SCI Virtual Museum

discover the history of SCI through objects

Section 1

SCI as a pioneering peace organisation

In its one hundred years of history, SCI always had to adapt to new circumstances and develop anew. The advantage of this was that the founder of SCI, Pierre Ceresole, did not see it as a dogmatic and moral institution, but as a method of peacebuilding.
The joint practical work that crosses political, religious, and social boundaries has been and continues to be recognised as peacebuilding. Using this method repeatedly remains important. Throughout the history of SCI, new fields of activity have emerged, such as reconstruction, social work, and commitment to environmental protection.

This section shows some examples of SCI’s wide range of work as a pioneering peace organisation.

Section 2

SCI in different parts of the world

SCI’s activities started in Western Europe: France, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, soon also Great Britain. The volunteers were of European origin. After the Second World War, SCI started to spread across Western Europe, including the formerly fascist countries such as Germany, Austria, and Italy. And soon afterwards, activities, groups and branches were set up in a few Asian countries, from the Indian subcontinent to Japan and Malaysia. Volunteer exchange with partner organisations was also an important pillar of SCI’s geographical expansion – in communist Eastern Europe as well as on the African continent. After the end of the cold war, SCI spread in Eastern Europe, and a few rare new branches were built up in Africa, Latin America and Asia.

The objects in this section are showing the geographical expansion of SCI as a worldwide movement.

Section 3

SCI within society

Even though SCI has remained faithful to the pacifist and pragmatic ideas of its founders, the movement has developed and changed throughout its one hundred years of existence, along with society. The relationship between “words” and “deeds”, the gender roles, and the topics of workcamps have changed profoundly during the decades.

This section shows a few examples of how SCI’s attitude towards societal trends it has been exposed to.