Volunteering in Geneva

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Volunteering is the act of helping people or assisting organisations for no financial or social gain.

Like other cities, Geneva has a strong culture of people giving their time to help others.

Yet there is something unique about Geneva that gives the city a strong history of social service that is hard to pinpoint, but the inclination is certainly boosted by the city’s long history of hosting neutral organisations that assist people in trouble and the many NGOs based here. The city is seen as a beacon of neutrality, relief, and cooperation, and the residents mirror that to a large extent.

Areas to Get Involved

Sport – Outside of helping with events such as the Course de L’Escalade or the Davis Cup, there are many government sporting associations who are looking for volunteers. Of great value is the fact that the Service des sports de la Ville de Geneve provides training for the volunteers in fields such as people management, law, resource management, and accounting.

Social Fields – Help for the needy, homeless and underprivileged in Geneva is largely overseen and run by volunteers. Some of the larger organisations include Jardin Montbrillant who provide free lunches, Partage who collect and distribute food to those in need, or the Maison de Tara who look after the seriously ill. Caritas concerns itself with a wide range of activities in social care and has a consistent need for volunteers.

Environment – There are many local groups focused on the protection of the environment, including those dealing with water conservation, environmental education, cleaning the lake, and waste disposal. A full list of organisations you can volunteer for can be found here.

Others

Film festivals and animals shelters are some of those who rely regularly on volunteers.

While there are health and mental benefits in volunteering, it can be daunting knowing which organisation to approach or finding the best way to match your skills with an association.

There are organisations in Geneva that will help place you with an appropriate group. Some of these include the Le Centre genevois du volontariat, Volunteer Geneva, and Serve the City Geneva.

Speed Meeting

Prospective volunteers should also come to Genève Bénévolat’s Speed Meeting, which will take place on Wednesday, November 7 from 18.00 to 20.30 at the Palladium Hall (Rue du Stand, 1204 Geneva).

This is an annual event which allows you to meet associations looking for volunteers in a welcoming and friendly atmosphere, and which will help you find the best association that suits your skills and interests. Participation is free, but the organisers do encourage people to register beforehand here, though registration is not obligatory.

 

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash & poster from Geneve Bénévolat

Addison Holmes

Addison Holmes


I am a writer and teacher. My professional focus is on teaching language skills to ESL students. My management experience in the private sector and with various international organisations has led me to specialise in teaching business English. I work to ensure that business people who need to use English as a second-language can understand, and can be understood and better express themselves in their professional field.

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