Service Civil International
Service Civil International (SCI) is one of the world's largest international volunteering organisations dedicated to promoting a culture of peace through the organisation and coordination of voluntary projects all over the world. SCI has been organising international voluntary projects since 1920.
The historical archives of SCI in the Bibliothèque de la Ville La Chaux-de-Fonds (Switzerland) provides an extensive documentation on international volunteering for peace.
Posted by Heinz Gabthuler on Feb 8, 2016
Belgian French-speakers say souper whereas the French prefer to dîner. In Minsk, the capital of "Belorussia", a restaurant called "Jubileinaja" close to the Metro station Nemiga is recommended, however with no comments. A train ticket from Bonn to Köln costs 7,80 DM, whereas a big meal in Rome may easily cost 24’000 Lire. In Budapest, "it is better to ask an agency to help in cheap accommodation as they are overcrowded in summer” Belfast is neither "a natural home of the beer connoisseur nor over-endowed with theatres, cinemas or major musical venues". The section on Catalonia is safely separated from the one on Spain by well over 60 pages, reflecting the fact that an SCI branch in Catalonia existed well before the branch in Madrid was established. The Finnish capital Helsinki "has got many faces: cold and warm, east and west, and especially in the north", as well as "rich and poor". And "McDonald’s" is called "McDonald’s" in the otherwise pretty exotic-looking local language.
Posted by Heinz Gabathuler on Oct 27, 2015
As the ICM in Sri Lanka is approaching, it should be reminded that SCI activities in that country had started well over 55 years ago. The nice booklet the branch had issued for its 50th Anniversary in 2010 reminds, at the same time, of the then 90th Anniversary of International SCI activities.
Posted by Heinz Gabathuler on Jul 7, 2015
During my private trip through India, I had the opportunity to meet with several activists and veterans of the Indian SCI branch in different places. In Bangalore, Valli Seshan invited me to her apartment for tea and sweets, and of course for a fruitful and interesting chat. Together with young SCI India activist Janak Gor we went there to reveal the “secrets” of the functioning of SCI’s International Secretariat in the late 1980s and early 1990s when, for the first and last time, it was located outside of Europe.
Posted by Heint Gabathuler on Apr 15, 2015
It was the time before Power Point and Prezi. And it was a time when people were used to listen: “Concerning the length of the presentations, we consider the following timelines to be the most appropriate: Not shorter than 45 minutes, not longer than 90 minutes”, writes Ralph Hegnauer, then SCI International Secretary, towards the end of a German-language document titled Der Internationale Zivildienst – Was ist er? Was will er?” 
Posted by Heinz Gabathuler on Mar 18, 2015
On March 13th, 2015, at last, I made it to Bilthoven: The small town near Utrecht in the Netherlands where the idea of reconciliation among nations after war through practical reconstruction work has been born almost one hundred years ago.
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