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International Voluntary Service (Belgium)

From EverybodyWiki Bios & Wiki

The Service Volontaire International (International Voluntary Service) is a francophone organisation located in Belgium, registered in Tournai’s judicial district as a non-profit organisation.[1]. In France, the SVI is registered as an organisation under the law of 1901 in Paris. Not long ago, SVI opened its new office in Lille. The SVI is mainly active in the international volunteering sector (international projects) but also in the fields of social economy and intercultural exchanges between European youths and the rest of the world. The main objective of the organisation is to prepare and send abroad volunteers, in different partner organisations [2]. Every year, the SVI sends about 900 volunteers abroad and welcomes more than 100 young foreign volunteers in Belgium and in France. Every volunteer can take part in projects in almost 100 countries and in many different fields (animation, construction, environmental protection…)[3]. In France and in Belgium, the SVI has more than 4500 active members and has 7 full-time employees.


The Service Volontaire International (SVI) was founded in May 2009 in Belgium[4][5]. The SVI is legally registered in Tournai as a non-profit organisation. In January 2013, the organisation was recognised by the youth bureau of the French community of Belgium as ‘Groupement de jeunesse’ (youth group). In June of the same year, the organisation received the legal status in France as an organisation under the law of 1901. In March 2014, the SVI moved from the UCL campus in Woluwe-Saint-Lambert to the centre of Brussels. The SVI received its certification of support and coordination organisation for the Service Volontaire Européen (SVE, European Voluntary Service) in 2015. In July 2016, Isabelle Simonis, the minister of youth, officially recognised the SVI as a youth organisation. The SVI moved from the neighbourhood of Les Marolles in Brussels in February 2018 to the towers of the World Trade Center, next to Brussels North station.


The mission of the SVI is to ‘prepare, send and welcome young volunteers within the framework of international work camps organised by local non-profit organisations’. The main fields are social, education (non-formal education), culture, art and environment. The association organises international workcamps and takes part in Civic Service and European Voluntary Service (SVE). The projects that SVI supports are non-commercial and implemented by local structures like youth centres, cultural centres, environmental organisations, local NGOs, educational centres, youth movements and schools. The SVI wants to differentiate itself from voluntourism companies that, according to the SVI, commercialize solidarity and poverty to generate profits[6]


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