One year of war and no end in sight

We strongly condemn the full-scale military invasion of Ukraine by Russia. We express our solidarity with the people of Ukraine. In particular, we express our solidarity with and support for peace movements and peace activists in Ukraine, Russia and internationally, as they resist the war. We join in the statement shared by SCI, our umbrella organization.

One year of war and no end in sight

Tomorrow marks a very distressing anniversary: one year since the full-scale military aggression against Ukraine by Russia.

We want to reiterate our message in support of peace, standing in solidarity with the people of Ukraine as well as peace movements and peace activists in all countries involved, especially in Russia, and all over the world.

Once again we call upon the Russian government to immediately stop this aggression and commit to a genuine peace process and a process of accountability.

We call upon the international community and all parties involved, including the Russian and Ukrainian states, to turn to diplomacy as a means to solve conflict and abide by international law.

Finally, we reject the war and militaristic narrative that is now prevalent in the media and institutions, and we ask for protection of conscientious objectors from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.

Peace is a choice that all parties in the conflict must commit to now!

Diplomacy is the only real method for conflict resolution!

No to war in Ukraine, no to war anywhere!

As we feared a year ago, this war brought immense suffering to thousands of people: in the conflict territories, civilians were killed, injured or forcibly displaced, people were tortured and made to disappear, peace activists and lawyers suffered attacks, human rights – such as the right to freedom of expression and the right to conscientious objection – were corroded, civilian infrastructure was severely damaged. Globally, the war brought food insecurity for communities who were already suffering poverty and hunger, an energy and economic crisis that harshly strikes the most vulnerable, militarisation and diversion of funds from social investments and services, an intensification of the nuclear threat and a deterioration of mental health. These are only a few examples of the consequences of war. And the one in Ukraine is only one example of war, as we cannot forget that it is but one of many.

This year has shown us that building a culture of peace, working on peace education, implementing peace actions and focusing on advocacy for peace is more urgent and relevant than ever. Peace cannot be taken for granted and it must be fostered every day with our words and actions, that is, working on our inner selves, nurturing positive relationships with others, engaging in society to build communities that respect human rights and support the most vulnerable, and taking care of our natural environment and our impact on the climate.

We invite people within our network and all over the world to stand up against the war in Ukraine.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. – Martin Luther King.

We encourage you to join your local peace protest or activity in the coming days, or to organise one yourself.

Service Civil International is an international peace organisation active since 1920. We are dedicated to promoting a culture of peace by organising international voluntary projects for people of all ages and backgrounds. The organisation consists of 40 branches and more than 90 partner organisations. We oppose all forms of armed conflict and militarisation. Since its beginnings, SCI has developed peaceful dialogue between people of all nations, with the vision of a world without armed conflict, hostility and with positive peace. For many years, we have been supporting peace and reconciliation efforts in Ukraine and Russia.

KVT’s annual Spring meeting on Tue 18th April at Peace Station

Kansainvälinen vapaaehtoistyö ry will have the annual Spring meeting on Tuesday 18th of April at 5:30pm at Peace Station (Veturitori 3) in Helsinki.

The Spring meeting will cover issues according to our rules, such as annual report and financial statement of 2022. The annual meeting is open to all, but only members of KVT can vote. Please make sure you are a member before the meeting. Invitations will be sent to members directly, so if you have any doubts, make sure your contact details are updated too.

Join the KVT Volunteer Weekend on October 1st!

Join us to enjoy the volunteering spirit and get to know other volunteers! All previous KVT volunteers and everyone who wants to get to know KVT and our activities are welcome to participate. The Volunteer Weekend will be organized in Pasila, Helsinki at the Peace Station (Veturitori 3).

PROGRAM: We will start the day on Saturday at noon and continue until about 5:30 pm. The first part of the day (12–3 pm) is reserved for people who have volunteered through KVT (volunteers at camps, long term volunteers, camp leaders and camp hosts etc). You’ll get to share your experience and participate in feedback workshops. From 3 pm onwards we’ll have an open doors event to which all previous volunteers and anyone interested in KVT are welcome to join! We will share information about KVT’s activities, you’ll meet others engaged in or interested in KVT and we will present our Green Diversity? project on climate justice. After the official programme, everyone interested can stay for a sauna evening. KVT will offer lunch for those participating in the first session of the day.

SIGN UP: We ask all participants (also those coming for the open doors event) to sign up beforehand in order to help us plan the details of the day. Signups are open until Wednesday September 28. You can sign up through this link: 

You are warmly welcome!

KVT’s board

Summer picnic Wed 24.8. at 5-8pm in Helsinki

Come start the fall season and KVT’s 75th birthday celebrations with a summer picnic. At the picnic you can meet both KVT board members and other volunteers. You can also bring a friend along to meet us.

Place: Rauhanasema (Veturitori 3), close to Pasila railway station in Helsinki

This picnic will be organized as an international potluck gathering, but we offer coffee, tea and some small sweets. Please bring something with you, or just drop by for a coffee. You can also bring a music instrument, a game or photos your volunteer experiences. Let’s have a fun and relaxed picnic together!

Open doors at KVT on Thu June 2nd

Come meet us and the world of international volunteering! You can ask us about volunteering options, exchange stories or just pop in to say hi.

How wonderful would it be to meet new and old volunteers now that the world starts to open again! KVT starts having open doors again after a long while. Come to our office on Thursday June 2nd at 4-6 pm. Come as you are: we will offer coffee and tea and good talks.

If you are a new volunteer you can learn about different ways to participate and hear stories from others. If you have participated with KVT before, you can share your memories with us. You can come to the office at any point during the open doors time. Our office is located in the yellow wooden building Peace Station in Pasila, Helsinki. Street address is Veturitori 3. Come to the entrance at the side of the building closest to Pasila station, ring buzzer that says KVT and then come up the stairs to the second floor. Looking forward to seeing you all!

Update: Volunteer exchange possible with restrictions

KVT Finland board has in its meeting on 22nd September discussed the COVID-19 situation and its effects on KVT’s projects. As the travel restrictions have eased we can now open volunteer exchange with some restrictions.

At this moment it is possible to participate in short-term projects (i.e. international voluntary workcamps) abroad in Eu/Schengen countries as well as in countries also outside the EU where border traffic has returned to normal. These countries will change according to the Finnish Government instructions. Volunteers must check and comply with the travel regulations of each country. 

Long-term volunteer exchange will be opened with restrictions starting from September. It is possible to go when the volunteer has received both doses of COVID-19 vaccine and the project and country in question are able to receive volunteers. Full vaccination is important because in many countries and regions the healthcare system is already burdened and accessing services is limited. We don’t want to put any unnecessary burden on healthcare.

The board and working groups are still planning activities that could be done safely online. We will give more information on these events on our website and in our social media channels. We will also share initiatives from our partner organisations in Finland and abroad to which you can participate online.

We still follow the pandemic closely both in Finland and elsewhere in the world and we review the situation monthly in board meetings. We also take part in regular discussions within our international network Service Civil International (SCI). We will continue to publish all future decisions on our website and in our social media channels. SCI also has a website where they give information on all common decisions and practices the network makes.

The leading principle in KVT’s actions is responsibility and in this situation we still cannot responsibly promote international mobility everywhere in the world. We still want to promote and build peace in ways and in the areas and where it is possible both in Finland and abroad and offer meaningful projects to our volunteers in the safest way possible.

If you have any questions on KVT activities or decisions, please contact KVT office ().