European Voluntary Service EVS
Presentation of EVS on Europa website :
The European Voluntary Service (EVS) provides young
Europeans with the unique chance to express their personal commitment through unpaid and full-time voluntary activities in a foreign country within or outside the EU. In this way, it seeks to
develop solidarity, mutual understanding and tolerance among young people, thus contributing to reinforcing social cohesion in the European Union and to promoting young people's active
Learning for life!
Open to all young people aged 18 to 30, EVS is a true ‘learning service’. Beyond benefiting the local communities, by participating in
voluntary activities, young volunteers can develop new skills and, therefore, improve their personal, educational and professional development. Volunteers can benefit from specific training
throughout the activity and agree on their expected learning outcomes, processes and methods in advance. Their learning experience is formally recognised through a a Youthpass. Participation is free for the volunteers who also get board and lodging, insurance cover and an allowance
for the duration of the project. Special conditions apply to encourage the participation of young
people with fewer opportunities. For instance, they can participate as of the age of 16. Further information can be found in the Youth in Action Programme Guide as well as in the Inclusion Strategy of the Programme.
Co-operation and friendships
A successful EVS project requires close co-operation among at least three key players: a sending organisation, a host organisation and the volunteer. One of the organisations involved in this partnership also plays the role of coordinating organisation and applies for an EU grant on behalf of the partnership. Organisations perform a number of roles: they identify volunteering opportunities and develop projects that benefit the local community. They also recruit and prepare the volunteers, host them, and ensure follow-up.
EVS activities can be carried out both individually or in group. Up to 100 volunteers can now participate in the same EVS activity!
The European Voluntary Service spans a wide range of areas,
such as culture, youth, sports, social care, cultural heritage, the arts, civil protection, the environment, development co-operation, etc. One thing all the activities have in common is a
clear European and intercultural learning dimension. EVS is a mutually beneficial process, where everybody gains from getting to know the other's culture.
The EVS has certain core values and quality standards which are laid down in the EVS Charter. In order to protect and uphold these, organisations interested in sending or hosting EVS volunteers or coordinating an EVS project need first to be accredited.
To receive accreditation, organisations submit an ‘expression of interest’ and, once their application is approved, they sign up to the EVS Charter. Accreditation lasts for three years, but can be withdrawn immediately in cases of non-compliance with the Charter.