SUPPORTING LOCAL INITIATIVES

SIVO CONNECTING INTERNATIONAL RESIDENTS WITH LOCAL COMMUNITIES

In our work supporting local initiatives, we focus on connecting with local organisations and expanding their capacity of services through voluntary work.

In Central Switzerland, there are already many well-crafted solutions to meet the needs of the community and SIVO takes pride in supporting them. Our projects are diverse and range from organising activities for asylum seekers and refugees with the Canton of Lucerne to volunteering for local festivals and events.

ACTIVITIES WITH ASYLUM SEEKERS

As of February 2016, there were approximately 1950 asylum seekers living in 12 centres in Canton Lucerne. Their situation is uncertain and their days are only somewhat structured. They have little to no social contact with other people in the community.

In March 2016, the government office responsible for asylum seekers and refugees in Canton Lucerne approved SIVO’s proposal to organise a few regular activities in some of the larger temporary shelters. These activities cater for minors who are alone and mothers with young children.

Our activities include:

  • Games nights
  • Zumba classes
  • Baking days (with or without a corporate sponsor)

If you’re interested in helping us carry out this programme, please write to us at asylum-seekers@sivo.ch.

Mentoring for Unaccompanied Minors Seeking Asylum

In autumn 2018, SIVO began supporting the Canton of Lucerne with their mentoring programme for unaccompanied minors seeking asylum (MNAs). MNAs are those who have travelled to Switzerland alone, without parents or other caregivers. These young people seeking protection in Switzerland have special needs due to their age, their level of development, and their vulnerability.

The Canton has developed a programme that matches MNAs with mentors who offer social support outside the government system. Through the mentoring programme, MNAs gain access to companionship, social and professional networks, support in their everyday lives, and important information about life in the community. This is particularly important for refugees and temporarily admitted individuals who are not employed and therefore have little opportunity to make contact with local residents.

The MNAs and their mentors meet once or twice a month over a period of nine months. Ideally, the mentor supports the adolescent in their transition to adulthood and possibly beyond.

Are you interested in supporting the integration of asylum seekers and refugees? Do you speak German at C1 level? If so, please contact Natalie Messerli at nataliemmesserli@gmail.com.

Ad hoc Events

Many organisations or clubs in Central Switzerland rely on volunteers for annual or one-off events. SIVO acts as a bridge, connecting these local organisations with the people interested in helping to make them happen.

If you would like to offer your time and skills on an ad hoc basis, please email us at info@sivo.ch and we will add you to our pool of volunteers interested in one-off events or projects.