Workcamp, SCI Slovenia (photo byTomaz Zajelsnik) Workcamp, SCI Hungary
`We really had a good time and I made many friends from different countries. We all had different cultures and languages and this taught all of us to be more open and understand the world around us. ´ - Gabrielle, Short term volunteer in Portugal, 2009.
SCI organises many short and long term volunteering projects all over Europe. It is in Europe where the SCI network is most dense. Here, international voluntary projects are organised and implemented by 28 branches who cooperate with 31 partner organisations. For an overview please have a look at the SCI map. The International Secretariat of SCI is also based in Europe. To be precise: in Antwerp, Belgium from where it facilitates and coordinates all the international projects and activities of the SCI worldwide network.
Several international working groups are active at European level as well. The Long Term Exchange Group (LTEG) for example is dealing with all technicalities, practicalities and the promotion of Long Term Volunteer Projects within, to and from Europe. Another working group active in Europe is the GAIA group whose members are active in the field of Climate Change and Sustainability. YUWG is the ´Youth and Unemployment Group´. It is a platform for activists working with and for the social inclusion of young people with fewer opportunities. Finally there is SAVA: the working group called after the river that flows through the Balkan and which coordinates volunteering activities in South-Eastern Europe.
Diversity of projects
All these working group that are active in Europe support the diversity and the quality of voluntary projects SCI offers here. So whether you would like to organise activities for Roma children in the Balkans, work in an eco-village in Bulgaria, join a project in an asylum seeker centre in the Netherlands, support the SCI International Secretariat in Belgium or help organising a music festival in Ireland: SCI will have a project that suits your expectations. Either for a few weeks, up to 12 months.
Coming to Europe
There is a special mid term programme for volunteers from Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America to go on a mid-term voluntary exchange to Europe. This programme is organised by a few European SCI branches. Volunteers on this programme get the opportunity to participate in European workcamps, and join special trainings together with volunteers from other continents. For more information about this programme you can contact your local branch or partner organisation, or one of the regional working groups.