History of IVS:
International voluntary service is voluntary service done internationally beyond the border of the nations. The first international workcamp dates back to 1920 to the First World War near Verdun, France. During the times of the war, farmers’ houses were destroyed. With the idea of “mutual aid not charity,” Pierre Ceresole, founder of the first workcamp, and his team, consisting of a dozen Frenchmen, Swiss, Germans, British, Hungarians, an Austrian and a Dutch, helped renovate the houses.
What are International Workcamps?:
International workcamps are international voluntary projects, where volunteers from all over the world live and work together with the local people for environmental and cultural protection,social justice, rural and human development, etc. Every year, over 3,000 projects were held in over 90 countries! Most of the projects are for 2-3 weeks that are called STV (Short Term Voluntary service) though LMTV (Long/ Middle Term Voluntary service) projects between 2 and 12 months are also increasing. There are also some weekend workcamps for 2-3 days.
NVDA also help send volunteers to international workcamps! Normally, volunteers should apply to international workcamps through the IVS NGOs of their residency or citizenship. NVDA sends volunteers who are living in the countries where there are no NVDA members and partners to the workcamps in the world.
In addition to general aims of international workcamps (improving local/ global communities by voluntary works, promoting international friendship & cooperation, etc.):
- Provide more opportunities of international voluntary service to the people there
- Promote organizing international workcamps there in the future by returned volunteers
- Help member & partner NGOs by providing more various volunteers to their projects