteering, where the activities we organize with and for our volunteers help society to move in the direction of  peace and social justice; and Awareness Raising & Solidarity where SCI enhances global solidarity between people and makes the connection  between small realities and the global picture to which they belong.  Each goal has different Objectives detailing our approach to the goals.  For each  of   these  Objectives,  Tools and Methods are provided. These examples help to put the objectives into practice. Some of the Tools and Methods are relevant for branches, others for the International Coordination, some for both; however, they all can be the ground for an improved cooperation between branches and groups of  SCI.
Composed of members of the IEC, the IS and individual activists, the SP Implementation team prepared and sent out a survey to SCI Branches, Groups and Working Groups in order to have a mid-term evaluation of the plan. The results were collected and presented at ICM 2016, with a more thorough analysis with recommendation prepared for the first half of 2017.   Based on the feedback collected the team worked on developing a set of graphics to illustrate the different strategic objectives of the plan in order to increase its visibility. Thanks to the work of SCI Belgium, graphics were adapted and can be seen in the following pages of this Annual Report. These graphics will be recommended to be used on the SCI website, the next strategic plan and other reports to highlight and give visibility to the activities and impact SCI has in line with the goals and objectives of it's Strategic Plan.
Enabling Actions
Strategic Goal 2:
AWARENESS RAISING AND SOLIDARITY: Increase the sense of belonging to a global community
Strategic Objective 2.1: To promote a global approach to local and worldwide challenges
Strategic Objective 2.2: To stimulate solidarity and to value diversity
The Enabling Actions are another crucial part of the Strategic Plan. They describe the areas where we need to develop actions for increasing our organizational capacity in order to achieve the Goals and Objectives. The Strategic Plan closes with a  glimpse  into  the  future which dreams about the future world we would like to see and towards which we are working guided by this Strategic Plan.
Strategic Plan Implementation
Each year SCI organises statutory and other international meetings all over the world. In 2016, the first of the Asian Platform Meetings (APM) took place in Bangladesh and the second before the beginning of International Committee Meeting (ICM) at the same venue in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. The  Exchange Platform Meeting (EPM) was held in Sweden along with some Working Group Meetings. The Branch Coordinator Meeting did not take place in 2016.
International Meetings
Highlight from the Exchange Platfrom Meeting:
"Having a meeting like EPM is really important, as it is a unique space for SCI staff and members to evaluate together our main activities and find ways to improve them. I find it very inspiring that such a meeting is self-organized by the volunteers in the prep team, with the help of many other volunteers in SCI working groups and also staff members in some branches. While evaluating SCI workcamps and exchanges, we also learn more about working together in a multicultural environment." - Marta Palau Alba, EPM Prep-Team
EPM participants in Sweden (October 2016)
After a succesful merge of SCI's Exchange Evaluation Meeting and North South Platform Meeting, the movement decided to organise the Exchange Platform Meeting (EPM) for a second year in a row, this time in Falun hosted by SCI's Swedish branch. The meeting took place from 11th till 16th of October, bringing together more than 40 participants from around the globe and representing 40 voluntary organizations of the SCI network. SCI branches, groups, partners and working groups 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 as well as the BEES (Better Evaluations and Exchange Support) Working Group. The meeting saw the creation of 20 proposals, some of which were brought to the International Committee Meeting (ICM) in December to be formally decided upon by all SCI branches.
“Democracy is not in good shape in 2016. It looks more and more like numerical majorities prevailing on numerical minorities instead of the sovereignty of the people for the people. The good news is that Service Civil International (SCI) is gathering these days for the #76ICM and there you'd see what democracy is: the capacity of different cultures and approaches to create robust consensus around inclusive ideas and to work together. This inclusive democracy has worked since 1920, has survived the one-man democracies that brought humanity into the darkest of the period, has survived ideologies that imposed goals with no participation, and will survive also the democracy of populism used by numerical majorities to isolate themselves behind walls." - Paolo Pagano, the former International President of International Executive Committee
OUR IMPACT: Strategic Plan Objective 1.1 Peace Education
In 2016 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. 2016 also saw the creating of a new unofficial working group in SCI, the Gender Blenders. In 2014, a discussion arose within the team about the connection between Gender violence and war. It was developed into a seminar, called 'Picture Perfect? Dangerous stereotypes about Gender and Sexuality', which took place in Berlin, Germany, November 2015 (funded by Erasmus+). As a follow up participants designed projects they planned to implement within in a year after the seminar such as workshops in Europe and Asia, gender theater workshops, a photo exhibition of the queer scene in Budapest and New York as well as designing educational material. In November 2016, the group met again in Berlin and decided to form the Gender Blenders,  focusing on current political trends and migration, giving new input and creating a still deeper exchange on the situation in different European locations. SCI also continued it's activities in support of the Council of Europe's "No Hate Speech Movement", organising street actions and seminars in Europe and Asia.
No More War Team
"When the seminar idea was born I was part of the No More War team, and (not just in that team) I had many times pointed out that SCI should be working on Gender and Sexuality, as stereotypes and prejudices related to these create clear challenges for peace and non-violence in our society (societies). They structure our lives from day one as we are raised to perform as a certain Gender, with a certain Sexuality. Any differences to this norm in our behavior, our feelings, who we are attracted to, etc. lead to (young) people feeling the need to adapt, to limit themselves, so to avoid discrimination, shaming, up until physical violence (partly ending in death). It is my personal believe that there will not be a culture of peace and nonviolence as long as people feel the need to hide parts of their identity, because they are afraid of the reaction of others. For this reason I think that a working group tackling Genders and Sexualities in SCI, going deeper in the topic and triggering discussion and reflection will be crucial in struggling for our vision of a non-violent world.
Gender Blenders
It was a pleasure to work with the participants of both events and to see them grow (and also grow myself). I would like to give a special thanks to Tanja, from SCI Germany. As a co-facilitator she inspired me, taught me a lot and made me reflect on many things! Also I want to thank the No More War team and SCI Germany for giving us the space to develop!" - Valerie Weidinger - member of the Gender Blenders, the No More War Team and the SCI Pool of Trainers and Facilitators
The Peace Messengers
"Would you like to learn for and about peace? Do you want to start facilitating sessions about peace yourself - offline, at workcamps or online? Are you willing to share thoughts about peace with like-minded people from different countries and background?" In 2016 the SCI Peace Messengers Network organised Peace Messengers (PM) online courses for SCI volunteers and activists.  More online courses are planned for 2017.
HIGHLIGHT: International Day of Peace
Every September, SCI volunteers, branches and partners celebrate the UN International Day of Peace. SCI is dedicated to promoting a culture of peace. Since 1920 this has been our mission and every workcamp we organise, every workshop, every voluntary experience takes us a step closer to our vision, a world of peace; social justice and sustainable development, where all people live together with mutual respect and without recourse to any form of violence to solve conflict. The theme for the 21st September in 2016 is “The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace.” "The 17 Sustainable Development Goals were unanimously adopted by the 193 Member States of the United Nations at an historic summit of the world’s leaders in New York in September 2015. The new ambitious 2030 agenda calls on countries to begin efforts to achieve these goals over the next 15 years. It aims to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all."
"Once again, we are happy to jointly commemorate the International Day of Peace with our Partners in Peace which included over 30 Organizations and Departments. About 80 attendees were at the launch and flag off at Pure Life Society, KL. We signed the Peace Declaration, lit the Peace Lantern, and unraveled the Peace Plaque at our New Peace Promenade at Pure Life. The Peace Convoy was flagged off by Mother Mangalam. We had an entertaining, energizing and super Peace Bonding evening at the New Club, with a Peace Dinner, Peace Message and Sharing by all the Participating NGOs. We were entertained to Songs by Tagore by Nalufar Lily, a talented SCI singer from Bangladesh, and 2 Sarawakians from East Malaysia. All of them flew in specially to join us for the evening to commemorate the Peace Day." - SCI Malaysia, September 2016
All of SCI's activities contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals, from peace and justice to gender equality, from climate action to responsible consumption, our workcamps, projects, programmes and campaigns all contribute to these goals at a local and global level. In 2016 branches were invited to share their activities -  big or small -  that contribute the Sustainable Development Goals, by posting photos using the #SCIvolunteers #peaceday2016 hashtags and the number of the goal they contribute to on twitter, facebook and instagram!
Heritage Peace Run organised by Bhaktapur branch of SCI Nepal (2016)
HIGHLIGHT: Remembrance
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. The project promotes a mature idea of peace, anti-militarism and non-violence. SCI’s remembrance project critically analysed the image of soldier-heroes and contributed to a real understanding of the history and diversity of the European Union, which was created as a peace guarantee. The Memory beyond Rhetoric project came to its end with the Final Visibility events that took place in Barcelona from the 19th to the 21st of February 2016. While immersed in the Catalan history and memory, the project coordination team retraced and evaluated the activities; shared the project tools and outcomes; and discussed the next steps, especially those leading to the 100 anniversary of SCI. Highlights included the exhibition “SCI, between war and peace since 1920”, a work that gathered the history and the role of the Service Civil International during the conflicts that devastated the world in the aftermath of the First World War and visits  to two key places for the Catalan Memorial: The Maternity of Elna and The Exile Memorial Museum.
Memory Beyond Rhetoric
Today one of the biggest challenges for Europe is the forced migration of people fleeing from conflict zones and looking for a safe and better life. The numbers are rapidly growing, thus threatening the stability of local communities and economies. Societies are being polarized and the growth of right wing extremism is creating another threat for European democracies. With this project, SCI proposes a concept for defining and understanding current tendencies of forced migration using lessons from the past and thus remembrance as an inspiration for present and future peace activism with the project PATH - Peace activism through lessons from history of forced migration. The project runs from 2016 to 2018, with the first activity of the project taking place in November 2016.
The meeting of the steering team of the project was organized with the support of Building Bridges and No More War working groups of SCI. The meeting started with an introduction about “Memoric: Memories Beyond Rhetoric” - presenting the outcomes, best practices and challenges the team faced. Partners shared their expectations and experiences, and worked on project planning, budgeting, task division and outputs. A visit to “Open Doors”, a project of Utilapu with young refugees and asylum seekers was organized.
  Preparatory meeting, 18-21 November 2016, Budapest, Hungary
"I was invited to Germany, for the inauguration ceremony of a museum documenting the arrival of ethnic German and foreign refugees to Friedland, near Göttingen after the opening of the refugee centre in 1946 which had been built with the initial help of SCI (IVSP) volunteers from Britain. The binational British-German service in Friedland has also been the starting point for SCI operations in Germany which resulted in the foundation of the German branch. As reported earlier, I had contributed a few objects for the museum, and I was happy to see them exhibited. A short film, owned by SCI International Archives, about the arrival of the first wave of displaced persons to Friedland is also shown in the museum, and has subsequently been used in two documentaries in the North German regional public TV channel NDR 3 in late 2016. It is encouraging to see material from the SCI Archives serving a public purpose!” “A scientific researcher – a PhD student in African and Modern European History at Stanford University (California) – has been consulting files covering SCI’s humanitarian activities in the colonial period in Algeria. As most of the research in the Archives in the past years had been busy with the activities during and after the Spanish Civil War, it is interesting to see that other aspects of SCI’s history attract historians’ attention as well.”
From the Archives
As we move closer to the 100 year anniversary of SCI, going back to the roots of SCI and giving visibility to its rich history is a priority in our current and past plan of action. In order to achieve this, increased visibility has been given to the materials of the archives, supporting the valuable work of the SCI International Archives Coordinator, Heinz Gabathuler. Apart from filing materials (there are currently 912 boxes with 3502 files in total!) Heinz also looked to the future, discussing the possibilities of digitalizing materials, preparing articles on newly discovered items for the monthly SCI E-Zine, and contributing to the 2020 team that will work on preparing for the 100 year celebrations. Here Heinz shares some of his highlights from 2016:
On the way to 100 years of SCI
2016 saw the anniversaries of SCI Germany, SCI France and the 70th anniversary of the first KVT workcamp organised in Finnish Lapland, with SCI's Finnish Branch. The very first workcamp started in the village of Hirvasvaara (near by Salla) on the 15th of June 1946.
"It is exactly 70 years today since the first KVT workcamp was organised in Lapland! KVT’s first workcamps were organised in 1946, when Finnish volunteers and Quakers from the USA joined forces and started to repair damages after the World War II. Many parts of Lapland had been badly destroyed and the work done was mainly clearing the fields, reparation and construction work and work in the fields. Two camps were organised during the summer of 1946, the first one was held in the village of Hirvasvaara, not far away from Salla and the second was held in Autti in the Auttiköngäs national park, near Rovaniemi. The first camps were much longer than camps nowadays, as both lasted for two months. Partially the reason might have been the slowness in travel, moving from a place to another was not as easy as it is today in Europe and in Finland. Another reason could have been the change in people’s lifestyles and mentalities: way of life used to be much slower and probably for this reason commitments were also made for longer periods." - KVT Finland
OUR IMPACT: Strategic Plan Objective 1.2 Volunteering and Active Citizenship
are organised in different fields
thousands of short term voluntary projects
Every year
and with different types of voluntary work. 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. Short term voluntary projects aim 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.                                                                              
Hundreds of workcamp opportunities are available on SCI's database:
Short Term Volunteering (workcamps)
"For a week I was in Vojsko, a village near Idrija with six other people. Together with the local community we would build a walking path and also paint a wooden storage house. My task in the group was just painting the storage house together with one of the other volunteers. The goal of workcamp was to reconstruct a walking path by building stairs up to a viewpoint at the top of a hill and also to paint the storage house that belongs to the village of Vojsko. At first, everyone is a bit shy and we try to memorize each other names. Those are the first awkward hours or days, but that evolves rapidly. You start having your own private jokes. But especially, you spend so much time together sharing shampoo or food or clothing, that you will learn about each other small routines and you will really learn how to share. There is some beauty in learning these things from strangers; you first get to know their private, most personal habits, to learn more general things about them. You also get to know the local community. If you are as lucky as we were, they will welcome you with the most generous hearts, and will give you everything they have. There was an association of women who prepared delicious meals for us every day. A meal always came with dessert and coffee and funny talks – us trying to mimic and speak Slovene, they smiling back at us. I am so grateful that I entered these people’s houses.
This text would be too small to share my appreciation to all of the people we have met. I cannot forget Idrija’s Geopark team, the municipality of Idrija, the association of rural women, and many others who contributed to this experience. Workcamps are a combination of interacting, sharing, working together, supporting each other, expanding one’s horizons, and taking all those precious moments with you. Take them back to where you started and see what happens. But you will have to wait until next year to get closer to what you’ve felt in that week!" - Story written by Jessica Lima, EVS volunteer with SCI Slovenia about her  workcamp experience in Idrija, Slovenia, June 2016.
EVS volunteers and staff members of 14 SCI branches gathered in Lozen in March, hosted by SCI's branch in Bulgaria, CVS Bulgaria. The Placement Officer Training (POT) is organised with the support of the Better Evaluations and Exchange Support (BEES) Working Group, which aims to improve the effectiveness of SCI through workcamps and to share knowledge and good practice worldwide in order to support the development of SCI Branches and Groups. POT is held for incoming and outgoing placement officers where they have the chance to get to know each other; learn about the Placement Practical Procedures; how to use the Online Placement System (OPS) and how to place volunteers on workcamps. In 2016, SCI branches and groups; SCI Catalunya, AVI Moldova,  VCZ Croatia, SCI France, SCI Germany, SCI USA, VSI Ireland. GAIA Kosovo, Stichting VIA Netherlands, VCV Serbia, SCI Sweden, SCI Switzerland and SCI partner Utočište Medvjeda Kuterevo attended the training. BEES also supported with OPOT an online version of the Placement Officer Training for those unable to attend the training in Bulgaria.
Placement Officer Training
At the end of May 2016, SCI Catalunya hosted a MIDI Workcamp Coordinators’ training “Building from an intercultural point of view”, a training for workcamp coordinators from the Mediterranean countries. 25 participants from 14 countries. The training aimed at giving participants the knowledge and tools needed to organized and coordinate a workcamp, create their own study part focused on peace building, and deal with conflict within a workcamp. As an output, they worked together on a study part focused on peace building, a study part made many handS from Jordan, Palestine, Kurdistan, Tunis, Morocco, Croatia, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Italy, France, Greece and others. The training included also some sessions on Gender and Climate justice, organized and facilitated by the local working groups in SCI Catalunya.
“It was a very enriching week and we used to opportunity to live together and learn from many different cultures, which is always an exciting challenge. Moreover we enjoyed our time together, lots of building, fun and laughter!” - Hemamali Perera, volunteer from Sri Lanka completing her job-shadowing at the SCI Catalunya office as part of the 'Building Inclusive Paths' project, reflects on the on the MIDI Working Group workcamp coordinator training
"It was a great experience to share and exchange thoughts and energies. I learned that with experience we can learn what we initially thought was impossible to learn. It was an inspiring weekend and I was very happy VIA organized it. I had the opportunity to be around people who were in there comfort zone organizing and leading a workcamp. I took on new challenges I thought I would not be able to handle. For example when acting out the role of workcamp leader other people took on the roles of those attending. It was a spontaneous moment and I learned a lot about how to handle questions or difficult situations that might arise." - Participant reflections on the workcamp leader training organised by VIA Belgium - SCI'S Flemish Branch
Highlights from workcamp coordinator trainings:
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 2016 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)
OUR IMPACT: Strategic Plan Objective 1.2 Volunteering and Active Citizenship
"Stanton Home is much more than a place of people coincidentally working together. It is much more than people living in a shared house and executing tasks together. It is people sharing a house and a life. Work is just a part of it and the line to off time is not clearly drawn. Shared activities are not confined to shifts, and this does not only apply to the time volunteers spend with each other but also to time spent with the residents. Spending time together is not a piece of work. It is a way of life. And this is what life sharing is about at Stanton Home: It is an exchange that is beyond work in the sense as we usually understand it and it gives a sense and a meaning to what we’re doing. And this works both ways, for the staff and the volunteers as well as for the residents. It is not only that we share our life with them, but they also share theirs with us. And they make a difference for us as much as we make one for them." - Zora Achtnich, Long Term Volunteer at Stanton Home, USA
“Volunteering is a missing piece that brings together the human tribe and the individual’s yearning for meaning. It turns giving and sharing into a natural human way to live. Volunteering is also a rhythm. In our identification with others, we melt; in our getting back to our heartfelt desires, we strengthen. In-out. Inhale-exhale. Breathing our humanity and exhaling our gifts. Intertwining with the people, blending in the soup of life…” - Aida Díaz Solà, EVS volunteer from SCI Catalunya on her experience in doing her EVS in Croatia, 2016
"Thanks to the possibility to spend some months abroad with the Erasmus+ Programme. I had the pleasure of being welcomed by the SCI Belgium team in Brussels. It’s the French speaking branch and they’re a group of smiling people with plenty of energy.  Only a week later, I was also welcomed by the only permanent staff member of the VIA Belgium office, the Flemish branch, in Antwerp. My train trips between Brussels and Antwerp were like passages to parallel worlds: I had to deal with two offices, working teams, languages, cultures. It was amazing, but it was also frustrating. I wasn’t really part of anyone of these realities: I was stranger twice. But I had the chance to find an environment where sharing reciprocal worries is like a duty, and I couldn’t have found a better way to start feeling at home. We soon exchanged our experiences and not-experiences, that’s to say regrets and fears. In my case, they were fears about not being sufficiently active or helpful, about showing that I had to start from point zero. In reality, everyone is looking for something, everyone is doing their personal trip. And in this personal research you can cross each others’ ways; for some months, some hours, maybe only just a few seconds. But it will be sufficient to understand that you’re maybe not strong enough alone, but that you have the possibility to build something even higher with a lot of other people. Call it a shared dream or a family, it’s part of you as you’re part of it. Three months are barely sufficient to feel at ease abroad, but they’re enough to grow fond of a lot of people: volunteers, workers, activists (borders are rarely clear). They’re sufficient to leave a little piece of heart behind you, and to let seeds be planted in you. I’ll bring them wherever I will go, and I promise that I will let them grow and that I will share their fruits. Because this is how it works when you get in touch with the SCI world: you can think you’re leaving it, but in reality you are an ambassador. Thank you. For your time and your energy; for your patience and your comprehension; for your warmth and your openness. See you soon…” - Story written by Italian volunteer after her volunteer experience with SCI’s Branches in Belgium, 2016
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 2016 there were specific projects and  activities  that had intercultural dialogue and exchange as their main theme. One of this year's  highlights included the project “Erasmus for All, Erasmus for Inclusion”, funded by the Erasmus+ programme, which gathered 14 coordinators and activists of the Youth and Unemployment Working Group to evaluate the season of Inclusion 2016, to work on the improvement of tools, methods and practices, to elaborate on new possible opportunities for cooperation on the topic of inclusion. YUWG partners (SCI branches from Greece, Italy, Bulgaria, Catalunya, Serbia, Macedonia, Ukraine, and Hungary) gathered in Bulgaria from 11th until 16th of October. Many local activities were also organised by YUWG’s members, highlights include: CVS Bulgaria organized the “refugee project for a 7th year, working on a weekly basis with Refugees in the biggest Refugee centre in Sofia. Nowadays it has more then 60 volunteers, working with refugees in all three Refugee Centres in Sofia, delivering workshops in English, Bulgarian, Sports, Arts, Bakery, Cooking and covering other needs and requests that refugees have. CVS also held, in 2016, two preparation meetings for two outgoing groups of youngsters with fewer opportunities – a whole day workshop preparatory meeting. SCI Catalunya's local social inclusion group called Petjada Jove created a new local youth group called Ravalució and an antiracist campaign! The Ravalució group organized the preparation of Raval's summer festival (with a non-discrimination campaign). SCI's branch in Greece, SCI Hellas organised workcamps involving YUWG participants and also a workcamp with cooperation of LGBTQ community and internally displaced persons (IDPs) from the conflict zones. VCV Serbia organized workshops on sustainable development, with a special focus on developing skills of young people: cooking vegan, making compost, sewing, knitting, making food for the winter as well as a training for young people with the aim of developing solidarity and skills for organizing humanitarian actions for and with vulnerable members of the population.
OUR IMPACT: Strategic Plan Objective 1.3 Intercultural Understanding & Dialogue
SCI Germany and SCI's SAVA Working Group (focusing on the Balkan Region) organised a seminar on fighting hate speech in online media called "Haters wanna hate - We spread respect!" in Berlin, Germany, November-December 2016: "An increasingly brutal public discourse and open hate speech throughout social and established media have led to the rise of rightist populist & extremist movements. Their presence allows for some hate speech to shift into the daily vocabulary. On the other hand, the new dynamics of social media enable hate speakers to spread their opinions widely. So we want to give tools to recognize and speak up against hate speech especially in social media.  
The seminar gives space to share the different perspectives on the refugee influx and compare public reactions to it in Germany and the Balkan countries. In order to fight misinformation fueling prejudices and hate speech, the seminar revisits the basic developments of the refugee migration in Germany and Europe, giving examples of solidarity between refugees and Germans and promoting them creatively." The No Hate Speech Campaign part of the project “Young People Combating Hate Speech Online”  by the Council of Europe was presented as part of the seminar.
SCI's Pool of Trainers and Facilitators (TP) 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. Here are some of the highlights from their work in 2016: - In the frame of the project “Global volunteer action:  Networking, capacity building, non­formal education and innovation in international youth and volunteer work” two members   (Natalie Jivkova and Gośka Tur) held the Training for Campleader Trainers in April 2016. The  event  took place in Athens, Greece, with more than 20 participants from Europe and Asia. - In November the training “Los Otros: How to prepare young people to deal with their own stereotypes” took place as a collaborative effort of TP and SCI Madrid. It was a follow-­up of the successful seminar “PS: Good Intentions” that TP implemented together with SCI Austria in November 2015. - Creation of a training resources and toolkits’ online library. - Creation of a database of submitted training projects by SCI members. - Development of resource persons database together with the Tech Team.
SCI Pool of Trainers and Facilitators
Check out the library!
From 30 October until 5 November 2016 participants from SCI branches and partners from all around Europe met in Madrid to discuss and develop the complexities of stereotypes. SCI Madrid and the SCI Pool of Trainers and Facilitators organised the seminar "Los Otros: How to prepare young people do deal with their own stereotypes".  We base most of our work around breaking down stereotypes and barriers between people of different backgrounds – and instead we try to strengthen a culture of peace. Yet, we as an organisation don’t have enough forums to discuss the harmful stereotypes we as an organisation perpetuate – for example in images and language. The seminar was the follow-up to last year‘s "Picturing the Global South“ seminar in Vienna and is part of a bigger initiative of trying to make SCI more aware of global power structures that are also present in our organisation and to be more critical, when working against global injustice and for peace. At the same time, we had the possibility of getting to know more who is perceived as „the others“ in Madrid, to dance to ABBA songs, to do street actions and to plan lots of follow-up project ideas.
The approach in the five working days of the seminar was to use non-formal education to facilitate discussion, exchange and self-reflection. A lot of input and feedback for the toolkit were collected.  At the beginning of 2017 a second version of our toolkit "Picturing the Global South“ was made available. The toolkit gives guidance on selecting volunteers and organising preparation seminars for North-South exchange, while also going deeper into being aware and making aware about global injustice and racism in general. This seminar was a collaboration of the Pool of Trainers and Facilitators and SCI Madrid, supported by Erasmus+. The facilitator team consisted of Thomas Schallhart, Matteo Testino and Valerie Weidinger.
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 throughout 2016, the campaign was turned into the Climate for Peace Programme. This included an update of the Climate for Peace workcamp guidelines as well as the promotion of the Climate for Peace Inspirations Booklet.
GAIA MicroGrants supported
organised by SCI activists!
Earth Day –  VCV Serbia
Highlights from SCI Branches:
"22nd of April, known as Earth day is a good opportunity for all of us to take a stand for our planet, think about pollution and what can we do to preserve the planet and make it better.  This year we dedicated four days to celebrate Earth’s day. Eleven organizations joined this little festival. We all wanted to use this opportunity to promote our own activities and make our fellow citizens get serious about nature, sustainability and ecology, free of charge. Together we offered full four days with great educational activities for all ages and target groups.VCV started with an  exhibition which directly showed how food production influences climate change also on a social-political and conflicts in general. We watched the movie “Cowspiracy” about the destructive meat industry and prepared a dinner of fresh vegetables and fruit collected from open markets. With this, we wanted to raise awareness on how much food ends up in trash every day.
For the younger participants, we organised readings about ecology, a recycling workshop about green areas in the city, a picnic on the river banks and interactive games about learning dog language. On the last day, VCV organized the delivery of little plants by bike and surprised our fellow citizens. We finished with a Critical mass bike ride “Ride for the Planet”. Involved organizations have planned and delivered all activities as volunteers!"
The next two days, everybody could join “watching the sun and planets” from the observatory tower, climb in a rope park, recycle and make art, enjoy the beautiful weather and learn something new about the natural beauties of our country, have a guided tour through our city and build bird houses.
"Taralga is a sleepy country town, a long way from the big issues, and nowhere more tranquil than its picturesque cemetery. Last month IVP joined an energetic bunch of local volunteers lead by Laurie to pour the concrete on a toilet block, long campaigned for as a community amenity (Stonequarry is 4km away in the countryside with sweeping views down the valley; no such facility has kept many elderly from attending the funerals of their friends, neighbors and relatives). Just next door is evidence of the IVP project to rehabilitate a patch of woodland serving as an island home to birds, animals and plants in a sea of pasture.
We are gradually winning over our co-members on the local committee that oversights the whole reserve, to the value of what we do, alongside the equally valuable tasks of caring for the up to 150 year graves of generations of families drawn to this district from settlement in the 19th century. We now have common cause on improving the maintenance practices of the Shire Council that has formal responsibility in an ecologically responsible way, and a selling point for the extraordinarily visionary Great Eastern Ranges Initiative (in community level landscape conservation) that supports us. The concrete pour was a true bonding experience!" - Stephen Horn, International Volunteers for Peace, SCI's branch in Australia, October 2016
International Volunteers for Peace Australia
"Local initiatives for sustainability" organised by SCI Switzerland, Bern (August 2016)
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. 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.   The 3rd phase of GAIA MicroGrants took place between April and November 2016.15 project applications were submitted for assessment by SCI branches and partners. Nine project proposals were approved, out of which eight successfully implemented the project activities and submitted all documents required for reporting. All applications were assessed by the GAIA MicroGrants Selection Team according to specific criteria. The total sum of 3365€ was awarded to the eight projects, out of which six were implemented by SCI branches and partners in the South and two by European branch and partner organisations. 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.
Volunteers part of the projects funded by the GAIA MicroGrants with SVI Mauritius, VWAN Nigeria and SCI Bangladesh (2016)
"The goal of this project was to start a herbal garden and nursery on the premises of Government Regional Hospital in Mampitiya, Sri Lanka. Project participants learned about the health benefits of herbs and can now use plants from the garden for their benefit. Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim communities came together in the project developed in cooperation with the local municipality of Kandy District.The director of the hospital was quite impressed with the project and said: “I have never come across an organization like SCI Sri Lanka throughout my life. They bring knowledge, people and money, mix up well with the villagers without caring for any social disparities such as class, creed or race and work 15 hard in the field, eat simple food prepared by themselves.” Both the hospital and SCI Sri Lanka are looking forward to continuing the cooperation."
'Peace through environmental protection' - SCI Sri Lanka initiative supported by the GAIA MicroGrants:
OUR IMPACT: Strategic Plan Objective 2.1 Global Approach to Local Challenges
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.
SCI Incoming Programme
In 2016, SCI Belgium, SCI Switzerland and SCI Germany received incoming volunteers from partner organisations in Tanzania and Uganda with the cooperation of the Africa Working Group, from El Salvador, Chile and Mexico with the cooperation of Abya Yala Working Group as well as from Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. The volunteers had the chance to get together at the autumn festival and meet some of the local volunteers active in Germany.
SCI's Disaster Relief Fund
The natural disaster relief fund provides funding up to €500 per application or more, by applying the fair fundraising criteria, to enable volunteers to do relief work after a natural disaster. Two types of funding are available: an immediate support after a natural disaster (I) and funding mid- and long-term projects which include voluntary work with direct and indirect benefits for the local population and ecosystem (II). So far the fund has not supported any projects in 2016.
The Disaster Relief Fund receives two types of donations: a.    General donations to the Disaster Relief Fund These donations will be treated as donations to the DRF in general and we will have an exclusive right to use this donation for any particular approved project submitted by eligible applicants, regardless of the cause (i.e. floods, earthquake, landslide, avalanche etc. in whichever country). Such donations play an important role and a big contribution to our efforts in natural disaster relief work, as they are allocated to successful project applications that aren’t able to receive direct fundraising, thus ensuring the continuity and expediency of the DRF. b.    Donations to a specific cause Donations made to specific cause (i.e. earthquake in Nepal, wildfires in Australia, floods in Serbia etc.) must be accompanied with such a reference when they are made (see below for donation services). We will in this case apply the fair fundraising criteria and increase support to a particular cause by being able to fund successful project applications with a higher grant from the DRF.
In Numbers:  5 activities, 102 participants from 21 countries,  4 EVS volunteers
Grapheazy was created by Mauro Carta on behalf of Service Civil International with the support of the "Pool of Trainers and Facilitators of SCI". The tool is a visual facilitations tool, a way to encourage people to actively take part in a group discussion, a creative method to establish links between topics and to get an overview, an instrument for generating and identifying new ideas and a technique to stimulate debate on sensitive issues. The toolkit was publicly launched at the Final Seminar of the international project "Global Volunteer Action" in June 2016. The cards can be downloaded by logging in to issuu.
Question to Answer alias Q2A  online support forum SCI was developed to facilitate better knowledge transfer within the SCI movement. The basic principle is that anyone can ask a question and anyone can provide an answer. By this tool we are linking SCI newcomers with resource persons who can provide valuable insights on questions raised as well as to direct the person searching for advice to existing organisational knowledge on the topic.
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.   The project aimed at improving the quality of international volunteer and youth activities of  partners by increasing capacities and enhancing cooperation between organizations s as well as their activists and youth workers. Partners had the opportunity to exchange information, knowledge, skills and good practices at 5 international activities, 3 of which took place in 2016: - Social Media and ICT Training, Hong Kong, 20-25 February 2016 - Training for multipliers working with (international) youth groups, Greece, 11-17 April 2016 - Final seminar – Advanced Volunteer University, Spain, 17- 22 June 2016. As a continuation of SCI's work in this area, the project 'Peers to Peace: Peer Learning and Peer Support for Capacity Building in International Volunteer Work' is happening throughout 2017 and 2018!
"Imagine: you spend one week in a group where everybody seems to be very different. After a couple of hours you understand that you share the same values, open-minded, a peaceful and joyful heart and acceptance of diversity and everything flows in its natural, easy way. This was our training course in Athens, Greece in April. SCI is an inspiring organization for people  with these common values. Two outstanding, well-prepared trainers facilitated our program. Their enthusiasm  reflected on their continuously positive energy level, that could be felt during the whole event. Natalie and Goska are extremely committed to the mission of SCI  and built a close partnership to the participants. As most of the participants were experienced in SCI workcamps, the trainers gave us space to unfold our creativity and to converge the experiences in a structured way. Every day we had energizers at the right moments (morning, after lunch, before a big session), group activities, individual tasks, and feedback sessions at the end of the day.  Sessions covered topics like group dynamics, Kolb learning cycle, conflict situations, leadership styles. The variety of methods were on as wide a range as the colours we used to perform them: colourful pencils, papers, balls.  We created an atmosphere together where everybody felt secure and could share their opinion freely.   From my own perspective the highlight of the week was the practice of presentation skills: we had very limited time to prepare a short presentation about the introduction part of a camp leader training and  perform it in a smaller group. I am happy that I was brought out of my comfort zone because it is always the best way to develop. One important result of the training was putting together a plan of a camp leader training, including schedules, methods, energizers, activities and topics. More strategies were created based on the length of the training, that could be just a few hours for an urgent replacement or, ideally multiple days. In all, I am sure that the impact of this event is even bigger: the quality of trainings will improve , workcamp participants will be happier , and there will be an increased popularity of SCI. What more could we ask for?" Kinga Katona, Útilapu Hálózat - SCI Hungary, participant of the Training for Multipliers, Greece
"At the beginning we were a group of strangers, gathered from all around the world, who got on a boat and started a journey. Everyone had their own expectations and fears. During the cruise we all used and shared each other’s skills, transparent communication, open minds, support and fun attitude. At the end we landed, everyone of us in their own country, but this is actually a continuation to an even brighter future using all the tools we collected. And through advanced technologies, we will be able to stay in touch and support each other even from a distance and maybe meet again on the infinite land of voluntary projects." - Shirin Hodzheva, CVS Bulgaria, participant of the Training for Multipliers, Greece
“It was the most unique  and eye opening voluntary experience for me. After working two weeks in this asylum seeker centre, it was so hard for us to say goodbye as our relationship with the kids, residents and the staff were very close. The residents even organized a farewell party to thank us for bringing love in their live., we ourselves are very blessed by them. Sometimes we have to really remind ourselves to count our blessings instead of all of our problems. Love knows no boundaries, races ,age, religion and culture. The things that we did for them might not be great but we did small things with great love. Let us continue to make this world a better place for everyone.”
“The group discussions and role playing were great ways in which to learn new aspects of self-assertiveness. I very much enjoyed the back and forth role playing and acting our different scenarios that might take place in a workcamp.
-  Shane Carolan, shared his experience from the campleader training organised as a follow up of the 'Training for Multipliers'
"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, a participant of the Social Media Training in Hong Kong
- Carmen Chong, EVS volunteer from SCI Malaysia that came  to Belgium as part of the Global Volunteer Action Project, on her workcamp experience with SCI Belgium, Workcamp Asylum Seekers Center-Florennes
"One day we went to a secondary school in Hong Kong to act as living books for the students. I was so grateful to share my own homeland, Malaysia with the students. They shared about lifestyle of Hong Kongese and famous food there" - Liew Shan Kun (Sherlock), a participant of the Social Media Training in Hong Kong
OUR IMPACT: Strategic Plan Objective 2.2 Stimulate Solidarity & Value Diversity
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.
Solidarity - Refugee and Migrant Rights
The project “Go visual! – Creative education about migration” (lasting from June to November 2016) was a part of the SCI Building Bridges Campaign on refugees, and in line with the current developments in Europe regarding migration. The project leader is One World Association, the Polish branch of SCI. 9 SCI branches and 1 partner organisation cooperated within the project: VIA Belgium, CVS Bulgaria, SCI Catalunya, EstYes Estonia, SCI Germany, SCI Hellas, Utilapu Hungary, VSI Ireland, and SCI Italy. The initiative aimed to improve the quality of international volunteer and youth activities by providing participants with the know-how on designing and running creative educational activities about migration, with a special emphasis on visual facilitation in this educational process. The training course Go Visual! (7-11 September 2016, Poznań, Poland) gathered 25 participants from 10 European countries, who learnt and shared information on how to educate young people on migration, including refugee issues, through using visual facilitation methods and other creative methodologies which have a far greater impact on the recipients than the traditional way of teaching-preaching.
The event was intended for volunteers and staff members who act as educators: persons transferring knowledge, skills, and values to both the youth and adults, and who intend to design and run workshops and trainings on migration, using creative and brain-friendly learning methods. The training is based on the lessons learnt from SCI Poland successful educational programme on refugees and migrants the organisation has been running in schools for the last 19 years.
At the end of 2016 the Visual Icon Dictionary on Migration – an electronic publication based on the Bikablo system of icons, which are intended for trainers and facilitators - was published! This Creative Commons publication is of a unique character, as it has a specific focus on migration issues and presents how to visualise in a few seconds concepts like: refugee, persecution, migration, human rights, discrimination, support, integration, etc. The icons are easy to redraw or print and  can be used by educators in different countries, allowing to run exciting workshops that will be remembered by participants.
HIGHLIGHT: Building Bridges Campaign
“I will always remember Museum Friedland and the amazing place of Friedland transit camp, full of life and peaceful disturbance between the houses refugees were staying. I will remember Mohamed and his amazing drawings, and Ayla, talented writer, whose story touched my soul a lot. I will, for sure, remember Samah, the strongest and bravest woman I’ve ever met. I will remember all volunteers that were part of this camp and their amazing personalities.
The Refugee Fund supported
organised by SCI branches & groups!
I will remember the final football tournament in the camp with volunteers and refugees from the camp. I will remember all refugees we met. Mohamed, lovely soul with the greatest smile, refugees from Pakistan with horrible stories told trough a smile full of hope, Zeshan, who told me to pray for him to meet his family again. I will remember singing together in a row in the garden while carrying bricks in order to make beds for the plants. I will remember all the things we learned together, our lovely garden, and our shared experiences in refugee activism." - Sonja, Volunteer on the Solidarity with refugees workcamp (Building Bridges), Friedland, Germany, 2016
The International Committee Meeting of 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 reflection about the current situation faced by those seeking refuge and forced migration in general.
Check out and contribute to the Building  Bridges Toolkit!
Read the Building  Bridges Recommendation & Statement
KVT, the Finnish branch of the SCI, organized their annual volunteer weekend this year with a Building Bridges theme: Middle East and migration. The weekend was funded by the Refugee Fund of the SCI which is available for all the SCI branches to apply. Altogether, 52 excited volunteers were present including camp leaders, short and long term volunteers, asylum seekers that took part in the Finnish camps and camp hosts. The main aim was to involve KVT volunteers with migrant background first time both in planning and implementing the event – in other words, not only organizing activities for asylum seekers but rather with them. The participants also took part in different interactive workshops, such as “Multilingual Town” where they had a chance to learn some Arabic, Dari and Somali and “Comics Power!” where personal experiences of international encounters and voluntary work were turned into comics.
Highlights from funded projects:
The meals were a mixture of Somali, Iraqi and Afghan food and the evenings were dedicated to music and – as the weekend took place in Finland – sauna. - KVT Finland, SCI's branch in Finland, October 2016
We decided to apply for the project because we have witnessed the deterioration of the conditions in the camp and the lack of communication/cooperation between the inhabitants of the camp, the staff and the locals. We wanted to set a precedent for initiating monthly activities like this and prove that cooperation for creating better living conditions in camps is possible. The funding from The Refugee fund was very important as within The Refugee project funding there was not a budget line for space improvements outside of the classroom we use.
The plans for the next year include applying for the Refugee Fund with similar projects, addressing needs, which the local NGO and institutions do not meet using inclusive empowering approaches, which CVS-Bulgaria believes are critical to be adopted within each project in the forced migration area.”
- Katerina Stoyanova, CVS Bulgaria, 2016
At SCI's International Committee Meeting in 2015 branches proposed and approved an Urgent Resolution aimed at providing small and easily accessible funds to groups and branches planning projects and actions with and for refugees, lowering barriers to connect with locals and promoting mutual understanding. The Refugee Fund provides funding (up to 500€) to enable volunteers to carry out small initiatives at local or national level that support work with refugees. The fund was initially created using SCI's own resources but now we need your support to keep it going.
The Refugee Fund
Council of Europe
Ingrid Danckaerts from SCI's branch in  Catalonia was elected as the new President of the Coordinating Commitee for International Voluntary Service. The EXREP Team took part in the following events: - Global Leaders Meeting, Spain - Global Long Term Volunteering Meeting, France - CCIVS General Assembly, Morocco - Raising Peace Campaign - IVS for Climate Justice
SCI holds a participatory status at the Council of Europe. In 2016, SCI continued its activities  combating hate speech as a partner of the No Hate Speech Movement. SCI representatives also attended: - The Conference of INGOs, France, January 2016 - The 3rd Compass Forum on Human Rights Education "Learning Equality, Living Dignity", Hungary, October 2016
In 2016 SCI representatives attended: - “100 years: European volunteering forum”, SCI representative Steffi Koch, spoke at the official welcome by the city of Maribor at European Volunteering Forum in Slovenia, 11th October, as part of a panel discussion on "The benefits and challenges of transnational volunteering". -"European Citizenship in Challenging times" conference organized by the Europe for Citizens Programme in Spain. - Stakeholders' consultations on the European Solidarity Corps.
European Commission
"A new challenge... promoting SCI values in a worldwide network as CCIVS in these exciting years as we work towards the 100th year annivesary of SCI!" - Ingrid Danckaerts, President of CCIVS
The External Representation (EXREP) is a crucial sector for SCI, as can be seen in Strategic Objective 1.2 of current SCI Strategic Plan. Advocacy, Communication and Cooperation are some of the enabling actions that lead to achieving its objectives. The ExRep Team is made up of a small group SCI activists, members of the International Executive Committee and International Secretariat.
“Sustainable Development Goals for Asia and Europe: Delivery Options for the 2030 Agenda” Asia - Europe Environment Forum, October, Sweden. SCI received an invitation for presenting its Youth Involvement in Implementing UN's  Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at a conference organised by the Asia-­‐Europe Foundation. Balázs Kajor, activist in the Climate for Peace Programme represented SCI.
SCI continued it's work as part of the project "Youth Impact: Strengthening Organizational Capacities to Build Peace in Europe", a partnership of UNOY Peacebuilders and five European UNOY members, focusing on Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) practices within youth peacebuilding organisations. - SCI organized a Monitoring Evaluation and Learning workshop as a multiplier event of the project in Antwerp, Belgium, July 2016
"In my presentation I talked about the importance of volunteering and activism. SCI workcamps are a part of the solutions for empowering impacted or marginalized communities, and they are great tools for educational purposes. I also introduced the Climate for Peace programme and its possibilities to reach out for the public to raise awareness and encourage citizens and youth to act on local levels for ecological consciousness. I emphasized that to achieve sustainability maybe we could share one of our most precious assets: our time for a good cause." - Balázs Kajor, Climate for Peace Programme, Sweden, October 2016
SCI has a consultative status with UNESCO that implies membership fee and access to  UNESCO activities. - International Conference of NGOs, France, 12-­14 December 2016
European Youth Forum - YFJ
SCI is a member of YFJ and regularly attends its meetings.  In 2016 SCI representatives attended: - The Council of Members meetings - The General assembly - The meeting of the Exchange Group (an informal Working Group of YFJ that includes various organizations dealing with youth exchanges), - The YFJ Academy held in Paris. - The YO! Fest 2017 preparatory meeting held in Maastricht. SCI's external newsletter, the SCI E-Zine, were shared in the YFJ newsletter, the YO!News.
In 2016,
were organised
by SCI Branches and Groups.
2644 volunteers
sent by SCI Branches and Groups.
2485 volunteers
received by SCI Branches and Groups.
Volunteers on workcamps with SCI branches in Italy, Kosovo and Malaysia (2016)
"It’s a very challenging project, sometimes a lot more than I expected and was prepared for. It can really make you explore your comfort zone about many things in your daily life and put you through a lot of stress and frustration when you are trying out a way of dealing that’s not working. Yet, in many ways it’s also more rewarding and dynamic that I thought. I have met a lot of great people and had a lot of support from our international team of volunteers, the staff and even people at the IVS offering mentorship and advice. We live and work with young people that tend to be difficult and unpredictable in many ways and we simply try to do the only thing we can do for them – we’re constantly looking for solutions and new ways of offering them support or finding the best option for them to move on." - Rozalia, a long-term volunteer with IVS GB, at the Cyrenians in Edinburgh
"The work itself was such a great experience with the people around that I didn’t feel as if I was working at all. The only two things I remain sad about: not being able to share this experience with more people and having to leave after 10 days already…" - Nathalie, a volunteer from SCI Switzerland, about her “Live and protect the Alps” workcamp experience in Cumiana, Italy, August 2016 Photo by Alex Pe
"Actually Kyiv made me realize I had a lot of fears that were only in my head," — smiles Carlo. — When I walked down the street and somebody looked at me strangely. I could never even hold hands in public. Now here (in Ukraine) we faced real physical danger and I was not afraid a single minute. This made me think, I should really use the freedom we have in Italy. when I come back I’ll feel better walking down those streets. Maybe I will even hold someone’s hand”. Viktoria Grivina, a volunteer that took part in the ‘KyivPride 2016’ workcamp organised by SCI's Ukrainian branch,
"For the alley of peace, we decided to paint name plaques, dedications to the important people we learned about during the workcamp, and plant a tree for everyone. We had a trip to the forest to get the trees. The act of taking the wild trees was very symbolic, we took them from a place of peace, a forest,  and brought them to the refuge to act as messengers of peace. The trip was also exciting because we found a lot of traces that bears had left in the forest." - Ivana Kosovac, camp-coordinator  on a No-More-War (NMW) camp in Croatia, 2016
SCI Partner and Contact Organsisations
SCI Branches and Groups
SCI ONLINE in 2016
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We are grateful for the support received from (in alphabetical order):
Private Donors
Erasmus +, programme of the European Union
Council of Europe - European Youth Foundation
SCI Branches
We would also, and most of all, like to acknowledge the valuable support recieved from the numerous volunteers and staff from all the branches and groups of our international movement.
with the support of the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe.
with the support of the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union