What is a workcamp?

photo of volunteers

Have you ever considered the possibility to combine your travels with specific volunteer work, such as:

  • to work in a shelter for wolves in the U.S.?
  • to organize activities for refugees in Kenya?
  • to plant trees in Iceland?
  • to build a classroom in Mexico while learning Spanish?
  • to feel life in an eco center in Bulgaria?

If the answer is yes, then volunteer camps are just the thing you’re looking for!

The camps are short-term projects lasting two weeks up to a month which gather volunteers from different countries in order to work on a public well being project in response to the needs of the local community. The topics of camps are various such as ecology, culture and history, working with children and adults, archaeology, etc. The groups usually consist of 6 up to 20 volunteers as often there are representatives of two or more continents. Projects run all year around, but the peak time is April – September. The core idea of ??such project is to bring together people from different parts of the world who share similar beliefs and who is willing to contribute to creating something significant for them and for society. These camps are very inspiring for the volunteers because they are evidence that we are not on our own and that together we can achieve more. There we gain experience of communication in a multicultural environment and imperceptibly change ourselves and the world around us.

Apply online now! Register in the Online Placement System and fill in your application form!

 

Questions About Workcamps

What is the purpose of voluntary camp of SCI?

As a branch of SCI peace network (Service Civil International), CVS – Bulgaria organizes and participates in volunteer projects in order to help creating a world of understanding and peace. SCI has organized its first volunteer camp immediately after the First World War. Back in 1920 international volunteers, including some from France and Germany, have gathered in order to assist to the recovery of war-ruined village of Verdun. The idea of ??camps, organized by SCI, is that living and working together with people of different backgrounds helps volunteers to break down barriers and prejudices. It allows them to experience a world of mutual respect and understanding. In this sense, volunteering can be seen as a way of life – a demonstration of the possible reality of a peaceful and cooperative world.

Who is eligible to participate?

Anyone over 18 years of age is eligible to participate in a camp outside the country, and those who are  16 have the opportunity to participate in camps in their own country. As long as you speak English or the working language of the camp at decent level, to be motivated to volunteer and to be willing to do something new and interesting, the volunteering camp is the right place for you!

Where are the camps?

Camps are held in over 80 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, Latin America and the Mediterranean within the SCI network.

Which costs are covered by the host organization?

The organizers of the project fully cover all expenditures on food and accommodation of the volunteers. All materials and tools necessary for performing the work are also provided.

Specific conditions for participation in the environmental camps

eco friendly travel, environmental conditions during the camp – vegetarian food, compost toilet, etc.

Leisure time

During the camp volunteers are entitled to two free days a week – ie if the camp lasts two weeks, the volunteers are entitled to a total of 4 days off. It is believed that the days of arrival and departure are free days for volunteers since there is no job to be done. Saturday and Sunday are not necessarily free days. The volunteers decide themselves how to spend their free time as they cover the costs of optional excursions and other activities, unless there is a special funding allocated for this. At the beginning of camp the group decided which days are free and plans how to spend them.

What kind of training will I receive?

Each camp has an educational or an information part (so called study part), which aims at informing the  participants on certain topic or issue related to the particular camp. It can be organized in the form of an evening lecture or workshop combined with work or leisure travel. The aim is volunteers to learn something useful related to the activities of the hosting organization or the specific project, to get acquainted with a significant social problem or good practice.

What types of camps are there?

Within the SCI besides selected by the topic, volunteers can choose projects on the following criteria:

-Mixed Age Camps – If you are over 30 and willing to participate in camp with volunteers from the same age group, there are the so called mixed camps, where 30% to 50% of volunteers are over 30;

-Wheelchair Accessible – camps that are available for volunteers in wheelchairs, according to the conditions of work and accommodation;

-Peace Voluntary Project – camps that focus on the peace;
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- Family Camps – camps where all members of a family can take part in including children

Nord-South Projects – generally these are voluntary camps involving volunteers from northern and southern hemisphere.

Which costs are covered by the volunteer

  • travel expenses to and back from the workcamp venue
  • costs for leisure activities and any additional excursions
  • visa costs, if it is needed; CVS – Bulgaria and the hosting organization support the volunteer in the process
  • administration fee, paid when applying for the workcamp

The administartion fee is 80 BGN, which is paid by bank transfer or e-pay. The fee for a second workcamp is 70 BGN and for every other – 60 BGN.

The fee for participating in a workcamp on the Balkans (Albania, Kosovo, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Turkey, Greece, Slovenia, Montenegro and Macedonia) is 60 BGN.

For North – South exchange (workcamps in the region of South-East Asia, Sub-Sahara Africa and South America) there is an additional fee of 30 EUR paid by the volunteer. The volunteer contribution aims at supporting the solidarity and cooperation between the North and the South.

The fee for participating in a workcamp in Bulgaria is 20 BGN