The Erasmus+ programme offers young people the chance to make a difference through the European Voluntary Service.
The European Voluntary Service (EVS) gives young people the opportunity to express their personal commitment through full-time voluntary work in a foreign country within or outside the EU.
The EVS aims to develop solidarity, mutual understanding and tolerance among young people, while contributing to strengthening social cohesion and promoting active citizenship. Their learning experience is formally recognized through a Youthpass. Volunteers receive free board and lodging, insurance cover and a grant for the duration of the project (in some cases they may be asked for a contribution for travel costs).
EVS volunteers working for more than two months abroad can get additional support to learn, and test their progress in, the language used during their volunteering.
A successful EVS project requires close co-operation among at least three key players:
One of the organisations involved plays the role of coordinator and applies for an EU grant on behalf of the partnership. Organisations perform a number of roles:
The EVS core values and quality standards are laid down in the EVS Charter . To uphold these standards, organisations interested in sending or hosting EVS volunteers, or coordinating an EVS project, need first to be accredited. To do this organisations must first submit an application for accreditation (not the same as a funding application). If their application is approved, they can take part in applications for EVS projects. An accreditation can be withdrawn immediately in cases of non-compliance with the Charter. Organisations accredited to take part in EVS can be found in the EVS database.
Online Linguistic Support (OLS) is available for volunteers undertaking a European Voluntary Service (EVS). The OLS is available for German, English, Spanish, French, Italian and Dutch, which are the main languages for about 90% of all Erasmus+ mobilities. With the OLS, volunteers have the chance to assess and improve their skills in the main volunteering language or, for those who are sufficiently proficient in that language, in the language of the country (provided it is available in the OLS).
Learn more about the Erasmus+ OLS at http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/tools/online-linguistic-support_en.htm.
For participants whose main mobility language is not yet available in the OLS, specific grants for linguistic support are available.
Below you will find a "checklist" of important information and resources related to applying for and implementing EVS.