Thursday, July 29, 2010

About this blogpage

This blogpage is dedicated to the research on international voluntary service organization (IVS) around the world. Your organization will be invited to take part in the research if they are being identified as (CCIVS membership criteria):

a.) An international voluntary service (IVS) which is a coordinating body consisting of national organizations, and/or,

b.) National or state-based youth or voluntary service organization involved in voluntary work and with established relations with other voluntary service organization in its country of registration with regional and/or international relationships.

This research will leads to a successful completion of International Masters in Regional Integration (IMRI), currently pursued by the me at Asia-Europe Institute (AEI).

It is hopeful that this research will contribute to the understanding of current trend in international voluntary service (IVS) movement, apart from the wonderful work done by volunteer and activist alike on the ground.

Now that the 'official' introduction is over, you might ask: What, really, motivates me to research on this topic?

Well, ever since I am involved in IVS movement, I sometimes get disappointed when many never heard about IVS (despite all the great effort/work, under challenging conditions), let alone trying to differentiate IVS from other NGO. But this is probably not their fault but the fault of our own making. We sometimes do not understand ourselves or agree on a unified definition of IVS. For instance, just when I think I know what IVS is all about, I found some CCIVS member organization (i.e. EFIL, IBO) that I have never heard about. Other example: I have also never came in contact with any ICYE activist/activity, or EAWA for that matter. This is probably my own ignorance, or there is no such necessity. But nonetheless, I wish to, through my research, get an overview of IVS organizations' health/profile, and hopefully connecting them to each other (for those who have not or long overdue).

Secondly and referring to CCIVS President report of 2006, I am also interested to know why IVS is mostly youth-based, while in fact most of us are not a youth organization. I follow the traces left by the money/fund and that leads me back to European Union's youth policy. Hence I am interested to know how their policy evolves and other non-European IVS organization get absorbed into it as well - a typical rolling-effect of this supranational body. In my opinion, it is important that we understand the origins of EU-IVS relationship before we can closely examine its impact or influences.

Of course, there are more questions awaiting to be answered - a goal which cannot be achieved by myself, or in one research. Hence your feedback and support is very much appreciated - in particular I will soon send the questionnaire to your respective organization.

In longer term, however, I hope we all will be always in touch - like a saying in SCI "once you get involved, you never really leave". This is more like the reason why I decided to create this blogpage - I didn't give much space for discussion in my questionnaire, nor all volunteers can be involved in the questionnaire (mostly organizational things). But we can certainly talk and communicate here.

I can be reached at kokchang.low [at]

More updates on the research will be available as when they are available to me.

Thank you so much for your time and your participation and solidarity will be much appreciated!

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