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SOS Volunteer Helpdesk
The European Voluntary Service (EVS) is part of the YOUTH programme, a European Union programme that promotes the mobility of young people through international activities with a non-formal education dimension such as youth exchanges, voluntary services, youth initiatives and training of youth workers.
EVS is one of the opportunities for young people to get actively involved in European project work. An EVS project gains from intercultural experience, it builds on a trans-national partnership between youth organisations and the volunteer. It promotes local project that is based on everybody's commitment.
A partnership: volunteer, sending organisation and host organisation are the key partners of an EVS project. The willingness of close co-operation between these three is crucial for a successful experience.
A commitment: the partners involved in an EVS project expect from each other that they dedicate time and energy to the successful realisation of the project.
A local project: the host organisation is a non-profit organisation or local community, creating an EVS hosting project that benefits to the local community, within its area of intervention. An EVS project normally lasts from 6 to 12 months.
A win-win activity: EVS projects are characterised by a good balance between service to the hosting local community and learning opportunities for the volunteer. Both community and volunteer equally gain from the project activities.
An intercultural experience: a reciprocal learning process, where everybody would gain from getting to know each other's culture. Moreover, it is also a challenge taking into account the fact that the volunteer will not only experience what is planned, but also the unpredictable.
You want to become an EVS volunteer?
If you are between 18 and 25 years old, willing to dedicate 6 to 12 months of your time contributing to a local a project and gaining personal development, and if you are enthusiastic and full of dynamism, you are the right candidate.
You are interested in EVS but due to your situation or background, 6 months are too much of a challenge? You might want to try the EVS short-term projects. This is open exclusively to "young people with less opportunities" and aims at giving them access to the YOUTH programme, and to EVS in particular. Projects have a duration from 3 weeks to 6 months, they involve individual or small groups of volunteers. EVS short-term projects are part of the "Inclusion Strategy", a specific priority within the YOUTH programme.
Before going any further, do not forget to ask yourself a few questions:
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