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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.

SCI Archives

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.

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Posted by Heinz Gabathuler on Feb 8, 2015

Les Soeurs du Service Civil - Booklet cover

Amongst the propaganda brochures issued by SCI in its early years, my clear favourite is the 32-pages booklet titled “Les Sours du Service Civil” (in English “The Sisters of Voluntary Service”) - in A5 format and a dark blue cover, issued 80 years ago, in 1935, by the one and only SCI Secretariat in Bern, Switzerland, and sold for the incredible price of 60 Swiss Cents.

Needless to say that unlike nowadays, in these times there were neither EU commission nor Swiss government grants available for printing such material – so our forefathers and foresisters did have to ask a price!




Posted by Heinz Gabathuler on Dec 22, 2014

Work and Sing, own by Ernst-Michael Lehmann

 In a box full of duplicates I found in the SCI Archives in Switzerland, there was a tiny little booklet in red and yellow entitled „Work and Sing – an International Songbook“. And on the front page, one can clearly see the name of its former owner: Ernst-Michael Lehmann, a clearly German name.

Two forewords and the imprint reveal that the booklet was first published in 1947 by the „Cooperative Recreation Service, Inc.“ in the United States, and could be ordered in Europe from UNESCO's Youth Section in Paris. The present copy is already part of the third, apparently enhanced edition which has been published somewhat later.


Posted by Heinz Gabathuler on Nov 4, 2014

SCI Catalonia was founded in the course of democratisation in Spain after Franco's death in the early 1980s as "Servei Català de Camps de Traball". It has been the first, and for some time the only, SCI Branch on Spanish territory. They recently gave parts of their records to the National Archives of Catalonia where they are accessible to the public.


Posted by Philipp Rodriguez on Dec 27, 2013

Die Gruppe der Freiwillige in Raon l'Etape (1946). Hans Bruder hintere Reihe zweiter von Rechts, Mary Hutchinson vorderer Reihe erste von Rechts.Noch im vergangenen Februar zahlten Hans und Mary Bruderer ihren Mitgliederbeitrag ein. Im Vermerk schrieben sie: Das ist voraussichtlich unsere letzte Zahlung. Wir sind 94 und 98 Jahre alt und Mitglieder seit über 65 Jahren!. Kurze Zeit darauf erhielt der SCI die Todesanzeige der beiden treuen Mitglieder. Auf der alten Mitgliedskarteikarte stand, dass sie sich in einem SCI-Dienst kennenlernten und im SCI-Archiv finden sich weitere Hinweise.


Posted by Heinz Gabathuler on Nov 11, 2013

Volunteer of British IVSP in Volos (1946)This years' Internation Comittee Meeting of Service Civil International (SCI) will be held in Greece, remembering 30 years of uninterrupted SCI activity in the country.

The first SCI activists working in Greece, however, were representatives of the British IVSP who went there for doing relief and welfare work shortly after the liberation in 1944.


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