- Can I take on leadership positions within PIECES?
Yes, it is possible for any member to take on a leadership position. Besides leadership positions in our four main branches, PIECES members elect a president, a vice-president, a secretary and a treasurer during our annual general assembly. Generally, the treasurer mandate is coupled with the finance leadership position. The vice-president and the secretary are also encouraged to take on a leadership position in one of our areas. The mandate starts on September 1st and lasts one year. Re-election is possible. The general assembly takes place once a year at the end of the academic year. Please note that the so-called “board positions” are only open to students of the University of St. Gallen. The board consists of the following positions: President, Vice-president, Head of Projects, Head of Education, Head of Finance and Sponsoring, Head of Marketing and IT.
- Do I need to be a student at the University of St.Gallen to be involved?
It isn’t necessary to be a HSG student to be involved in PIECES We will however give priority to HSG students, should we receive a high amount of applications. Moreover, only HSG students can be elected for board positions (see above).
- What does a volunteering project with PIECES mean?
PIECES is a student-driven social initiative focusing on children’s education and personal growth in developing countries. This means that, through teaching English, we wish to broaden the horizon of our young students and open new opportunities for them. If we managed to significantly increase the employment chances of kids we teach to, then we have achieved our vision.
- What kind of support do I get if I run a project?
PIECES is committed to assist its members in running projects in the following ways:
PIECES supports teams in assisting them managing their project and establishing contact with the school(s). PIECES continually works on a teaching curriculum and will provide it to volunteers going abroad.
Financially, PIECES supports its members with a weekly allowance for project that last minimum three weeks. The financial support is provided for projects as long as eight weeks. However, volunteers can run projects longer than eight weeks.
- What costs will I have to bear if I want to run a project?
Most of the project costs are in the air ticket. Therefore depending on the period of the project and how early teams manage to book their ticket, costs can greatly vary. Teams are responsible for raising their own funds and will have to cover the part which isn’t covered by raised funds and PIECES’ financial contribution. Accommodation and food costs depend on the school welcoming the volunteers. This point should be discussed directly with the schools.
- How long does a project last?
The projects’ duration ranges from 3 to 5 weeks. As previously mentioned, PIECES commits to support members who undertake projects of minimum three weeks.
- When can projects be conducted?
The volunteer projects can be conducted in February or in July/August, depending on the location.
- Do I need to have some volunteering experience to run a project?
No previous volunteering experience is required. It can however be a useful asset when engaging into a project with PIECES.
- Do I need to speak English?
Fluency in English (written and spoken) is required. Since we use English to increase our students’ chances of getting a job, it is necessary that our members are perfectly at ease with English to communicate with the children, but also to teach it.
- I want to run a project but I have no team. Can I still do it?
Yes this is possible. We will make sure we connect you to an existing team or we will bring together individuals wishing to engage in volunteering projects. Ideally, teams have three or four members. It can vary according to the project. However we generally do not support volunteers who want to engage in a project alone.
- Are there any conditions of which I have to be aware?
There are some binding conditions for teams PIECES supports. These include:
Participating in a teaching workshop (bootcamp) with PIECES before starting the project abroad
Contributing to PIECES’ blog by writing a daily report of the volunteering experience
Participating in a sharing session upon return from abroad