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 any 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.
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, 2 volunteers for 7 months (starting in August)
A8: Ecole d'Humanité, Hasliberg, Switzerland, 1 volunteers for 11 months (starting in August)
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
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.
As an EVS volunteer you’ll have the position as “Artist in Residence”. Therefore you get the chance to work as an artist at the Ecole d’Humanité and be at the same time a part of the Ecole-community and take part in the community life within the so called “Ecole Families” (consisting of 2-3 teachers and 4-10 students, who live and interact with each other under one roof).
The Ecole offers you a great infrastructure to use. By mutual agreement your work could be in the following areas:
- work as artist (metal & wood studios, stage and practicing studios , graphics studio)
- work pedagogically: giving afternoon classes in a certain topic depending on your talents or work in so called “intense weeks” together with small groups of students
- networking: among the network of former students of the Ecole, there is a great amount of artists, working in different areas, who are often willing to cooperate for projects
- communications: engage in public relation activities regarding your work
- manual work (garden work, caring for the pets, housework)
- intercultural dimension: The daily interaction with community members from over 20 countries helps to learn more about interculturality, in which we offer also professional trainings
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 and 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.
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.