As an international volunteer, you can take part to one of our local projects ! Every year, our association hosts volunteers on short and long-term projects in Belgium and France. If no specific qualification or language is requested (but revising your English may be useful, as it is the language used on international workcamps …), a real motivation for the chosen project is required.
The success of your stay mainly depends on your involvement in the project !
Choose a project
The project is chosen according to the volunteer’s interests and motivations, but also to his budget, his language level as well as his dates of availability. The first step of the process is to visit our database in order to discover the workcamps and long-term projects that SVI offers in Belgium and France.
When choosing a short or long term international workcamp, you must consider many human factors. Volunteers who misjudge their real motivations, idealize international volunteering, underestimate the difficulties or overestimate their own adaptation capacities are likely to come back home disappointed or prematurely. As it is very important to choose a project as adapted to your likes and abilities as possible, please feel free to contact us. We are not a commercial company, we are not here to sell you anything. We will do our best to help and advise you, by providing you with testimonies from former international volunteers and as much information as we can so that you can choose the best project.
Your motivation is the most important selection criterion to participate to a project !
Find a sending organization
To participate in one of our local projects, you will have to find a sending organization in your home country. This organization will guide and support you with all the administrative procedures that you will have to go through to get a visa for Belgium or France. It will also help you prepare your experience and advise you during all the process.
If you don’t know any sending organization in your home country, don’t hesitate to contact us. We will try and do our best to find and put you in contact with a partner organization that is able to send volunteers.
There are no membership fees for the volunteers that are members of a partner organization.
Most of our projects are completely free of charge. However, please note that participation fees are asked by the hosting organization for some of our project.
Once you have chosen your project and found a sending organization, the application process can begin !
First, you have to fill an application form, that is generally provided by your sending organization or by us. In this document, you have to write about your motivations for the project and your profile. Once again, this is a very important step as your motivation is one of the main criteria.
Once we receive your application form, we will organize a Skype meeting between you, your SVI coordinator and the hosting organization. This meeting will allow the hosting organization to get to know you and to decide if your profile and motivations correspond to the project. It is an opportunity for you to develop your motivations, as well as to get the answers to the questions you may have about the project.
Confirmation form and volunteering agreement
As soon as the hosting organization confirms your participation to the project, we will send you a confirmation mail that explains the further procedure. You will find various documents attached to this mail in order to complete administrative formalities before you leave:
- A confirmation form that you have to fill out and to send back as soon as you have booked your transportation. This document aims at informing the hosting organization about your arrival details. Your participation in the project is not validated as long as we have not received this document.
- A volunteering agreement that you have to read, sign and send back as soon as possible.
- Infosheets that will help you pack your bags and know more about the country you will land in.
In case you need a visa in order to come to Belgium or France, we will help you go through the administrative procedures with the embassy of Belgium in your home country, along with your sending organization. SVI can provide you with documents that will strengthen your visa application, like an invitation letter for example. Please feel free to ask if you need anything from us that could facilitate the obtention of your visa !
Please note that it often takes at least several weeks to obtain a visa.
You should take this time into consideration when applying to a project !
We will also provide you with an infosheet written by the hosting organization. In this document, you will find all the practical information you will need in order to prepare your arrival on the project. It also contains emergency numbers as well as information about the details of your arrival upon the project. You have to read it very carefully to be fully prepared for your volunteering experience.
If you haven’t received your infosheet two weeks before the beginning of the project, please contact us !
Ideally, your application form should be sent at least two months before your arrival. This way you will have enough time to get your visa and fully prepare your project.
The application form and confirmation form should be sent by mail (in PDF format or scanned) to : firstname.lastname@example.org
Do not book your flights before receiving a confirmation mail from us, which confirms that you are accepted on the project.