FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
For full details please consult the Programme Guidefor the
EU Youth in Action Programme 2007-13
EVS is a partnership project between two or more organisations allowing young people to do a voluntary service in another country.
The aim is to develop solidarity and promote tolerance, mutual understanding and active citizenship (particularly European citizenship).
A strong focus on training and personal and task-related support helps young people develop skills and competences which will be useful in their future employment or education.
An EVS project is a partnership between two or more promoters (organisations). These promoters are responsible for recruiting volunteers for their project. If you want to be an EVS volunteer you have two options:
a) Contact an organisation that is recruiting volunteers for a granted project
b) Contact an organisation to discuss starting a project
A volunteer participates in EVS through a Sending Organisation in the country where he/she is legally resident and a Host Organisation which receives and hosts the volunteer during the Service period.
In order to get in contact with an organisation you may consult the database of accredited organisations (http://ec.europa.eu/youth/evs/aod/).
Age: volunteers must be 18 - 30 years old on the application deadline (young people with fewer opportunities can participate from age of 16).
Home country: volunteers must be legally resident in the country of the Sending Organisation.
EVS is free for volunteers, and you receive free accommodation and food, insurance and pocket money. The only thing you might have to pay is a small part (maximum 10%) of your travel costs.
• Service period abroad: 2-12 months (or a minimum of 2 weeks for young people with fewer opportunities and groups of 10 or more volunteers)
• Total duration of the project, including preparation and follow-up: max. 24 months
There are many possible fields, e.g. culture, youth, sports, children, cultural heritage, arts, animal welfare, environment and development cooperation.
Eligible countries are listed on page 17-18 of the Programme Guide.
Volunteering can take place in any 'Programme Country', 'Neighbouring Partner Country' or 'Other Partner Country of the World', but volunteers from Partner Countries must carry out there Service in a Programme Country.
The Service must:
• take place in a country other then volunteer's country of residence
• be unpaid and non-profit making
• last between 2 and 12 months (except for young people with fewer opportunitiesand large groups - see Question 5)
• represent a clear European or international added value
• benefit the community
• not involve job substitution
Yes - EVS is open for all young people, whatever their background, and no prior knowledge should be required.
Special efforts are made to help young people with fewer opportunities, including those with disabilities, to participate.
Volunteers acquire and improve skills related to their personal, educational and professional development, e.g. through:
• personal support (from a mentor)
• task-related support (from a supervisor)
• language training
There are also common trainings for all volunteers (normally organised by the National Agency or SALTO) covering issues such as:
• basics of social engagement and voluntary work
• conflict resolution
• group dynamics
• intercultural learning
• values of EVS
The learning in EVS is referred to as "non-formal learning". This is learning which, although being carefully planned, is voluntary and takes place outside the formal education system through active participation.
Volunteers have the right to receive a Youthpass after completing their Service. The EU uses the Youthpass to ensure voluntary activity is recognised as an educational experience and a period of non-formal learning. An achievement report is filled in jointly by the volunteer and the Host or Coordinating Organisation and given to the volunteer.
Regardless of the number of Sending / Host Organisations and volunteers involved, there is only one application and one grant agreement per project.
Each project has one Coordinating Organisation which applies for financing and carries the financial and administrative responsibility for the project on behalf of all the partners.
The partners in a project are:
• one or more sending organisations
• one or more host organisations
• one coordinating organisation (applicant) - can be the sending or host organisation
• one or more volunteers
The Coordinating Organisation must be accredited (see question 14).
• non-profit organisations or associations legally established in Programme Countries or Partner Countries
• local, regional or national authorities from Programme Countries or Partner Countries
• international governmental organisations in Programme countries or Partner Countries
At least one of the organisations must be from an EU member country. For any given project, there must be at least as many organisations in Programme Countries as in Partner Countries.
• Any organisation in a Programme Country or in a Neighbouring Partner Country in Eastern Europe and Caucasus or South East Europe wishing to send or host EVS volunteers or coordinate an EVS project must be accredited.
• Organisations from Other Partner Countries of the World can participate as project partners in EVS without accreditation.
• To be accredited, organisations should submit an 'Expression of Interest' (see the Programme Guide), which is mostly about general motivation and ideas.
The EVS Charter describes:
• the general principles of EVS
• the roles of EVS project partners (organisations)
• the main quality standards of EVS
Each EVS organisation must adhere to the provisions set out in this Charter.
There is more information (including the deadlines for submitting projects) in the Programme Guide.
Do not hesitate to contactat any stage the various groups that are here to give you help, training and advice - your National Agency (or the Executive Agency, if your country does not have one), the Eurodesk network and SALTO Youth Resource Centres.
They can provide information or advice on things such as how to develop your project ideas, find a partner organisation or fill in your application form. They are available to help you before and after your project is set up.