VSI History & SCI

Voluntary Service International (VSI) is the Irish branch of Service Civil International (SCI), a worldwide peace movement that was founded after the First World War. VSI is a volunteer-based movement, founded in 1965 and headquartered in Dublin. Following several volunteer projects in the early 1960s VSI was founded as Seirbhís Deonach Idirnáisiúnta 

Read an interesting article on the first 4 years of VSI: ‘Sowing the Seeds: 1965 to 1969.'

Spike Milligan planting trees with VSI members at Glencree 1974Spike Milligan planting trees with VSI members at Glencree 1974

   Conrad and Dorothea Leser planting trees at a centre in Waterford 1990

Conrad and Dorothea Leser planting a tree in Waterford during the 25th Anniversary of VSI.


1980 Conrad and Dorothea Leser


  • Early Years of VSI: Read 'the early years of VSI'  reflections by Joanna Leser daughter of the founders Conrad and Dorothea Leser
  • VSI Memories 1960's  - Phelim Boyle relflects on his involvement with VSI during the 1960's. Read more
  • Sowing the Seeds -1965-1969 - read Sinead Walsh's  article here on the first 4 years of VSI.
  • My time in VSI - Colm Dunne reflects on the work of VSI in Benburb St. Dublin in the early 1970's. Read more
  • Give Way to Bikes 1978 Read Rita Dolans account of the VSI Give Way To Bikes initiative of 1978 which sought to improve facilities for cyclists in Dublin city. 
  • Toyzone: A project ahead of its time 1998 - Read Tiziana Soverino's article here




Service Civil International (SCI)

Service Civil International (SCI) is a volunteer organisation dedicated to promoting a culture of peace by organising international voluntary projects for people of all ages and backgrounds. The organisation consists of 42 branches and an ever growing number of partner organisations.

SCI is open to all. It was one of the first organisations to divest itself of all political or religious affiliations in its work of promoting peace and intercultural understanding through practical action. Throughout the years SCI has made a major contribution to the development of the main forms of volunteering. Year after year, the organisation enables thousands of volunteers to participate in community projects.