founderService Civil International (SCI) is an International non-governmental voluntary service organisation and peace movement with 43 branches and groups worldwide. The organisation was founded in 1920 by Swiss engineer Pierre Cérésole. It is also known as International Voluntary Service.

SCI believes that all people are capable of living together with mutual respect and without recourse to any form of violence to solve conflicts. It organises international volunteer projects all over the world because it believes that peace can only be built if people with different backgrounds and cultures learn to co-operate and work together.


Pierre Ceresole meeting DrRajendra Prasad in Bihar

Pierre Ceresole meeting DrRajendra Prasad in Bihar

In 1934 when a team of European volunteers along with Pierre Cerosole undertook reconstruction work after the earthquake in Bihar.SCI first came to India at the request of Dr. Rajendra Prasad a social worker who later became the First President of India

Since that time SCI India organizes many voluntary work camps and other actions with state branches/ groups in seminars to get people involved, trained, motivated and orientated in social action and voluntary work. It takes a lead in activities and issues related to forestry, environment, refugees, peace, communal harmony, disabled and women’s issues.

SCI today

Nowadays SCI consists of 45 members (branches) and an ever bigger and growing number of partner organizations in all continents. Short and long term voluntary projects take place worldwide and application processes have been modernized.

SCI states to base its work on the following values:

  • Volunteering – in the sense of acting out of self-initiative, without seeking material reward and for the benefit of civil society, as a method and a statement for social change, whilst never competing with paid labour nor seeking to contribute to strike-breaking.
  • Non-violence – as a principle and a method
  • Human Rights – respect for individuals as stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • Solidarity – international solidarity for a more just world and solidarity between human beings at all levels
  • Respect for the Environment – and the ecosystem of which we are a part and upon which we are dependent
  • Inclusion – to be open and inclusive to all individuals who share the aims and objectives of the movement, without regard to gender, race, colour, religion, nationality, social status or political views and any other possible grounds for discrimination.
  • Empowerment – empowering people to understand and act to transform the social, cultural and economic structures that affect their lives at all levels.
  • Co-operation – with local communities as well as other local, national and international actors to strengthen the positive potential within civil society as a whole.