If you are inspired by impact that is hands-on,
Over 1,000 Projects
IVS has supported over 1,200 projects in more than 80 countries around the world.
All projects are developed by our local partners after establishing an identified need.
Volunteering shouldn’t cost a fortune. Project costs start from as little as £75.
What is Service Civil International?
SCI is a coalition of peace organisations, that was founded in 1920. IVS has been a member of SCI since 1931. SCI is currently based in Belgium.
Through the network, we have grassroots partners in over 80 countries and we support over 1,200 projects around the world. All SCI projects are developed after a local need has been identified in the community.
Project Locations & Activities
You can join an SCI project in the UK or overseas. There are thousands of projects listed in multiple locations around the world.
To find a project, search in the SCI databases. There are two databases – one for Short-Term Projects and one for Long-Term Projects.
Dates & Duration
You can volunteer from 1 week all the way to 12 months!
Short-Term Projects are classed as those with a duration of between 1-4 weeks, but projects tend to be 2-3 weeks on average.
Long-Term Projects are projects with a duration of a minimum of 1 month and can last for up to 12 months.
Projects are on-going throughout the year, so you can join a project at anytime!
IVS is a membership organisation, meaning that to go on one of our projects you must pay a membership fee. This costs just £25 (£15 concession).
To join a project, you will also need to pay a registration fee. The fees to join a volunteering project depend on which project you choose to go on and how long you choose to go for. For more information on how much you will pay, please check our Pricing page.
Occasionally there may be additional fees to join a project. If any, these will be listed on the project advertisement.
- What's included?
During your volunteering placement, accommodation and meals will be provided. While volunteering you will receive support from the host organisation for the project.
Long-Term Volunteers on placement in the UK will be partnered with an IVS Mentor who will be a point of contact for support and advice throughout the project. In addition, dependent on the project, a small monthly pocket-money allowance will be provided to the volunteer.
- What's not included?
Once your placement is confirmed, we can help you to organise your flights, travel insurance, and tourist visa but you will need to cover all costs. You will also need to organise and pay for any required vaccinations and medications. Also, if required by the host organisation, volunteers must pay the extra fee. We also recommend that you have a little extra money for any travelling and additional activities you may want to do while in the volunteering country.
You will need to pay for your police or background check. All volunteers must sign our Self Declaration Form and provide us with evidence of a recent criminal background check. If this is not available, you will be asked to obtain a basic disclosure certificate from Disclosure Scotland in advance of your project. The current cost is £25 made payable to Disclosure Scotland.
IVS can help support your project costs through fundraising initiatives. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more.
- Where does my money go?
By becoming a member of IVS, you are supporting the development of the next generation of global citizens. The membership fee supports us by contributing to the running costs of our organisation and assisting with our work of promoting volunteering for peace projects. Find out more about the benefits of IVS Membership.
The project fee covers your health insurance (excluding Short-Term UK Projects) for the duration of your volunteering, as well as your accommodation and food on site. It also supports the Service Civil International network.
To join an SCI Project, you will need to be resilient and embrace the unexpected! You’ll need to be willing to adapt to different cultural situations, including working in different ways and different living conditions. You’ll need to have a strong motivation for helping others and a positive, pro-active attitude.
To be successful, you will need to clear relevant Police Record checks (such as PVG, DBS, ICPC) and understand and abide by our Safeguarding Policy. You will also need to eligible to apply for any relevant visas of the country in which you are volunteering.
If this sounds like you, we would love to hear from you!
How To Apply
Once you have searched the databases and found a project you like, to apply for a Service Civil International volunteering project please follow the following steps:
For Short-Term Projects (1-4 Weeks): Register for the project online and you will then be sent an application form. After that you will need to pay your membership and project registration fee. SCI have produced a short video which explains the process here
For Long-Term Projects (1-12 months): Email email@example.com to request an application form. Fill in and return the application form! After that you will need to pay your membership and project registration fee.
After both the project and you have confirmed your attendance, you can start packing!
If you are looking for short or long term projects but somehow you can’t find what suits you with IVS, please have a look at Volunteer Action for Peace. They are a like-minded UK based charity with whom IVS is collaborating.