SW Voluntary Service
After having accomplished a SW Discovery, a young person willing to obtain the SW Award has to do a period of voluntary service in order to contribute to solving a problem related to the Millennium Development Goals. A SW Voluntary Service is a period of personal commitment to support a community project in the field of environment, development or peace.
A SW Voluntary Service can take two forms:
- Planning and developing a project with a team of friends. Example: a team of Rovers develops a campaign in their university to prevent drug abuse or to prevent HIV/AIDS.
- Working to support an existing project launched by the Scout Movement or another organization. Example: a Rover leads recreational and educational activities for children in a refugee camp managed by the UNHCR.
What criteria should be used to recognise and evaluate a SW Voluntary Service
To be recognized as a real Scouts of the World Voluntary Service, which would count towards the attainment of the SW Award, a voluntary service should respect the following criteria:
- A voluntary action commitment. This implies that the young person made the decision without influence and without receiving any remuneration, except the reimbursement of travel costs and accommodation/food.
- A concrete and individual action. One cannot recognize as a voluntary service the passive accompaniment of a team during a project. An active and responsible contribution is required.
- A minimum duration. The voluntary service should correspond to a period of 2-week full time work (14 days) at least.
- This period can be served in one stretch or in several bursts. For example, working full time for 2 weeks or for 7 full weekends over a period of 2-3 months.
- A real service to the community. The voluntary service should really be a community service, e.g. an action for the benefit of a community. One cannot recognize as a SW Voluntary Service a period of working for private interests, for example being intern in a company.
- Make a difference. The voluntary service should contribute to making a difference in the field of environment, development or peace. It should have a real positive effect for improving the conditions of life of a community or for preventing a threat.
- A training experience. The voluntary service should be an opportunity for developing/implementing personal skills. The evaluation of the voluntary service should show that the young person has acquired a new capacity to serve the community.
How to evaluate the Voluntary Service
The voluntary service will be evaluated on the basis of a detailed report made by the young person him/herself, accompanied by a testimony from those who have benefited from the action (community leaders or NGO leaders).