The SVI allows educational institutions, youth centres and youth movements (like scouts) to go on volunteer projects designed for them. We have organized projects adapted to groups of young people with serious and reliable partners.
A group is formed when 5 young people who are at least 16 years old and are accompanied by adults, decide to get involved in a local project. These projects can last from 2 weeks to several months, depending on the local partner.
These projects of initiation to international solidarity allow young people to take part together in a volunteer project useful to a local association, to acquire varied knowledge and thus to value themselves through action.
Preparing for a project
Preparing individually and collectively is essential. Preparing for the project is more than just finding the necessary budget : it is before anything else anticipating the culture clash, getting information about the country, meeting the members of the local association, finding out about living conditions and of course getting ready to carry out a project with the local partner.
As soon as you are accepted on the project, we will give you a series of documents that you will have to read carefully. These documents contain general and cultural information about the host country but also about volunteering, the host association and your project.
What’s more, we want to meet the members of the groups and their parents in order to answer their questions about the project and the country they’re going to.
We are not a travel agency, we want your project to be meaningful. That’s why we strongly advise groups to take part in our pre-departure preparation days.
The SVI organizes these days in order to prepare volunteers as well as possible to a volunteer project : intercultural encounter and exchange, commitment, opening to the unknown, culture clash, abuses of voluntourism and a psychological preparation. These days take place between December and June and are organized by the person in charge of groups in the SVI.
During each training session, a Skype conference is organized with the local partner. It is the opportunity to meet the host association, and groups can ask their questions, talk about their fears, discuss their transport details and talk about the project. It is possible to organize more than one conference, if needed.
How to register ? Once your project is accepted by the SVI and the partner and that your membership fees are paid, you just have to contact the person in charge of groups at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just like participation in volunteer projects, our training courses are run according to an active and participative pedagogy. Volunteers have the opportunity to express themselves, so feel free to intervene during the different activities and to tell us about your potential travel and volunteering experiences.
We also strongly advise you to find out about the different steps that are necessary for the smooth running of your project (vaccines, visas, living conditions, journey…).
Lastly, once your plane tickets and visas have been bought, you will have to fill in a confirmation form. You will receive this document when you are accepted. It is very important to send that form back to us rapidly, because some partners need it to organize your arrival with local authorities. You will need to send this confirmation form a seocnd time, 7 days before departure. It will allow us to check if everything is ready for your arrival.
During the project
The group goes on its own on the project. Once on site, the group is taken in charge by our local partner. In case of problems, the partner will contact us immediatly.
After the project
It is very important to us to keep in touch after you come back. Your feedback will help us have an idea of your experience, your project, its strengths and weaknesses.
At the end of your project, we will send you a feedback questionnaire in which you can write down your impressions.
We also organize a weekend for returns for groups. The objective of this meeting is to create bonds, share, talk about your experience and why not engage in projects with other groups ! Different playful and sports activities are organized and we will hear your stories at night.
Notice to creative people : all means to illustrate your volunteering project will be welcome, from PowerPoint to the traditional dance of your host country !
To go further in your commitment, this weekend will also be an opportunity to meet people and create projects together!
We hope that the return of volunteers is not the end of a collective adventure but the beginning of an awareness and that it will give you the desire to engage alone or in a group to make our world more fair and supportive.