Training Course: “Inner Peace and Peace with Nature”

13-19 October 2022

Winterthur near Zürich, Switzerland



Service Civil International is the oldest voluntary peace movement in the world. In 2020, we celebrated our 100th anniversary! Our mission is to promote a culture of peace by organising international volunteering projects with local and global impact. We are present in 40 countries on 5 continents, and we cooperate with partners in almost all countries of the world. Read more here:

SCI Switzerland is the Swiss branch of Service Civil International with a long-standing tradition. In fact, the founder of SCI, Pierre Cérésole, was Swiss! Get to know us here:

During its 100 years of existence, SCI has accumulated lots of expertise in peace-building and community work, which has been recognised by a number of institutions, including UNESCO and the Council of Europe. And do you know that SCI was even nominated numerous times for the Nobel Peace Prize?!


With the “Peace for Change, Change for Peace” project, we are ready to share our expertise with you, support you in becoming a changemaker, and gain competences essential for building a peaceful and nonviolent world.

The project will last through 2022 and aims at inspiring you to be and act as a multiplier and messenger of peace, and create a chain of follow-up actions for promoting and living peace on a local, national and international level. It consists of several steps:

Preparation and publishing “My Peace Journal”, a personal diary providing space for reflection, encouraging thinking about peace and acting for peace.

International training course “Peace with Others” in May 2022 in Lenzburg, Switzerland. More about the training you can read at SCI Switzerland website.

International training course “Inner Peace and Peace with Nature” in October 2022 in Winterthur, Switzerland.

Local actions for peace organised by the training participants (June 2022 – January 2023).
Read more about our project here.


Thanks to the financial support of Movetia Swiss National Agency, we are ready to invite 28 participants (2 per country) to join a one-week training course “Inner Peace and Peace with Nature”, during which you will:

▪ deepen your knowledge and understanding of the concept of peace and its different levels (intrapersonal, interpersonal, with nature) with a focus on intrapersonal level – living in peace with myself and living in peace with nature,
▪ dive into and explore specific ways of maintaining inner peace on a daily basis,
▪ learn about, share and experience various practices on living in peace with nature,
▪ learn how to live peace and act for peace through small-scale actions that can be done
even without big resources,
▪ get equipped with various peace-related tools and methods you can later use in your work
and everyday life,
▪ be offered space for the safe exchange of good practices, of inspiration, of sharing
resources and ideas,
▪ plan a follow-up action to take place in your local community upon the course completion.

All in all, we offer you not only an excellent learning opportunity that will support you to increase the quality of the work you and your organisation are doing in connection to peace, but also a unique networking experience with fellow-minded people from across Europe and the Middle East.

We believe that the training course will increase your peace-related knowledge, and selfconfidence, make your daily life and work more efficient related to the topic of peace, and help you have a greater impact on your surrounding community and environment!


The project is intended for the following types of participants:

  • activists, enthusiasts, volunteers willing to learn more about inner peace and peace with nature and apply it in their actions,
  • youth workers with a strong interest in the topic of peace and its appliance in their work with young people,
  • trainers, facilitators, educators on the topic of peace and peacebuilding.

We invite participants both with (some) experience of working in the youth field, and those who are also
newcomers, activists, and enthusiasts. What is the most important for us is your willingness to become
actors of change – multipliers in your local communities, and persons promoting and willing to live peace in your everyday routine (on a personal and professional level).
All participants are expected to commit and actively participate in the preparation, implementation, and follow-up of the training as well as to participate for the whole duration of the event.

There are a few formal requirements you need to satisfy to join the training course:

  1. You need to be a resident of one of the following countries: Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Hungary, Jordan, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Poland, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland.
  2. You should be able to communicate in English.
  3. You must be a minimum of 18 years of age.
  4. You need to attend the whole course duration (there is no possibility to make exceptions).
  5. You commit yourself to organise a follow-up action for peace in your local community/country upon the course completion (these can be e.g. a workshop on peace, street action, online campaign, presentation, screening, peace caravan, discussion, workcamp, etc.)

We explicitly encourage participants of all genders, sexual orientations, abilities, and ethnic backgrounds to apply! We are very open to persons with fewer opportunities (facing social, economical, or cultural challenges and obstacles) who would like to take a more active role in your organisations!


The training course will last 7 days. Arrival at the training venue is foreseen on Thursday, 13th
October 2022 before 2 p.m
. Departure is on Wednesday, 19th October 2022, after breakfast.


The training course will take place in Winterthur near Zürich. Winterthur is a town with a population of 110,000, yet with a long history reaching back to Roman times. It can be conveniently reached from Zürich airport by public transport, and the trip takes only 30 minutes.

Our venue will be the scouts centre Pfadiheim Breite at Breiteholzstrasse 2 in the city of Winterthur. Winterthur is really close to Zürich, the biggest city in Switzerland. The house is fully equipped for the needs of the training.

The living conditions will be simple, more of a workcamp style!

You will share a room with a few other participants in a dormitory. You will sleep on mattresses (with most of the beds accessed by a ladder) and you need to bring your own sleeping bag, sheet and pillowcase.

But changemakers don’t sleep in 4-star hotels, do they? 😉

Still, prepare to have limited privacy during these 6 days and do not apply if you feel uneasy about this simplicity of living.

During the course, you will be provided will 3 meals per day and 2 coffee breaks, thanks to the SCI Switzerland cooking team.


Sustainable food: The food we provide will be vegan, with a delicious and balanced menu. This is not just a practical decision, but also an ideological one: SCI believes in the values of sustainability and climate justice – and if we want to contribute to a more peaceful planet, we need to give up on animal agriculture and its destructive effects on our planet.
Sustainable travels: We encourage you to use environmentally friendly transport (bus, train, car sharing) when possible.


This project is financially supported by Movetia. Movetia promotes exchange, mobility and cooperation within the fields of education, training and youth work – in Switzerland, Europe and worldwide. Thanks to Movetia, we will cover 100% of your food, accommodation, and visa costs, as well as all organisational costs (training materials, etc.).

Reimbursement of the travel tickets will be 100% up to the maximum amount after receiving the original documents.
Maximum travel reimbursement amounts: 50 CHF for participants from Switzerland and 400 CHF (around 410 EUR) for participants from abroad.

NB. We run this project in a partnership between SCI Switzerland, PVN Albania, SCI Austria, SCI Belgium, CVS Bulgaria, SCI Catalunya, SCI France, SCI Germany, Utilapu Hungary, SSD Jordan, GAIA Kosovo, CID North Macedonia, SCI Poland, and VCV Serbia. Some partners may ask for a small sending fee to cover their placement costs. Please check with the relevant organisation.

Even though this is not a “getting to know Switzerland” project, you can still decide to stay in Switzerland a few days before or after at your private expense, as long as the travel cost to Switzerland is not higher than the cost which you would bear if coming only for course duration.

  • otherwise you will be asked to cover the difference in the ticket price.


Our working methods used will base on the principles of adult learning, creating a stress-free and motivating environment where the human brain has a full capacity to learn. You will often work in smaller groups in order to achieve the best results. All the methods will encourage active participation, creativity, initiative, and responsibility for one’s own learning process.


We are happy to announce that the training course will be facilitated by 2 experienced trainers, founding members of the SCI Pool of Trainers and Facilitators, and – at the same time – peace practitioners: Natalie Jivkova and Gośka Tur and special guest trainers – Loretta Scherler and Sandra Spiess, experts on Shinrin Yoku (Forest Bathing).

Natalie Jivkova, Bulgaria
Inspired by and passionate about non-formal learning, Natalie supports the learning processes and personal development of youngsters and adults. She is continuously learning how to bring and practice peace at all levels. She has been involved in SCI on a local and international level since 2002 and has co-developed the Peace ducation in Practice online learning course.

Gośka Tur, Poland
Gośka is a sociologist, trainer and educator, certified member of the Polish Association of NGO Trainers and owner of Pracownia Interakcji training company. She has been active in the training field for over 20 years and led
numerous national and international training courses on peace issues, including NVC training, as well as courses for educators. Between 2015 and 2020, Gośka was the International President of SCI.

Natalie and Gośka are proud mothers of the Peace in Practice project and co-creators of the SCI Peace Cards.

Loretta Scherler, Switzerland
Loretta holds a M.A. in Social Anthropology, is dedicated to intercultural exchange and communication, as well as intercultural learning. In June 2022, Loretta finished her education as a certified Shinrin Yoku Health Trainer. Shinrin Yoku (forest bathing) comes from Japan and literally means “bathing in the atmosphere of the forest” – it is a practice based on mindfulness exercises in nature and it promotes relaxation and health for the mind and body.

Sandra Spiess, Switzerland
Through her work and training as a pharmacist, Sandra holds a lot of knowledge in the field of naturopathy and herbal medicine. Sandra also works as a Polarity therapist, with which she has found an instrument to address the body and soul of a person in a much more profound and holistic way. Part of her work and philosophy is to offer the people who come to her a safe space for development so that healing can happen from within.

Together with Loretta, Sandra finished her education as a certified Shinrin Yoku health trainer in June 2022 and is very motivated to organize the first courses with small groups and to dive into the forest with a wide range of people.


If you find yourself a suitable candidate for the course, please fill in the application form at by 26.08.2022, 23:59 CEST.

You will be notified of the selection results at the latest by 7.09.2022.
All those accepted will receive a detailed infosheet (incl. info on how to get to the venue, how to book your travels, and more info about the agenda of the project). If some places remain available after 26.08.2022, we will continue accepting applications until the free slots get filled in.


If you have any questions regarding the project and your application, don’t hesitate to contact us

We are looking forward to your application! See you hopefully in Winterthur! 🙂

The coordinating team
Natalie, Gośka and SCI Switzerland

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