You might have already guessed that INVY stands for International Voluntary Year. The process of sending and receiving volunteersis coordinated by Slezskádiakonie. If you are tempted to participate, you should make some time for INVY, as it takes from 10 to 12 months. The voluntary service usually starts on 1 September and is dedicated to social work and work in diaconal schools. You should be between 17 and 30 years of age and it does not matter to us whether your home is in a country within EU or not (more information upon request).
INVY is designed in a way that you are provided with space for education and personal growth. Volunteers are in contact with coordinators, supervisors, mentors, colleagues employed at the centres, clients, their families and the whole community. By sharing their experience and knowledge, everyone takes part in an informal learning process. Throughout the year, there are seminars and many other formal and informal meetings that focus on what you learned and how you feel.
Practical information in a nutshell:
- volunteers work 6 hours a day and 5 days a week, which makes 30 hours each week
- there are 2 days offeach week
- every month, you can take 2 extra days off
- you get food allowance and pocket money monthly – the sum depends on a particular hosting country
- you might be accommodated in a private room or have a roommate
- travel costs reimbursement (i.e. ticket to the host country and back home, commuting to work, seminars etc.)will be specified and repaid accordingly
- there is a language course designed for you – you get 90 minutes of language lessons each week
- costs that are related to organizing and running INVY are covered by Erasmus+ and partner organizations
Volunteers hosted in the Czech Republic
We had the pleasure to welcome the first international volunteers that said yes to INVY in 2005. Since then, Slezskádiakonie and its partner organizations have hosted 175 volunteers (quite a number!). These young people travelled to the Czech Republic from 17 various countries1.
1Denmark, France, Italy, Israel, Palestine, Hungary, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine, Turkey, Greece and the USA
If you are curious to see what projects you can get involved in, open this link.
When you take part in INVY as a volunteer, you are paired with a supervisor who not only guides you and observes your progress, but also supports you. And then, there is your mentor. A mentor is a friend whose task is to help you enjoy what the host country and community offer when you are not in work.
And we should not forget about a coordinator, who actually plays a key-role in your voluntary service. A coordinator arranges your INVY, organizes seminars and supervisions. A coordinator is ready to support you as well as your supervisor.
Well now, having read through the information, would you like to dive in INVY and come to the Czech Republic? If so, please contact our partner organization in your country.
Or, if you feel like volunteering in one of our partner organizations under EDYN network, contact their coordinator. Here is a list of organizations involved and more information about EDYN.
Czech volunteers abroad
To date, 12 volunteers from the Czech Republic travelled to 9 countries2 in EU to spend their voluntary year there. When Slezskádiakonie “sends” volunteers abroad, it is done via partner organizations in EDYN (www.edyn.org).
2Sweden, Italy, Portugal, Germany, Hungary, Denmark, Belgium, France and Poland.
In a hosting organization, volunteers are supported by their local supervisors, mentors and coordinators. There are seminars held for them and their fellow-volunteers regularly. There might be also other activities or meetings arranged – that depends on the particular host country.
An InterVIA coordinator is in contact with volunteers as well as with the hosting organization.
Before the volunteers hit the road and travel to their host countries, there is a pre-departure seminar organized for them and, when their service is over and they come back home, there is an evaluation seminar arranged.
INVY offers you an opportunity to deepen your knowledge and broaden your horizons. It would be really nice – and helpful – if you shared your experience with others.
To illustrate, there is a video where Klárka, who volunteered in Poland for 9 months, describes what her voluntary service was like.
Are you interested in volunteering abroad?
- Fill in the application form
- Write a motivation letter (15 sentenses explaining WHY you would like to participate)
Do you have any other questions?
- Contact Terezka for consultation