EVS projects in Switzerland

 SCI Switzerland offers currently 6 different EVS projects in Switzerland:

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: Application deadline is usually 6 month ahead of the project start (October for projects starting in March, March for projects starting in August).

> In order to be able to take part in the EVS programme you have to be between 18 and 30 years old and have to come from an eligible country.

Currently we don't offer EVS projects abroad for Swiss participants on a regular base. This is due the situation, that Switzerland is not a full member of Erasmus+ and projects abroad have to be handed in to the Swiss national agency separately as well. But if you have an interesting project proposal don't hesitate to contact us to discuss it further. If there are projects abroad available you can find them under the b section.

 

 Project overview: 

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)

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B1: International Secretariat of Service Civil International, Antwerp, Belgium, 1 volunteer for 12 months (starting in September)

 

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 permitTheAsylum 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, SteckbornSwitzerland

(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.

Accommodation:

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).

Requirements:

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.

Vacations:

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. International Secretariat of Service Civil International, Antwerp, Belgium

(1 volunteer for 12 months, Swiss partipants only for this project!)

The International Secretariat of Service Civil International is basically the main quarters of the world wide peace organisation. It has many years of experience in hosting volunteers also from the EVS program.

Main activity will be supporting the Building Bridges Campaign, an international campaign by SCI (http://www.sci.ngo/sci-campaigns/building-bridges/about-building-bridges). The Campaign was created in 2016 in order to share knowledge and experience on SCI’s activities with refugees and asylum seekers, and to strengthen the overall impact of those activities. SCI currently runs several project worldwide and created micro-funds in order to support different activities planned by SCI branches. 
This EVS project will be a continuation of the substantial work done by two previous rounds of EVS volunteers since 2016 (including a n international seminary in Switzerland funded by movetia) and will involve cooperating with the different teams and groups working on the campaigns, funds and projects.

The EVS project gives a young person the opportunity to increase its understanding on issues surrounding refugees and asylum seekers in Europe and beyond, as well as contribute to raising awareness of the work that has been done / is going on to overcome these divisions. He/she will have the opportunity to contribute to the direction of the campaign, as well as participate in planning for the concrete implementation of the different funds. The volunteer will have the opportunity to get an insight in the work of an International Secretariat of a worldwide peace movement, as well as experience working in different online teams coming from different cultures and with different understandings.

The main tasks of the EVS volunteer will be supporting the campaign with communication, participate in the planning/implementations of some of the projects the secretariat currently has running focused on building inclusive societies, promotion of the campaign and supporting of different funding teams. Furthermore, the tasks of the EVS volunteer can be broadened / narrowed down depending on the interest of the volunteer, with many new projects and initiatives constantly arising within the international secretariat. The volunteer will also be able to create and follow its own project within that field as well and can take part in a workcamp.