Let’s talk about Peace: Volunteer experiences from the field


2020 marks the 100 years anniversary of Service Civil International (SCI) and the whole International Voluntary Service (IVS) movement. For the International Day of Peace, CCIVS hosted an online dialogue with volunteers from different parts of the world that have participated in voluntary camps and volunteered for peace during different decades. The event was streamed on Zoom and Facebook Live.
The intergenerational dialogue was moderated by Gianni Orsini, CCIVS President (1998-2004) and SCI International Vice-President (1992-1998), who introduced the guests and shaped a conversation about the role of volunteering on peace and human rights in the last decades, the empowerment of the communities through projects and the challenges that the speakers forseed for the future. Agustina Pessio (35, Argentina, volunteer in India with Subir al Sur), Stephen Nah (69, Malaysia, volunteer with SCI Malaysia), Yulia Utenkova (32, Russian Federation, representing Alliance of European Voluntary Service Organisations) and Francesca Palmi (27, Italy, volunteer with Agape Centre of Hope) enriched the exchange with their experience and vision on the field.
After the dialogue we would like to highlight that:
  • Voluntary camps inside the International Voluntary Service are experiences that impact not only the volunteers that participate but also the local community that is involved in the common goal of the project, especially when the cooperation is repeated over the year.
  • Exchanges between organisations and creating new partnerships are the key of cooperation between organisations to improve relations.
  • We should focus on the quality of the projects instead of the quantity to create a major impact.
  • Peace starts with a change within ourselves and only then can we create peace in our communities.
  • Pandemic should be an opportunity to enhance peace, create solidarity and change the priorities of the world we live in.


“We need the young generation to start thinking about the present. This is what you have to change today. We think about peace in the future too many times, we have to inspire and take action through these (voluntary) organisations.” Agustina Pessio


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