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EVS projects

For younger volunteers (between 18 and 30 years old) from a selected set of countries (EU and other programme countries), there is the possibility to apply for an EVS (European Voluntary Service) project. An EVS is a long term exchange in the framework of the funding of the EU programme “Youth in Action”. Compared to standard LTV projects, EVS often offer a valuable financial support to the volunteer and to the organisation hosting the project.

Since the mid-1990’s, LTVing has been facing new challenges, or getting new possibilities, depending on how you want to put it. The European Union voluntary programme European Voluntary Service, gave more people a chance to do a Long Term Voluntary service abroad. But it has also closed doors for others: with the restrictions on age and country of origin not everyone can apply for the EVS-posts that form about half of the LTV places in SCI. General recommendation inside SCI is to have at least one LTV volunteer for each EVS volunteer in the organization, to care of the balance and inclusivenes of the projects.

Some National Agencies have special prioritisation of the volunteer selection. The programme might be used only for sending volunteers who otherwise wouldn’t have a chance to spend a longer time abroad (for example university students can apply for an exchange at their university). Though, most often stron motivation and proper age are the only limits to participate in the program. There is no requirement of previous experience, language knowledge or other. EVS volunteers are insured under the programme and can also have children’s benefits during their volunteer service. This is not offered through other programmes. There are several trainings arranged for the EVS volunteers: a pre-departure training in their home country, an on-arrival training in their host country, a mid evaluation during the project and in best an evaluation seminar in the end.

The drawbacks of EVS projects are the limitations in age as well as in the geographical origin of the participants. The amount of administrative work is also considerably higher for EVS than for standard LTV projects. But still many aspects of the voluntary service are still the same, no matter how the project is funded.

EVS projects have a specific procedure according to the “Youth in Action” programme. More information for EVS exchanges are available at the EU Youth Programme website or the web page of National Agency in your country.