When a group of volunteers (youth group, school, family, etc.) wishes to take part in a volunteering project, the steps to be taken are different from those taken by individual volunteers.
Please note that a group must contain at least 5 volunteers to be considered as so.
We encourage the person in charge of the group to consult the list of our projects and, together with the participants, select the project that interests and motivates your group. When searching, don’t forget to filter projects reserved for groups within the project types offered.
Don’t hesitate to send us an email or give us a call if you have any questions. You can also come to our offices for an information session or to fix an appointment. Please specify the number of participants, the dates of availability and the age of the participants.
Taking the time to choose your project is essential. Your motivation is the most important aspect of your application!
Once you have chosen your project, you can send an email with all the above information to [email protected].
For some reasons, it may happen that you can’t join the project you initially chose, either because the partner has informed us that the project is fully booked, or because it is not accepting volunteers during the period you wanted to join. For this reason, we ask you to choose two other projects to which we could refer you if necessary.
Once you have made your choices, you can complete our application form and send it by email to [email protected]. Don’t forget to emphasize your motivation, as this is the part of the form that will be particularly important to our partner. Generally, the form should be completed in English, unless the project is taking place in South America or a French-speaking country.
Once accepted by the partner, and after receiving confirmation from us, we can start the preparation phase of your project and begin the administrative procedures.
In order to commit to a project with a group, SVI charges a group membership fee of €80 per participant.
This includes all project preparation and support between your group, the local association and SVI. These membership fees must be paid no later than 1 month after you receive an acceptance email from us about the project. These membership fees are valid for 1 year, which means that after the project, each member can go back to volunteering in Europe and abroad without paying additional membership fees as long as the membership paid for the group is valid.
Gathering the necessary documents to process your group’s registration will take some time, so it’s important that you do it in advance, so that we receive them no later than 1 month before the start of your project.
Here’s an overview of the documents you will need to gather during this preparation phase:
To be completed by parents/guardians of under-age participants
This will contain a range of information relating to your arrival on the project.
To be signed by the group leader
In the case the group is leaving with SVI cover, or a document certifying that group members are covered for medical expenses or repatriation (see the insurance tab on this page).
Finally, we will also need a scan of the participants’ identity cards.
Our local partners often have limited resources and cannot take full responsibility for hosting international volunteers on their projects. This is why a financial contribution is often requested, covering accommodation, food, equipment, and supervision, as well as financial support for the project and the local association.
Participation fees vary from partner to partner. Generally, there are little or no participation fees in European countries. When participation fees are requested, they generally vary between €50 and €200 per project and per person. Groups are required to make full payment to SVI at least two months before departure. We will transfer the fees to the host association and cover bank charges.
International volunteering projects are self-financed, so volunteers are responsible for the costs of transportation, visas, vaccinations, insurance, etc. This represents the largest part of the budget. You should also think about the pocket money you want to take with you (visits, souvenirs, walks, etc.).
Please note that SVI has negotiated advantageous prices for the purchase of air tickets via our partner agencies or directly with a search engine that we make available to you.
If your project takes place in Europe, don’t forget to apply for the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from your insurance company at least two weeks before departure. This card is issued free of charge on request. A provisional certificate can be issued if your departure is imminent.
However, if you are planning to travel outside the European Union, you must sign up to an assistance and repatriation insurance! SVI offers you the possibility of signing up to insurance with one of our partners to cover medical expenses or repatriation, but you can also sign up to your own insurance and simply send us proof of this with your confirmation form. Going abroad without insurance means gambling with your health and risking losing a lot of money. You will find all the information and rates on this form:
Since March 2017, SVI has been organizing departure preparation days for groups of more than 5 people. These training courses are possible from December to early June and are prepared and led by the group coordinator and an SVI animator.
How does it work? This preparation for departure is condensed into one day. It is also an opportunity to discuss the project and organize an online training session with the partner. In this way, the groups can ask their questions, express their fears, settle the details of their arrival, and more. The training sessions also aim to prepare you for the experience, about what is a solidarity project, what is my commitment, what is culture shock, etc.
How to sign up? Once your project has been validated by SVI and the partner, simply contact the group coordinator at [email protected]. Just like participation in volunteer projects, these meetings are run using an active, participative educational approach. They are designed to raise your awareness of intercultural exchange. Don’t hesitate to get involved in the various activities and tell us about any previous travel or volunteering experiences you may have had. We strongly advise you to search about the various steps involved in the progress and success of your project (vaccinations, visas, country conditions, travel…).
For all our members, every year SVI organizes its “traditional” homecoming weekend, an opportunity for you to look back on your volunteering project and exchange views with other French-speaking and international volunteers, so that the adventure doesn’t end when you return from your project!
The idea behind this event is to create links, exchange ideas, share your experience and, why not, get involved in projects with other volunteers! The weekend is punctuated by a variety of fun and sporting activities. We reserve the nights for your testimonials.
This one is for the creative ones! We welcome any way you can illustrate your volunteering, from a PowerPoint presentation to a traditional dance from your host country! To take your commitment even further, this weekend will also be an opportunity to meet new people and create projects together!
It’s also possible to become an SVI country referent! Someone engaged on a group project could become a referent for the country to which he or she has gone. The idea would be to contact you to talk about your experience during our pre-departure training weekends for groups, or to provide information to future volunteers by phone!
How to sign up? Once you’ve returned from your project, the group coordinator will contact you by e-mail with a feedback questionnaire. In addition to these evaluative aspects, we hope that the volunteers’ return will not be the end of an adventure, but rather the beginning of a new awareness and a desire to commit oneself, alone or in a group, to making our world a fairer and more united place.