EVS projects in Switzerland
SCI Switzerland offers currently 9 different EVS projects in Switzerland and 4 EVS projects abroad:
Application procedure (important):
> Please apply directly to your local SCI-branch with CV and motivation letter. You can find your local branch here.
> If you’re applying for multiple projects, please add a specific motivation letter for each project you’re applying for.
> Application deadlines: Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
> In order to be able to take part in the EVS programme you have to be between 17 and 30 years old and have to come from an eligible country.
A1: Eco-village Sennrüti in Degersheim, Switzerland, 4 volunteers for 12 months (starting in March)
A2: Circus Lollyop in Lüen, Switzerland, 1 volunteer for 6 months (starting in March)
A3: Asylum Centers in Valais, Switzerland, 3 volunteers for 12 months (starting in March)
A4: Peace Council Zurich, Switzerland, 1 volunteer for 12 months(starting in August)
A5: SCI Switzerland in Bern, Switzerland, 1 volunteer for 12 months (starting in January)
A6: Schloss Glarisegg, Steckborn, Switzerland, 2 volunteers for 10 months (starting in February)
A7: Centre of Unity Schweibenalp, Brienz, Switzerland, 3 volunteers for 12 months (starting in August)
A8: Ecole d'Humanité, Hasliberg, Switzerland, 1 volunteer for 11 months (starting in August)
A9: Läbesschuel, Steckborn, Switzerland, 1 volunteer for 12 months (starting in August)
B1: German-Russian Exchange, Russia, 1 volunteer for 6 months (starting in August 2019)
B2. Placement Officer in VCV Serbia, 1 volunteer for 12 months (starting in Feb. 2020)
A1: Eco-village Sennrüti in Degersheim, Switzerland
(4 volunteers for 12 months)
The Eco-village in Degersheim, a holistic community project that promotes sustainable living, will offer 4 volunteers the possibility to participate in organic gardening, childcare, kitchen work, event management, public relations and ecological building construction or refurbishing. The volunteers will be encouraged and supported in developing their own ideas, initiatives and independent working. An aim is to learn how and where they can contribute to all aspects of community life.
The Eco-Village community area is located near a small village in the canton St.Gallen in a rural setting with beautiful nature surroundings. The area consist of several buildings with apartments, communal rooms, a library, guest rooms, dining room, art workshops, dance and yoga rooms, a garden with fire pit, sauna, children play grounds, yurts, vegetable gardens. The community is organized in several working groups with members from different cultures, ages and backgrounds. Volunteers can participate in almost all community events and meetings and get to know social aspects, conflict solution tools, group dynamics and organizational skills. You can read more about the experience of former EVS volunteers in the project: https://sennrueti.ch/evs-gasthelfende/
Accommodation: Shared apartment with kitchen within the eco-village.
Requirements: Participants are motivated to live and work in an ecological and open community with children, young people, adults and elders. We expect them to agree and live in accordance with our common grounds (https://sennrueti.ch/common-grounds/).
A2: Circus Lollyop in Lüen, Switzerland
(1 volunteer for 6 months)
Circus Lollypop in Lüen is a well-established traveling circus working with children and youth with the aim to encourage young people to develop their own youth culture and gain more self-consciousness. 1 volunteer will travel with the circus through Switzerland from March till August and make stops at many schools in several cantons. At the end of the EVS, the volunteer might even get the opportunity to accompany the circus to a country of Eastern Europe for the month of September, (mostly working with minorities in this country), but this month will not be part of the EVS and will be organized between the volunteer and the circus independently in case of a successful EVS. The tasks in the circus vary from setting up the tent to animate the children and help with all the circus related tasks for 6 months.
Each week the circus travels to another small village. They live in caravans and buses during the tour and work and live together like a big family. The EVS volunteer is incorporated in the base team and his/her creativity is needed. The main work is the circus animation with children and youth. The volunteer will practice with young people different circus elements and at the end of the week the children always present their newly created show in the circus tent in front of many spectators consisting of family and community members. The volunteer also helps set the circus tent, do technical stuff, crafts and housework and play in the small circus band.
Accommodation: Simple living conditions! You’ll live in a circus trailer during the tour and most of the times use the sanitary arrangements of the schools (group showers etc.), the kitchen is set in a trailer.
Requirements: You have to enjoy working with children and youth. You must respect the wishes and ideas of the children and try to provide an excellent experience for them. This year we’re looking specifically for a male volunteer as we need someone strong to help setting up the tent. If someone has artistic, musical or theatrical skills, this will be taken into account during the selection. It is important that the volunteer can integrate and feel at home in the circus life, which sometimes can be demanding (extended working hours, simple living conditions).
A3: Asylum Centers in Valais, Switzerland
(3 volunteers for 12 months)
The Asylum Office of the canton of Valais provides several centers in the region, where asylum seekers live, work and get education during the time they wait for their decision for a stay permit. TheAsylum Office will host 3 volunteers. They will work in “RADOS” in Sion, the center for unaccompanied minor refugees. The volunteers will be responsible for the entertainment and organisation of activities for unaccompanied minor refugees. They will also support the first registration office, which is located in the same building and is responsible for newly arrive refugees in the canton Valais. One task for both centers will be to help accompany the refugees to appointments (i.e. with doctor/ administrations), help with childcare, support some administrative work and organize events for the refugees.
Accommodation: The volunteers will live in two shared apartments in Sion (outside the asylum centers), including bath and kitchen.
Requirements: As asylum seekers often suffer(ed) from very stressful experiences, the volunteer mustn't be racist or xenophobe in any kind of way. A criminal background check is obligatory. Candidates with experience in the described activities above will have an advantage in the selection process.
A4: Peace Council Zurich, Switzerland
(1 volunteer for 12 months)
The Swiss Peace Council is a small peace organization that publishes a magazine and organizes different events on international peace and conflict prevention topics. 1 volunteer will accompany the production of the magazine, help with research and maintain the online part of the organization.
The office is located in Zurich, the largest Swiss city. The volunteer will work together with the publisher and head of Peace Council Zurich, occasionally with board members, a co-worker (former EVS-volunteer) and other local working groups in Zurich. Occasionally they will work in the SCI Switzerland office in Berne as part of cooperation between these two organizations. The tasks will be adapted to the knowledge and interest of the volunteer: Organization of (own) events, updating / refurbishing the online part of the organization (website/social media), assisting in research on peace topics for the quarterly published peace magazine, supporting the writing (in German), layouting and publishing of the latter. One aim of the project is the knowledge exchange concerning peace topics between the Peace Council and SCI Switzerland.
Accommodation: The volunteer will either stay in a room with a host family or a room in a shared flat in Zurich.
Requirements: To be able to work in the publishing process of the magazine, a fair amount of German language skills is required as well as English for the research activities. It’s also good to have abilities to maintain the online part of the organization (Wordpress-CMS-website and Facebook), but not mandatory. As the staff of the Peace Council is in their second part of life, they're looking forward to a young and innovative person who has some knowledge with social media to reach out for the younger generation to get them more involved into peace topics.
A5: SCI Switzerland, Placement officer in SCI office in Berne, Switzerland
(1 volunteer for 12 months)
SCI Switzerland is a peace organization, which is organizing 20 workcamps with around 150 international volunteers every year. 100 volunteers from Switzerland are participating every year in camps abroad. There are currently 4 staff members working part time and EVS volunteers in the office.
The main task of the placement officer is the placement of short-term volunteers in workcamps in Switzerland and abroad. You will also be involved in workcamp planning & publication, in helping the staff with the conception and realization of workshops and preparation weekends intended for the future participants of the workcamps and in workcamp evaluation. In these activities you receive the opportunity to get used to informal learning methods and to experience the role of a trainer. During workcamp season the two EVS volunteers will also have the possibility to visit projects themselves and even take part in one workcamp as a camp coordinator. Furthermore, you can also develop your own projects/research/activities on a specific topic according to your skills & interests.
Accommodation: For your accommodation SCI looks for a host (family) where a room and food is provided or as a backup we rent a room in the campus and you get a budget for food. Lunch during the week is usually prepared among the people in the SCI office.
Requirements: You are between 18-30 years old and available for the full 12 months. You have good knowledge in English and German plus ideally also in French or Italian. You share SCI values, are motivated for the work with young people and volunteers from different cultures, and interested in office work!
A6: Schloss Glarisegg, Steckborn, Switzerland
(2 volunteers for 10 months)
We can offer two vacancies from the 1st of February until the 30th of November. The project is about working in the permaculture garden of our ecovillage in North-eastern Switzerland, as well as living in the ecovillage. We are an intentional community of approximately 35 adults and 15 children, situated directly between the shore of a beautiful big lake and a forest – and still close to nice cities. For further information please visit :
The website of our project: www.permakultur-bodensee.ch
The website of the ecovillage: www.schloss-glarisegg.ch
Experiences by former EVS volunteers: http://www.permakultur-bodensee.ch/european-voluntary-service-evs/
The main voluntary work within the project is about permaculture gardening. Most of your working time, you will be involved in the garden, preparing beds, sowing, planting, harvesting, looking after our ducks and chickens, etc. You will experience one entire season from the beginning to the end. It is a great opportunity to learn about gardening, self-suppliance with vegetables and permaculture. It will be the fifth time for us to welcome volunteers and we are really looking forward to you. We have seen how volunteers profit a lot from their experiences when they stay with us. Many say that they learn a lot about themselves, about communication and about living and working together.
A7. Center of Unity Schweibenalp, Brienz, Switzerland
(3 volunteers for 12 months)
In the midst of the Bernese Oberland Alps, on a plateau at 1100m above sea level with view on the turquoise Lake Brienz, lies the Center of Unity Schweibenalp. As a living and working community we manage the seminar business and the alpine permaculture gardens (4 ha). As a part of the Global Ecovillages Network (GEN), we consider ourselves as one of the emerging models for a holistic cultural transformation. At the Center of Unity Schweibenalp we contribute since more than 30 years to the development of an integral life culture and universal spirituality.
We are offering you the opportunity to be with us and to experience community living, community building, conscious living with each other and nature, as well as running a seminar business together. We want to encourage personal and spiritual development. We are living and working together on Schweibenalp and we share the place with our many guests of the seminars and other volunteers. You will be working in the various possible areas: permaculture garden (herbery, vegetable, nursery, seed garden); housework, kitchen, maintenance, and you will also be encouraged to have your own project. While working in the various areas, we welcome clarity and openness with other people, a good ability to communicate, flexibility and please don’t forget to pack your humour, independence and self-responsibility. You are welcome to join different working groups according to your talents, and you will be taking part at the different events of the community.
Accommodation: Shared rooms (!) with shared bathrooms. The EVS volunteers live together with other volunteers (short & long term) in multiple shared rooms on the upper floor of the main building. There are common rooms that can be used by all volunteers as well (e.g. small living room, library, meditation room, etc.). The volunteers will cook and eat together with the community and seminar guests (vegetarian, vegan and partly ayurvedic kitchen).
Requirements: Participants are motivated to live and work in a remotely located ecological, spiritual and open community of all ages and cultures. You don’t mind living in a shared bedroom and you agree and want to live in accordance with our common grounds (http://www.schweibenalp.ch/en/vision-2 ).
A8. Ecole d’Humanité, Switzerland, Hasliberg, Switzerland
(1 volunteer for 11 months)
The Ecole d’Humanité is a progressive, international boarding school in the heart of the Swiss Alps (in the winter ski area Meiringen-Hasliberg) that fosters the discovery and development of individual talents in an atmosphere that encourages self-determination, innovation, and tolerance. 120 Students and 50 teachers from over 20 different countries live together in a dynamic community overflowing with academic, artistic, practical, athletic, and social opportunities. Whether admiring the beauty of a poem, projectile motion in a calculus-based physics class, performing an original piece of impro theatre or summiting a 4000 meter peak, Ecole students are challenged to actively discover and pursue their passions, and share them with others.
The EVS Volunteer will work as Youth Leader and Mentor, assisting in the support of our youngest students (ages 11-13) in a variety of ways and supporting a family of resident teachers with their 9-year-old daughter. As a Youth Leader they will work with teachers and staff to create opportunities for the Ecole’s youngest students to have fun, feel a part of the community and connect with their peers. The Youth Leader will develop and organize fun and engaging activities, while being a supportive and positive role model to students. The volunteer will have many opportunities, and is encouraged to bring their own ideas, creativity, and expertise to their work at the Ecole. As part of the Ecole community the EVS Volunteer will take part in community life and be part of an “Ecole Family” (Ecole Families consist of 2-3 teachers and 4-10 students, who live and interact with each other under one roof).
Youth Leader responsibilities may include the following:
- Supporting the kindergarten teacher by leading activities such as: story group, singing, arts and crafts activities, etc.
- Working alongside a teacher in the classroom to create interactive learning experiences related to lessons.
- Developing and leading fun group games to help our youngest students bond, get to know each other, work together as a team, and feel less homesick.
- Assist an experienced hike leader with a group of students on a 4- and 6-day backpacking excursion in the Fall and Spring.
- Participating in the Ecole community and joining an Ecole family
- Providing mentoring for the child of a resident teacher and supporting the family by helping with after-school childcare, assisting with homework and extracurricular activities, and helping with some housework.
- Being a positive role model to all students in the Ecole family and at the school.
The Volunteer will have many opportunities to gain leadership skills and experience living and working in a progressive international boarding school setting. As a part of the Ecole community they will enhance their communication skills, learn to live in a diverse community and develop skills in teaching, leading small groups, and public speaking. The volunteer will also receive instruction and in-house training on the Ecole outdoor program including safety and first aid for leading students on hiking excursions.
Rooms are doubles and are simply and purposefully outfitted. Living together closely can mean both welcome support and unexpected challenges. Sometimes lifelong friendships are formed, sometimes only bonds of convenience. In the small unit of the room social learning plays an important role. When conflicts arise, the teachers (who supervise the Ecole Families) are there to help resolve them. We eat our daily meals together in a communal dining hall. Students, teachers and volunteers share things like cleaning duties in the Ecole. The beautiful surroundings of the Ecole offer great outdoor activity possibilities (hiking, skiing, climbing, biking).
Participants are motivated to live and work in a rather remotely located place within an existing community consisting of teachers, international students and other volunteers. You shouldn’t mind living in a shared bedroom and you are willing to integrate within the structures of the community. Smoking and drinking alcohol is not permitted for students. EVS volunteers are not allowed to smoke or drink alcohol in the presence of students. Intermediate language skills in English and/or German are helpful and will be the basis for your integration in our school community. All Volunteers will need to pass and submit a background check as part of our regular procedure for new staff and volunteers.
During school vacations, students and teachers are not present and daily life at the Ecole is less structured. EVS volunteers can stay at the Ecole or take off for home visits or travel. One week in the end of October, three weeks starting mid December and one month in March/April.
A9. Läbenschuel / School of life, Steckborn, Switzerland
(1 volunteer for 12 months)
The Läbesschuel / School of life is a project within the community of Schloss Glarisegg, which hosts already two EVS since 2012 within their permaculture gardening. Läbesschuel started in August 2016 with 15 children, in 2018 we had 30 children registered.
Main activity within the EVS is to support accompanying the children in their learning journey. All the activities take place at Schloss Glarisegg community. We have different places within the community, we sometimes work outside (forest, beach, neighbour farm or garden), sometimes in the ‘Montessori’ room, other times in the main school building where we have a kitchen, a workshop, a library, a technic room and a main room. The smallest children are mostly spending their time in the forest. One day a week, the children go to Mammern (neighbouring village) by bicycle to do sports in the gym of the local school.
As a volunteer in this project you will meet, cook together and even live in the same flat as the other 2 volunteers from Schloss Glarisegg. You will attend the same weekly community circle and have the possibility to have a closer look at the other's project.
As we use alternative methods of teaching, you will learn a lot about non formal education, for example also working with emotions and the body. The team of the school will help you to discover your competencies and strengths. You will be given opportunities to choose and/or propose activities that you would like to do with the children.
You will also be able to learn more about technical tools from the pedagogy of Montessori, Freinet and Waldorf. Within this frame, you will learn a lot about yourself and others in the frame of education but also in the field of teamwork, relationships and social topics. During the time when the children are not in school, you'll be able to work on your own project, developing your own personal tools. The team will be present to help you to find out about the goals and means of this project. It could be a particular subject that you would like to deepen. Then you and the team will find out how, when, how long, which content, and so on it contains.
The idea of welcoming EVS in our project comes from the wish to open the project to different cultures for the children and the team to get them to know people from all over Europe. As we work with non-formal education and self-reflection we think the Läbesschuel is perfect match to the EVS program.
B1. German-Russian Exchange, Russia
(1 volunteer for 6 months starting in August 2019)
The German-Russian Exchange is a non-profit and non-governmental organization aiming at support of civil society initiatives and ideas through international exchange of civil societies of Russia, Germany, Europe and other countries of the world through the following fields of activities:
- youth and volunteers international exchange through the European Voluntary Service and beyond,
- organization of public events on topics of European and international civil society developments, such as discussions, lectures, summer schools, debates, exhibitions in St. Petersburg,
- regular foreign languages club meetings,
- support of creative initiatives and ideas from active youth groups and people,
- implementation of different joint projects in the fields of culture, education, informal training, intercultural communication, tolerance and environment,
- organization of study trips to St. Petersburg for different groups of international students, experts, politicians, journalists etc.
Volunteers help with organizing our events or events of our partners, as well as develop and manage activities and projects by their own. Among the daily activities will also be fostering social media of the GRE and its website as well as helping with translations in Russian (if possible), German and English, and administrative tasks. By this, volunteer can get the chance to get to know the every-day-life of an NGO in Russia that works intensively with young people and adults on different topics like societal, religious, gender and lifestyle diversity, democratization and tolerance. Active citizenship, voluntarism and international cooperation as meaningful instruments play an important role within these topics.
One important activity is Speaking Club in German or other foreign languages. It is open for public and invites everyone no matter of age to come and discuss topical issues in a foreign language. This club creates an intercultural learning and communication space that welcomes everyone who is interested in meeting new people and new cultures. Interns can organise the club, search for the topics, prepare discussions and promote the club to invite more people.
In their working and free time, volunteers will meet local young people or other international volunteers/students and get to know different international ways of life. They will experience the differences of regional mentalities. It is especially exciting to explore this in Russia, where many civic initiatives are inspired by the grassroots organizations which make the real impact on the society. By their own activity, young people also learn how to motivate the other, not only young people to campaign for their personal convictions. During their voluntary service in a Russian NGO, volunteers will experience how active citizenship in Russia works and they will be a part of it. Volunteers will learn, how important human and civil rights are in all societies and that it is always important to advocate them. Volunteers will understand the need of and for society to actively express different opinions and to take part in democratic processes.
Accommodation: Our volunteers live in a private room in a shared flat, fully equipped, with other Russian people.
Requirements: Volunteers are motivated to work with non-governmental sphere, local communities and citizen engagement. They are flexible, have strong communication and writing skills, ready to offer new ideas for small events or projects if possible.
EVS VCV Serbia
B2. Placement Officer in VCV Serbia
(1 volunteer for 12 months starting in Feb. 2020)
The main goals of Volunteers' Centre of Vojvodina (VCV) include raising the level of consciousness about voluntarism and waking up altruistic thoughts in young people. VCV is working on this through different voluntary activities related to prejudice breaking, such as raising the level of tolerance between different ethnicities in Vojvodina (region in Serbia), providing more opportunities for cooperation to people with different ethnic and religious backgrounds, and including young persons with fewer opportunities.
The main activities of VCV are international voluntary projects in small local societies, short-term and long-term voluntary exchanges on a regional and international level, awareness raising campaigns related to environmental problems and the education of other organizations and school youth in issues related to voluntarism.
VCV is the Serbian branch of Service Civil International (SCI). Field of expertise of VCV include development of voluntary service and intercultural work.
For the period of the project, you will be doing the volunteer service in our office in Novi Sad city center. You will mostly work on placing the volunteers in workcamps in Serbia and abroad, but don’t think of this service as dull and boring computer work! You will also have a chance to join VCV’s activities and conduct your own workshops – if there is anything you are good at or like doing, this is the time and place to show it to the world! Additionally, if you enjoy communication work, designing and creating beautiful promotion material - you can also help our PR coordinator with the preparation of our monthly newsletter issues.
All in all, you will have a possibility to engage in all of the wide areas of VCV’s work and to contribute to positive changes in Serbia. You will also have the freedom and the opportunity to propose and start new initiatives with the support of volunteers engaged in VCV. During the summer, the activities will broaden, and you will have a chance to participate or even coordinate one of the workcamps organized in Serbia or Balkan region. These general terms contain all diversity of events, projects and ideas. Thanks to this, you will find space for your own creativity, initiative, and interests, which are always welcome and supported.
You will be supporting VCV in following activities:
- Placement of volunteers in workcamps in Serbia and abroad
- Communication with volunteers and partner organizations
- Promotion of workcamps in Novi Sad, providing information to interested volunteers
- Writing small promotional articles for VCV’s website and social media
- Supporting the PR coordinator with monthly newsletter issues (preferably)
- Preparing and conducting small weekly workshops for VCV’s Volunteer Club (topic depends on volunteer’s skills and interests)
- Coordinating a volunteer workcamp (if interested)
- Developing new projects and activities related to the field of work of VCV
SKILLS AND COMPETENCES
- be between 18 and 30 years old
- share the values of VCV and SCI (volunteering, solidarity, tolerance, equality, peace and nonviolence and respect for environment)
- have good knowlegde of English
- have basic computer skills (Internet, MS Office, Social Media)
- be open-minded, adaptable and ready to adjust to a different culture
- be self-reliant and capable of improvisation when needed
- be patient, flexible and able to work in an international team
- be willing to learn about other cultures and lifestyles
- be committed to sharing your knowledge and skills
Experience with communication work and skills in Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Ilustrator, Canva and Mailchimp are an asset.
EVS OWA Poland
B3. Stowarzyszenie Jeden Świat / OWA Poland
(1 volunteer for 12 months starting in August 2019)
Every one of us is different, we bring different skills, talents and attitudes to our societies. We can learn from each other and look for new solutions only when we touch the edge of our cultures, personalities, when we are open to see beyond the edge. As EVS is a learning process, volunteers can plan and make real change in their lives but not only - also people you meet on your EVS can be influenced by your story and change their attitude to the other cultures, personal development and their own living conditions. The activities of the project will include:
* participation in and running workshops on the chosen subject, i.e. ref peace education, intercultural learning, gender, global education;
* being part of the local working group aiming at implementation of local initiatives (Day Against Racial discrimination);
* working on new tools, publications;
* Contacting NGOs and individual volunteers from Poznan and surroundings to provide them with information about volunteering, supporting the placement process for volunteer going for workcamps;
* Preparing and leading national and international projects, such as International summer camp;
* working with children and youth in the local projects as well as conducting workshops for them;
* Taking care of digital documentation of projects run by our Association.
EVS volunteers work as part of a team with staff and Polish volunteers and will be prepared (individually and in a group) to the mentioned tasks.
As we will host more volunteers the same time, each of them will have a chance to try out different activities with different institutions (NGO, schools, kindergardens, universities, public offices) and create its own miniproject on the chosen subject.
Volunteer will receive a financial equivalent for food – fixed amount every first week of new month. Shopping support is foreseen, done either by the Project Coordinator or the mentor. Volunteer will share a flat with another international volunteer/s. The flat is close to the city center, has two separate rooms for each volunteer, fully equipped kitchen and bathroom.
The pocket money in Poland is 85 euro per month.