On the way to 2020 - Gośka Tur, President of SCI

On the way to 2020 - the 100th anniversary of SCI - the  E-zine with support from SCI’s 2020-team conducted 5 interviews with current activists about what the year 2020 means for them.  The first interview is with Go?ka (Poland, 38) who is currently the president of SCI.

When was your first workcamp?

My first workcamp was in 1997, in Finland.  I was really looking forward to it, for about a year actually. I was 16 years when I discovered SCI, but I could just participate when I became 18 years.  But before that time I was already locally active in SCI Poland.

The way of working of SCI attracted me.  It brought me another view on the world, it was a way out for me from narrow-minded thoughts . The way in which SCI works for peace is through a unique methodology, in the sense of meeting people, the way you work together with others and have at the same time solidarity with the local community. That is the main strength of SCI.  


There is the danger that SCI got stuck in a rut.  SCI should keep pace with modern developments and communication and answer to present needs.

When did you realize that peace is something  important?

SCI indeed made me realize this.  In Poland the theme of peace is superficial. The first realization took place in my third workcamp. I was still young and it was in a asylum seekers center in the Netherlands. I met people there whose life was disrupted due to war. It made a huge impact on me.

Can you describe your function (position) within SCI? What do you do?

I am the international president of SCI. Together with other IEC (board)-members we set out the line of SCI between annual meetings: project and strategic planning, keep the movement running smoothly. My role as president is in 2 ways slightly different than the other IEC-members.  I am the ‘face’ of SCI, having an important role in external representation. Internally I coordinate follow-up of decisions, arrange meetings and take care of groups-dynamics within the board.

What does the year 2020 mean to you?

It is a bit ambiguous for me as on one hand it is an exciting moment and we should celebrate it. There are some voices, also in SCI, which say that there are still many wars going on and it is not time to celebrate, but I don’t agree.  In almost 100 years SCI achieved a lot. On the other hand I feel a bit stressed about it in my function. It is a milestone and I sometimes feel responsible whether all goes well towards 2020, next to all other current matters to be handled.  I know it is in right hands - we have a 2020-team - but still….

How do you personally want to celebrate ‘2020’?

Oh, I did not think about it yet!  I guess celebration with other SCI-activists: SCI-meetings.  And hopefully it will also attract new passionate members who can spread the peace-message. Well, in some way we are working towards it. At the next annual meeting we have a strategic workshop about where SCI stands now in current peace-challenges.  Moreover, in 100 years we have run many local voluntary projects and we should keep on doing so while celebrating 2020, as we create space for peace on the local level at daily basis.



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