European Voluntary Service (EVS)

EVS (European Voluntary Service) projects are carried out within the Erasmus+ Youth in Action Programme. EVS is intended for young people between 18 and 30 years old, enabling them informal education within the international volunteer project.

Are you interested in human rights? Join the EVS project in Poland, where you can help a non-government organisation fight for them! More interested in dolphins and feta cheese? In Cephalonia you can take part in biological research, catching sight of dolphins as they pass by your boat!  There are many kinds of projects, ranging anywhere from 2 months to 1 year, which provide the volunteer with accommodation, a language course, commute, insurance, food and allowance. Sometimes travel to and from the EVS project are at the volunteer’s expense, but only in the case where the project’s lump sum for travel expenses is insufficient. 

By participating in European Voluntary Service’s projects you get an opportunity to meet youth all over Europe, gain precious work and volunteer experiences, learn or improve knowledge of foreign languages, and experience independent living abroad. Volunteers get to know other cultures, and get involved in the process of global learning, diminishing prejudice and stimulating personal growth. Work experiences gained in those projects increase their employment prospects, which is one of the main programme’s goals! At the end of the project you will get an official Youthpass certificate, which, similar to Europass, tracks gained competences and work achievements, and looks great attached to any CV!

HOW TO FIND EVS PROJECTS

EVS projects consist of at least three partners:

  • Sending organisation (for citizens of Slovenia, it can be Zavod Voluntariat)
  • Hosting organisation
  • Volunteer

Your first task is to find a hosting organisation and an EVS project that suits you!

Option 1: Search for EVS projects in the EU Commission’s database of accredited organisations. When searching, be sure to specify that you are searching for a receiving organisation (EVS accreditation type) and which theme you are interested in. Do not be put off by the EVS accreditation expiry date; this is not the end date of the projects, but the day when the organisation’s license for hosting EVS projects expires and the organisation is required to renew it.

By clicking the organisation name, you will find a detailed description of the organisation and EVS activity, and a contact at the end of the description. When you find an organisation that suits you, e-mail them immediately and ask them when there will be a free space for an EVS volunteer, and how long their individual EVS activity is.

When searching keep in mind the application deadlines for EVS projects:

 February 2nd 2017
(for projects lasting from June to December 2017)

 April 26th 2017
(for projects lasting from August 2017 to February 2018)

 October 4th 2017
(for projects lasting from January to September 2018)

For example: if you apply for an organisation’s project that will be applying to EVS on October 4th, we will have to wait for about two months for an answer from the National Agency, stating whether the project was accepted or not. After a positive response, we will need another month to prepare everything necessary for the start of the activity. In practice, this means you may begin with the activity itself approximately three months after you have applied for the project, and you need to keep this in mind when applying for projects.

How many organisations should you contact? There is no simple answer; the whole search considerably depends on luck. Some volunteers write to three organisations and get a positive response right away, while some send a dozen enquiries and do not get a single positive response, and some organisations may not respond at all. Competition is fierce, and you need to coordinate the arrival date and duration of the EVS project with the host organisation while matching their profile as closely as possible, as there can be over 100 applicants for a single project. Therefore, be open and flexible when searching for a project. It is important that you do not give up at the first step, because somewhere out there, there is an EVS project for every volunteer!

It is best to search for a project two months before the application deadline. In that period, EVS organisations with free spaces are looking for volunteers and they will reply quickly. Be sure to search for a project, not for a country or a city! If your first motivation when searching for an EVS project is living in one of the European capitals or lounging by the Mediterranean’s beaches, you probably will not receive a lot of positive responses.

Option 2: searching for your ideal EVS project can be found on these webpages:

European Youth Portal

Find EVS

EVS Vacancy Facebook Page

EVS Facebook Page

Host organisations post EVS projects on these pages, and following them may increase your search opportunities!

Option 3: Follow our webpage and newsletter, where we regularly post vacant EVS projects! We often post accepted EVS projects, where volunteers for various reasons decided for cancellation of participation, and in this case you can leave for an EVS project within three to four weeks!

I HAVE FOUND A HOST ORGANISATION! NOW WHAT?

Congratulations! You completed a huge step! You reached an agreement with the host organisation on when to start work and a work duration which suits your work profile and activity.

Send us their contact and arrangement details via e-mail: programi@zavod-voluntariat.si. We will get in touch with the hosting organisation, arrange project details and sign a mandate, which binds us to participate in this project as a sending organisation. The host organisation will apply the project by one of the application deadlines listed above, and then we all keep our fingers crossed and wait to find out if the project was accepted or not.

AND THEN?

Once the project is accepted, we need to sign the activity agreement, where we determine activity details, tasks and rights of all partners on the projects, along with several other details. Every EVS volunteer sent abroad by Zavod Voluntariat joins the system of training and learning, where we introduce all the details about the EVS project itself, insurance for volunteers, rights and obligations, Youthpass, and other programme details.

You can read more about the project in the Erasmus+ Youth in Action Programme Manual. Erasmus+ webpage can be found here. You can also visit us at our office; e-mail us at programi@zavod-voluntariat.si to book an appointment.

DO YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING EVS?
LET US KNOW!

We will reply as soon as possible, but we ask you to be specific in order to receive a helpful answer.

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