Oikos is an international volunteering association which was founded in 1979.
Since 1980, Oikos has enthusiastically organised workcamps and volunteering projects, with the intention of establishing an international network to favour cultural exchange.
Nonetheless, international programs do not constitute the majority of Oikos' projects: Oikos' activity mainly deals with problems regarding the conservation of forest resources, with the youth's reality, and with the research within the psychological field in close connection with the evolution of social systems.
We are based in the Roman suburb of Spinaceto, and have developed a deep social engagement both on local and national level. Our spaces are open to the community, and we regularly organise social and cultural events related to cinema and theatre.
Oikos is a self-funded organisation: therefore, the implementation of ordinary activities is possible thanks to the support and contribution of its members.
Nonetheless, specific institutional collaborations or conventions grant the operation of extraordinary programs that range from a municipal to an international level. In such eventualities, Oikos provides nonprofit services of public utility and collaborates with Universities, educational agencies, public institutions and local authorities.
Oikos denies any political affiliation, due to the perceived inadequacy of political organisations when concerning the consistency, clarity and programmatic capacity that are necessary for a constructive and useful dialogue with volunteering organisations.
What we ask from our volunteers
What we request from our volunteers is the awareness of the reality of solidarity commitments: often, social systems within intervention areas fail in the resolution of specific issues due to the lack of necessary resources or as a result of consistent corruption, waste and ignorance.
The projects we coordinate comprehend the prevention of forest fires in Italy (where the increase in economic investment for fire-fighting systems is paralleled by a boost of casualties), the construction of wells in African countries (where the governement funds armaments but not agricultural development) and the restoration of European Medieval castles.
Relations between our organization and volunteers
Our international partners and research staff organise activities that aim at the assertion of human dignity.
It is vital for us to collaborate with engaged and cooperative volunteers who preserve a strong sense of personal responsibility when in difficult or uncomfortable situations. An impractical shower, a dirty bathroom or a not-so-tasty cuisine may eventually disappoint those fascinated by the unrealistic promises of an "in vogue" experience.
We keep in contact via mail with the volunteers who leave for international projects, and encourage a constant and constructive exchange of views.
By virtue of its efficient staff and of local coordinators, Oikos implements a continuous monitoring of all individual experiences.
Via Paolo Renzi 55
00128 Rome, ITALY