European Voluntary Service

What is a European Voluntary Service project

An EVS project allows a young person to be a volunteer in another country for a specified period, normally between 2-12 months. The voluntary service activities can be, for example, in the field of environment, arts and culture, activities with children, young people or the elderly, heritage or sports and leisure activities. Each project has three partners, a volunteer, a sending organisation and a host organisation.

The activities:

* Take place in a country other than where the volunteers lives;
* Are non-profit-making and unpaid;
* Last for a limited period (maximum 12 months).

Who are the partners in an EVS project

An EVS project involves a triangular partnership, a volunteer, a sending organisation and a host organisation. One of the countries involved in a project must be an EU Member State or an accession country.

* The volunteer's international travel covers reasonable travel costs from the volunteer's home to the host organisation, and the costs are paid to the sending organisation in full when the volunteer uses the cheapest available train or plane ticket (e.g. discount air ticket, or equivalent). A copy of the ticket(s) must be attached to the final report.
* Contribution to the sending activities (recruitment, preparation, contact, assessment, follow-up) is a lump sum payment depending on the length of the project and is determined for each country.
* Exceptional volunteer costs are related to the special needs of the volunteer (medical attendance, additional preparation, etc.) and are paid in full, provided they are reasonable and justifiable.
* The volunteer's allowance is fixed per host country and is paid in full to the host organisation to be given to the volunteer weekly or monthly.

= Insurance =

All volunteers are insured against sickness, accidents, permanent invalidity, and repatriation in case of serious illness, accident, and death. The insurance also covers civil liability. This insurance complements the protection provided by the national social security (if applicable) which is proven by the E111 (or similar) form of the volunteer. All insurance costs are paid directly by the European Commission and they are not included in project budgets. The National Agencies provide more information about the insurance cover.

= If you are a volunteer =

The first step is that you should find a sending organisation and together consult the database of approved host placements. You can also contact a sending organisation, which has already established contact with a host organisation.

= What happens after European voluntary service =

All volunteers who have completed their EVS project are entitled to a certificate signed by the Head of the Youth Agency. This certificate validates their period of voluntary service and provides details of the activities in which they were involved. Volunteers from the programme countries also have the possibility to benefit from the Youth initiative action, and get involved in other Community programmes in general.

= External links =
* [ What is EVS and rules and regulations of EVS]
* [ Webguide for young people interested in EVS]
* [ SVE.PT]
* [ Official site]
* [ Open directory]
* [ Frequently Asked Questions]
* Eyfa wiki on EVS
* (blog with EVS stories)
* (database with EVS vacancies)
* (Dutch)

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