Spike Milligan planting trees with VSI members at Glencree 1974Voluntary Service International is the Irish branch of Service Civil International, a worldwide peace movement started in 1920 in the aftermath of the First World War. Voluntary Service International was founded in 1965 after several projects in the late '50s. Since then VSI has undertaken a wide variety of voluntary and community work throughout Ireland and has sent volunteers to many projects in over 60 countries worldwide.
VSI is a membership organisation and all of our current programmes - International Volunteer Projects Programme, the Africa Asia Latin America Programme, the Teenage Programme, the Long Term Volunteering Programme and the Dublin Local Group Programme - are run by working groups made up of volunteers, supported by the VSI staff team. Our Annual General Meeting (usually held in November) elects a National Committee from the membership to oversee the work of the organisation from year to year. If you would like to become a member of VSI go to our membership page.
If you prefer to hear (rather than read) our story, here is a short video describing VSI's work.
VSI is a registered charity: CHY 9220. VSI is registered as a limited company, no. 140520, having no share capital.
- OUR VISION is a world of peace, social justice and sustainable development, where all people live together with mutual respect.
- OUR MISSION is to promote peace, social justice, sustainable development and intercultural understanding through volunteering in Ireland and internationally.
- OUR VALUES - We base all our work on the following values:
Volunteering - in the sense of acting out of self-initiative, without seeking material reward and for the benefit of civil society, as a method and a statement for social change, whilst never competing with paid labour nor seeking to contribute to strike-breaking
Non-violence - as a principle and a method
Human Rights - respect for individuals as stated in the universal declaration of Human Rights
Solidarity - international solidarity for a more just world and solidarity between human beings at all levels
Respect for the Environment - and the ecosystem of which we are a part and upon which we are dependent
Inclusion - to be open and inclusive to all individuals who share the aims and objectives of the movement, without regard to gender, race, colour, religion, nationality, social status, sexual orientation and ability
Empowerment - empowering people to understand and act to transform the social, cultural and economic structures that affect their lives at all levels
Co-operation - with local communities as well as other local, national and international actors to strengthen the positive potential within civil society as a whole
VSI employs 5 full-time and 1 part-time staff (see list below), including two European Voluntary Service volunteers helping with our International Volunteer Projects programme and its promotion.
- CEO - Helen Walmsley
- Volunteer Programme Coordinator - Mateja Jakšić
- International Volunteer Projects (EVS Volunteer) -
- Youth Worker - Jason Dillon
- Marketing & Communications Officer (EVS Volunteer) - Cati Ana Moragues
- Administrator - Carol Lynch
VSI acknowledge the funding support of the National Development Plan through the Minister of Children and Youth Affairs (via the National Lottery).
VSI acknowledge the funding support of Irish Aid towards the Africa Asia Latin America Programme.
VSI acknowledge the funding support of the EU Youth in Action Programmes via Leargas.
VSI is a signatory to the Dóchas Code of Conduct on Images and Messages
As a signatory to the Code of Conduct and Images we strive to ensure that our choices of images and messages will -
- Respect for the dignity of the people concerned;
- Belief in the equality of all people;
- Acceptance of the need to promote fairness, solidarity and justice.
If you wish to make a compaint about a message or image we used on our public media, please write in confidence to the team at VSI.