20 March, 2020

Measures related to COVID-19 Pandemic

SCI International’s Statement

Dear friends, 

Already the world looks a lot different since SCI’s statement of 16th March 2020 and this is a testament to the speed nations and societies have had to react in order to decrease as much as possible the potential catastrophic consequences this pandemic could have. The COVID-19 pandemic does not only have huge health implications, burdening our medical systems to breaking point, but will also have an unpredictable negative effect on the economy. 

SCI’s purpose is to promote a culture of peace through intercultural dialogue and understanding. Our vision of living in a culture of peace means a world where all people live together in mutual respect and without resorting to violence, where there is social justice and sustainable development, and where, most of all, people are at the heart of what we do. In order to achieve this, SCI has been organising international volunteering projects for the past 100 years, meeting and working with great people over the years. 

This is why the discussion on our response to COVID-19 was not taken lightly. On the one hand, it was a difficult discussion given the huge impact that the situation is having and will have on our projects and goals. On the other hand, our values give us a clear direction. In this moment, solidarity means supporting the measures suggested by experts, and that many countries put in place, asking citizens to stay indoors and practice social distancing in an effort to protect those most vulnerable amongst us. Limiting the spread of COVID-19 and flattening the curve to give our systems and societies a chance to cope is and should be a priority for everyone. We also believe that a core part of peace is inclusion, ensuring that no one is left behind, especially those most vulnerable.

As a result of this belief and the uncertainty of what will happen in the future, we have decided to suspend placement to our workcamps, effective from 12pm CET on 21st March until 30th April 2020. We have decided that promoting international travel during this pandemic with no clear understanding of the effects on both the volunteers and local communities is not an acceptable risk and we need to see how the situation develops in order to take any further actions. 

This does not mean that our mission stops or that we are not still working on our vision of a culture of peace. SCI is working hard to find ways to organise our activities, communicating with local partners and communities to understand needs and opportunities for collaboration. Innovation and responding to these needs will be at the forefront of our work, better understanding what we can do online, how we can stimulate this intercultural understanding from a distance and working hard to ensure our future projects are safe. 

We know that everyone has been hit hard with this pandemic and the future is unclear. We have also seen people come together in acts of kindness and compassion that will be crucial in the weeks to come. We applaud all those who are working tirelessly to navigate us through the coming times and offer full support to everyone currently struggling to find their feet. 

SCI stays fully committed to our vision of a world living in a culture of peace. Now is the moment for us to work together and experiment with new methods to make this a reality. We will continue to discuss measures and plan alternative activities, so please check here for regular updates. Now more than ever we will need the spark and energy volunteering can bring. 

As always stay safe, kind and healthy. 

Amities, 

SCI International

Download here the statement.

 

COVID-19 – dedicated page

Read more information and updates here.

Explore more news

SCI is Recruiting an International Coordinator

SCI is Recruiting an International Coordinator

SCI is looking for a new International Coordinator to lead its International Secretariat located in Antwerp, Belgium. We are looking for someone with strong leadership and communication skills, intercultural experience, strategic thinking and interest to work in an international organisation with a mission to create a culture of peace. Read the full call and apply by 15 September 2021 (noon).

Raising Peace: 100 years celebration

Raising Peace: 100 years celebration

IVP Australia, together with partner organisation, is organising the Raising Peace festival with the aims to celebrate and raise the profile of peace, to create opportunities for collaboration between peace organisations and to inspire young people to take action for peace. The festival will take place over 10 days: 16-26 September 2021 in Australia.

A green lung in the heart of the city

A green lung in the heart of the city

GAIA Kosovo’s volunteers created a community garden in an urban space that was left unattended for a long time, bringing a new energy and bright natural colors to the whole area. The work on the garden generated interactions, conversations, new encounters and a lot of smiles between people from different generations, grandparents and young children, teenagers and adults.

Share This