Types of projects
CCIVS members organise
different types of voluntary service projects. The common feature
is that they engage the energy of the volunteer on a full time basis
for a given period of time. In fact a distinction is made between
voluntary service and "volunteering", which can be on an ad
hoc basis for a few hours a week while remaining a student, worker or
whatever other socio-professional category (for a definition of "voluntary
service" and "volunteering" refer to the website of our
partner AVSO: http://www.avso.org/voluntary/voluntary_general.html).
CCIVS specifically represents international voluntary service (IVS).
IVS projects involve 3 major stakeholders: a national organisation,
a local partner, and international volunteers. Each of them has its
specific area of work and involvement, from international to local level.
can be sub divided with regards to their duration:
- short term projects
- medium or long term projects or individual placements
Short term volunteer
projects (or STV):
The most common form
of STV projects are so-called international workcamps. They usually
together 10 to 20 people from different countries and of different backgrounds,
who will live and work together while working on a local non profit
making project for a duration of two to four weeks.
Workcamps can have
a special theme and include some discussions or side events, but the
main feature is the idea of people developing their own cultural microcosm
while concretely learning to live together. The group may be assisted
in terms of board and lodging, work program and general frame of the
project but the basic idea is that they have to organise their daily
life, work and leisure time together and thus overcome cultural barriers
and stereotypes. Workcamps usually have a camp leader or coordinator
and may have a local correspondent or technical advisor depending on
In the case of a typical
international workcamp the volunteers arrive individually from their
respective sending organisations and the group is constituted once the
project begins on the spot.
Medium term and Long
term volunteer projects (MTV and LTV):
MTV projects usually
are defined as projects lasting between 1 to 3 months and LTV projects
are projects beyond this duration rarely exceeding 1 year. Most of the
time they are individual placements. This means that one person is sent
from a sending organisation into a project defined by a host organisation.
CCIVS members usually don not require any specific professional skills
from volunteers; the idea is to integrate the volunteer into a project,
which is useful for the local stakeholders but requires a certain amount
of flexibility from the local host as well in order to integrate the
specific profile and capacities of the volunteer.
Several CCIVS members
use the European Commission's Youth in Action Programme to host and
send volunteers under the age of 30 in the frame of a European Voluntary
Service or EVS. An EVS usually lasts between 6 and 12 months but
can also be shorter. For more information about the EVS programme please
can also be subdivided with regards to the area of work or theme they
areas of work include:
- Social projects
with children, elderly people or any kind of public with fewer opportunities
projects involving simple manual reparation work or awareness raising
projects of public infrastructure like schools or wells. Such projects
are often based in countries of the global south (examples),
- Preservation of
cultural heritage (examples).
Please also refer to
the Training Kit Nr. 5 on Voluntary Service of the Council of Europe for
a more in depth definition and background about voluntary service projects:
In recent years organisations
have developed more and more new and innovative approaches to projects
in terms of duration and theme. Weekend workcamps for returned
volunteers in their home country in order to involve them more with their
sending organisation, group projects, where groups are constituted
before departure and travel together, projects reserved for families
from different countries or projects focussing on senior volunteers.