Strategic Volunteering Is a Win-Win

Melissa Wuillemin took part in SIVO’s Strategic Volunteering Programme in 2018. She supported the launch of the new website of Luzern Tourismus by creating and adapting content in English and German. Learn more about her experience as a strategic volunteer in this short interview.

How did you hear about SIVO’s programme?

I learned about SIVO`s programme through my volunteering at Living in Luzern, or the LiLi Centre, many years ago when I got to know Evelin Bermudez. Ever since I have always had the organization in the back of my mind. This past year, I found myself switching jobs and after having participated in a CV Workshop this past summer at the LiLi Centre where I met Evelin again, I was presented with the idea to apply for the programme. It was perfect timing.

Why did you decide to apply for it?

I decided to apply because I thought it would be the perfect way to close the gap on my resume, network and gain new skills. A win-win situation for everyone. 

What options were you offered?

I was given the opportunity for a specific volunteer position that was just opening up for the first time between SIVO and Luzern Tourismus. This position was to work on their new website before the launch. They needed help with English text translations and corrections from German. As a native English speaker and with a background in tourism, it could not have been a better match for me. It only lasted for one and a half months until GoLive, but during that time I learned new basic skills in website development of their particular programme. I was also able to utilize my German knowledge and native English skills with translation work. I was able to gain a small insight into Luzern Tourismus as a business which was most fascinating, and network with many people in the office. 

What is your key take-away from your strategic volunteering experience? 

Despite the short duration of my strategic volunteering, I learned that such positions are wonderful opportunities to grow both professionally and personally. I am very happy with my decision to participate.

Any advice for others who will participate in the programme?

I would advise someone to apply even if they do not have an idea of what kind of work or what company they would like to work for. Sometimes the perfect position opens up like it did for me – just at the right time. 

About SIVO’s Strategic Volunteering Programme 
In 2016, Swiss International Volunteer Organisation (SIVO) introduced the concept of strategic volunteering in Lucerne region, and it is rapidly spreading. Focused on quality, we run a yearly programme where we place international residents into strategic volunteering positions. If you are interested in participating either as an organisation or as an individual in need of advice on how to best set up your volunteering opportunity, contact us at

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