Workcamps

A workcamp is a volunteer placement of short duration. This experience allows you to meet people from all over the world who are interested in the culture of peace and social justice. There are workcamps in more than 90 countries!

Your contact person

Unsere Infoveranstaltungen finden aktuell online statt. Freiwilligenarbeit in der Schweiz und im Ausland.

Ainhoa Cano

Volunteer within the framework of European Voluntary Service – Workcamps Placement

Find out about the conditions of participation, costs, what SCI and partner organisations offer and how to register:

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CONDITIONS OF PARTICIPATION IN THE GLOBAL SOUTH

Workcamps in Asia, Africa, Latin America

  • Early interest notification or registration due to extensive preparation
  • Motivation and willingness to actively participate in work and group life, special advance knowledge or professional qualifications are not needed
  • Minimum age: 18 years
  • Basic knowledge of English or the specified workcamp language
  • Participation in the preparation seminar is compulsory. Learn about concepts like White Saviour Complex and Decolonize Volunteering
  • Recommendation: +4 weeks in host country or region – think about your ecological footprint!
  • Possible application for a visa on your part
  • Evaluation of the workcamp
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CONDITIONS OF PARTICIPATION IN THE GLOBAL NORTH

Workcamps in Europe, North America, Australia

  • Motivation and willingness to actively participate in work and group life, special advanced knowledge or professional qualifications are not needed
  • Minimum age: generally 18 years, selected workcamps 16 years
  • Basic knowledge of English or the specified workcamp language
  • Participation in the preparation seminar (if possible)
  • Possible application for a visa on your part
  • Evaluation of the workcamp
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SCI SWITZERLAND AND THE PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS OFFER:

  • Work on a non-profit project, intercultural exchange, new friendships and many great experiences! Every workcamp also includes a study part: you get to know the project and deal with the topic of your workcamp.
  • Simple accommodation (school, youth hostel, tent, etc.).
  • Simple catering (self-cooking, camp kitchen).
  • Invitation letter for visas, if needed.
  • Preparation and evaluation of the assignment.
  • One-year membership in SCI Switzerland (incl. members’ journal, free participation in international trainings and seminars, etc.).
  • Additional insurance for accidents, illness and liability during the workcamp.

Workcamps with children

It is possible for children to participate in a workcamp in Switzerland or abroad if accompanied by their parents or guardians. There are specific child-friendly workcamps that are adapted to the needs of children and their parents or guardians. In the workcamp search engine, the option “Child friendly camp” must be selected under “Options” in order to see the available workcamps. There is a minimum age of children per workcamp. For more information contact placement@scich.org 

Workcamps for minors (16 - 17 years)

Not all workcamps can accept minors. However, there are some workcamps in Switzerland and abroad (only in the Global North) that are open to 16 and 17 year olds. In the workcamp search engine, the option “International volunteers under 18” must be selected under “Options” to see the available workcamps. Minors always need the permission of their legal guardians. For more information contact placement@scich.org 

Participation in the SCI Switzerland preparatory seminar is compulsory for minors who wish to take part in a workcamp.

COSTS

  • Workcamp in Switzerland: CHF 190*
  • Workcamp abroad: CHF 240*
  • Workcamp online: CHF 190*
  • Mini-Workcamp: CHF 120*
  • There is a CHF 30 discount for non- and low-income earners.
  • For asylum seekers or refugees, SCI Switzerland covers the costs incurred. See more information here.
  • Some workcamps have additional program costs on site. These are listed on the workcamp search engine in the respective project description. These costs must be paid in advance or on site at the project.
  • Travel costs (you have to organise and pay for your own travel).
  • Visa and travel insurance (if required and at your own expense).
  • If you would like to participate in one of the workcamps of Tent of Nations (Palestine), the association Zelt der Völker will cover the additional programme costs on site (CHF 150) for participants living in Switzerland. Interested? Get in touch with us!

*The membership fee of CHF 90 is included in all workcamps. If you have already paid this, you will receive a corresponding reduction – also for the second workcamp in the same calendar year (second workcamp: abroad CHF 150, in Switzerland CHF 100; second mini-workcamp: CHF 30).

*Cancellation fee in case of cancellation after placement: 60% of the participation fee up to three weeks before the start of the workcamp; 80% in case of later cancellations. Re-placement fee in case of rebooking after registration: CHF 50.

If you are unable to pay the participation fee, please contact us at any time and we will find a solution.

Why pay for volunteering?

SCI Switzerland is a certified non-profit organisation. In order to organise and arrange volunteer placements, as well as for the preparation and follow-up of volunteers and camp coordinators, we rely on participation fees, membership fees and donations. The participation fee covers only a small part of the real expenses. SCI Switzerland is mainly supported by its long-standing members and donors, as well as by state funding. Furthermore, SCI Switzerland realises the workcamps mainly with the help of the local project partners.

Do you still have questions?

Read our FAQs about workcamps

TESTIMONIALS

What our volunteers say

I was looking for international projects to expand my perspective. At the end I’ve coordinated a summer camp. It was such a decent experience to build benches with 10 unique people from all around the world. I had a feeling that I was living utopia which we created in a very diverse and fun way while learning about drill machines and picking wild berries. If you can get the chance don’t miss it. It’s an excellent practice to live & learn together!

Gül from Turkey

I decided to join the workcamp because I wanted to meet and make conversations with people from other countries. In this workcamp we made concrete and repaired the wall of the old building. I also could enjoy nature and conversations with other participants. I noticed that working together can make people from different countries very close friends. I am grateful for the people I met there!

Mako from Kyoto, Japan

Our international group of 16 people was beautifully accommodated in the centre of Sent (Switzerland) and our local partners from Pro Terra Engiadina showed us every day a new quality: efficiency, organisation, human warmth, humour, attention, creativity. We worked on 7 different sites (including 3 protected biotopes), in breathtaking landscapes and in the service of nature and local communities to maintain and promote biodiversity.

Anne from Switzerland

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REGISTRATION

  1. Read the conditions of participation (above).
  2. Find your workcamp on the search engine.
  3. Workcamp search engine: register directly online (1) and log in (2).Your registration is binding. Cancellations are subject to cancellation fees.
  4. Find out about travel expenses, visa requirements and health questions.
  5. Do you still have questions? Read our FAQs about workcamps.
  6. Contact us if you have any questions: placement@scich.org / 031 381 46 20.

What happens next?

We will check your registration carefully and if you meet the conditions of participation, we will forward it to our local partner organization. They will decide whether you will be accepted into the project. As soon as we have an answer, we will inform you. You are now either definitely registered for the workcamp or we will look for an alternative workcamp together with you. If your placement is successful, we will send you the invoice for the workcamp, which is now due. You formally confirm your participation to SCI Switzerland by e-mail.

COVID-19 and Workcamps 2023

Find your workcamp!

Support a social, ecological or cultural project in Switzerland or abroad

Workcamp search engine

Make a contribution as a

CAMP COORDINATOR

Accompany a group of international volunteers for 1 – 3 weeks in a workcamp in Switzerland!

PROJECT PARTNER

If you represent a non-profit organisation in Switzerland, you can organise a workcamp. Get in touch with us!

CIVIL SERVICE

Complete your civil service with us as a camp coordinator* at workcamps or as a cook* at seminars and training courses