SIVO the bridge

The Swiss International Volunteer Organisation (SIVO) is a non-profit organisation based in Lucerne, Switzerland. Founded in January 2016, our mission is to support the integration of international residents through volunteer work.

SIVO acts as a bridge, connecting international residents with local people and organisations. We provide opportunities to make a positive contribution to the community and to acquire new social, professional, and German language skills.

None of this work would be possible without our dedicated team of strategic volunteers. Find out more about the SIVO team here.


One of our earliest achievements was the creation of a bilingual guide (English and German) to volunteering in Lucerne.

During a meeting with representatives from the local government, church, NPOs, and international residents in 2016, we uncovered a need for a comprehensive explanation of volunteering opportunities, relevant organisations, and regulations in Central Switzerland.

In response, we created the SIVO Guide to Volunteering in Lucerne, available here. This was the first bilingual source of information about volunteering in Central Switzerland and is periodically updated by members of our team.

SIVO programmes

Since 2016, we have developed a number of programmes to help international residents integrate, improve their chances of finding a job, and make a positive difference to their local community.

In 2016–2017 we piloted our strategic volunteering programme, which offers a stepping stone to paid employment in Switzerland. Soon after, we added our corporate volunteering programme and a mentoring programme for experienced international professionals.

Supporting local initiatives

As well as our own SIVO programmes, we are pleased to support many local initiatives in Central Switzerland, acting as a bridge to connect companies, NPOs, and members of the community.

In 2016, we began collaborating with the local government and some of the larger temporary shelters to organise regular activities for asylum seekers. In autumn 2018, we extended our reach to unaccompanied minors seeking asylum by supporting the Canton of Lucerne with their specialised mentoring programme.

We are also continually increasing our collaborations with local event organisers, who require ad hoc support from volunteers to make things happen. Find out more about this here.

OUR team

None of this work would be possible without our dedicated team of strategic volunteers. Find out more about the SIVO team here.