IVS Canada and SCI (Service Civil International)
IVS Canada in partnership with Service Civil International works to develop community projects that enable individuals to discover their own strengths and potential through volunteerism involving Canadian and international participants. Through these projects, the volunteers' exposure to diverse peoples and cultures will introduce them to the possibility of peace through deeds, as well as give them exposure to cultural diversity and the tools for tolerance. The projects are developed in cooperation with local community groups as well as other local, national and international organizations. They aim to foster understanding of people of different social, cultural, political or religious backgrounds by working, learning and living together.
Work projects such as the ones we offer have been in existence for over 80 years bringing diverse people and cultures together to experience life in different communities. In English-speaking Canada , the concept of promoting peace through short-term, non-denominational work projects or “camps”, drawn from international groups, remained virtually unknown.
In 2001, Ottawa resident and avid workcamp volunteer, Shirley de Souza, along with support from SCI USA developed and incorporated International Volunteer Service Canada (IVS Canada) in order to continue giving Canadians as well as the international community the opportunity to participate in volunteer workcamps and to see the seeds of change worldwide. IVS Canada was accepted as the Canadian branch office within the Service Civil International network, allowing easy exchanges between Canadian volunteers and those from overseas. IVS Canada is a federally incorporated non-profit organization run soley by volunteers with no salaried or paid workers.
Previous Camps in Canada
Prince Edward and Hastings Counties, Ontario – IVS Canada hosted a group of international volunteers in celebration of the United Nations' International Year of Volunteers. The small group ranged in age from 18 - 57, and consisted of volunteers from Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States and Russia . The group lived and worked together for nine days and visited three homes for the aged: Hastings Manor, Belleville , Centennial Manor, Bancroft, and McFarland Home, Picton, spending time with the residents and performing some gardening in rose gardens and a pumpkin patch.
Merritt, British Columbia – The Interior Salish Indians of the Lower Nicola Valley of British Columbia hosted two 14 day camps involving 24 volunteers from around the globe. Volunteers worked and lived among the native communities participating in traditional working and cultural lifestyles (attending pow-wows and local native dances), including salmon fishing in the Fraser River Valley and food and berry gathering for distribution to the elderly.
Flores Island, British Columbia – The Ahousaht native community hosted 20 volunteers during two 14 days camps. Volunteers worked to help build the Youth Cultural Centre, clearing of the environment and learning the traditional ways of life including boat building. Volunteers on this project stayed with local families during their stay further enhancing their cultural experiences of the First Nations.
Vancouver, British Columbia - The World Peace Forum hosted 8 international volunteers who participated in various peace oriented discussions as well as helped set up for the week's events in Vancouver, BC. Volunteers stayed with local families further enhancing their Canadian experience.
JOINT CAMPS - IVS CANADA AND SCI USA
In 2014, IVS Canada partnered with SCI USA and Kimochi to host Canadian, US and International volunteers for various projects on Native American Reservations. In previous years Native American workcamps in New Mexico and Arizona were designed to help the elderly and/or other individuals who need physical help on ranches, farms, in homes, and with community projects. Our efforts were to help individuals in their survival as individuals within a community.
In 2015, IVS Canada is proud to continue our ongoing tradition of partnering with SCI USA and Kimochi with several summer projects to include a Navajo Reservation project in Huerferno, New Mexico, a Sundance camp on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota, and the Fasthourse camp on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota