Action 2 of the Youth in Action Programme, the European Voluntary Service, provides the opportunity for young people aged 18 to 30 years to participate in international volunteer projects that last from 2 to 12 months, to stay in another country, learn a new language and offer their services as full-time volunteers in a foreign non-profit organization. It is a unique opportunity to live an intercultural learning experience in an informal setting and carry out a period of rewarding voluntary work. Projects of all types are available: art, animation, sports, disability, environment, culture, and much more.
The travel is (almost) completely free of charge: Youth in Action programme reimburses 90% of the travel expenses of the volunteer (round-trip). Accommodation, food and language training are provided by the host organization that receives a grant from the Youth in Action programme for each volunteer that it hosts.
The countries in which the projects are carried out are numerous: in addition to the European Union there are projects in the Caucasus, the Balkans, Russia, South America, Africa and Asia.
EVS is safe: it has existed for almost twenty years, and any organisation that decides to host a volunteer must go through a rigorous process of accreditation by the National Agency, which also includes periodic checks after accreditation. Organisations accredited for hosting volunteers through EVS are listed in a European database that is periodically updated by National Agencies.
The aim of the EVS is to develop solidarity and promote active citizenship and mutual understanding among young people. European Voluntary Service enables young people to engage in voluntary work in a country different than that of their country of residence, increasing solidarity between young people and giving them the opportunity to learn new skills and languages at the same time. EVS uses principles and methods of non-formal learning that are the basis for structuring each volunteer’s project.