EVS (European Voluntary Service) is an international volunteer programme funded by the European Commission. It enables all young people legally resident in Europe, aged between 18 and 30 years, to carry out an international volunteer service in an organisation or in a public body in Europe, Africa, Asia or South America for a period ranging from 2 to 12 months. It is very similar to the International Civil Service: provides the reimbursement of travel expenses (in full, up to specific limitations) and complete coverage of the costs of food and accommodation for the international volunteer.
Thanks to the intercultural dimension and its non-formal approach, European Voluntary Service is a unique opportunity to come into contact with cultures different from your own and to acquire new skills and abilities useful for your personal and professional growth.
European Voluntary Service is based on the following principles:
– increasing your own skills through the practical experience of volunteering abroad;
– encouraging the learning of another language;
– developing the ability to interact with persons of different language and culture;
– spreading tolerance among young people of the European Union;
– promoting active citizenship;
– supporting the development of local communities.
European Voluntary Service is NOT:
– occasional, part-time volunteering;
– an internship in an enterprise, in a humanitary organization or in an NGO;
– a recreational or a tourist activity;
– a language course abroad;
– a paid job.
European Voluntary Service proposes projects in different areas: culture, youth, sports, social care for the elderly, the disabled and the immigrants, cultural heritage, art, leisure, media and communications, environmental protection and education, rural development and development cooperation.
It is possible to do EVS in:
– all 28 European Union Member States;
– EFTA countries (Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein);
– candidate countries (Turkey, Croatia);
– countries of Eastern Europe and the Caucasus;
– other countries of the world (with different timing and procedures).
European Voluntary Service is practically FREE OF CHARGE!! Travel expenses, accommodation, food, local transportation, health insurance, language lessons and monthly allowance are covered and financed by the European Commission. Volunteers are not even required to pay a fee when applying for an EVS project!
European Voluntary Service is based on a strong partnership between: the sending organization, the host institution and the volunteer.
The sending organization is responsible for the preparation of the volunteer before departure. It informs the candidate about the search procedures of EVS projects, pre-departure training and follows the volunteer at distance throughout his stay abroad and upon his return.
The volunteer will work 5 days out of 7 for a maximum of 40 hours per week and will have 2 days of leave per month (accumulative). He is obliged to participate in pre-departure, on-arrival and mid-term training and must comply with the directives of the host organization performing the tasks specified in the international volunteering project.
During the selection process host organizations cannot require the possession of specific skills or qualifications, only in special cases (duly justified according to the tasks the volunteers are responsible for) it is allowed to select candidates with a specific experience.
E.g. experience in working with children may be required, but not a degree in educational sciences.
Host organizations cannot require volunteers to belong to a specific ethnic or a religious group, nor have a particular sexual orientation or a political opinion.
E.g. it may be required that the volunteer comes from a particular country, such as France, but it is not possible to indicate ethnicity.