The Erasmus+ programme offers young people the chance to make a difference through many activities, among them also through the European Voluntary Service.
What is EVS
The European Voluntary Service (EVS), a project included in the Erasmus + programme, gives young people the opportunity to express their personal commitment through full-time voluntary work in a foreign country within or outside the EU.
The EVS aims to develop solidarity, mutual understanding, and tolerance among young people while contributing to strengthening social cohesion and promoting active citizenship. Their learning experience is formally recognized through a Youthpass. Volunteers receive free board and lodging, insurance cover and a grant for the duration of the project (in some cases they may be asked for a contribution for travel costs).
EVS volunteers working for more than two months abroad can get additional support to learn, and test their progress in, the language used during their volunteering.
What does it support
A successful EVS project requires close co-operation among at least three key players:
- The sending organisation.
- The receiving organisation.
- The volunteer.
One of the organisations involved plays the role of coordinator and applies for an EU grant on behalf of the partnership.
Organisations perform a number of roles:
- They identify volunteering opportunities.
- Develop projects that benefit the local community.
- Recruit and prepare the volunteers, host them, and ensure follow-up.
The EVS core values and quality standards are laid down in the EVS Charter (link). To uphold these standards, organisations interested in sending or hosting EVS volunteers, or coordinating an EVS project, need first to be accredited. To do this organisations must first submit an application for accreditation (not the same as a funding application). If their application is approved, they can take part in applications for EVS projects. Accreditation can be withdrawn immediately in cases of non-compliance with the Charter. Organisations accredited to take part in EVS can be found in the EVS database.
Who can take part?
Young people aged 17 – 30 with interest in volunteering, learning new things and getting to know new cultures and willing to spend some months abroad as an EVS Volunteer.
Topics of the projects
Activities and focus of organisations involved in EVS are various and the topics of the EVS projects even more diverse, for example activities with children, organisations topics are for example children, disabilities/special needs, environment, education through sports, inclusion, gender equality, creativity and culture, youth unemployment, youth participation, EU citizenship, rural development, intercultural/intergenerational education, media, and communication, etc.
What is not EVS
- a job
- an internship
- a work placement
- humanitarian mission
- language course
What offers EVS to the volunteer
- accommodation and food during the project
- transportation in the place of the project if needed
- pocket money
- health insurance during the project
- return tickets to and from the project (with the possible contribution of the volunteer)
- language and other needed support before the project and during the project
- organisational and personal support to the volunteer before, during and after the project
What is the role of SCI Hellas
In the framework of Erasmus +, SCI Hellas takes the role of sending, hosting and coordinating organisation. See the projects that we coordinate here: (link)
Service Civil international is an organisation involved in international volunteering since 1920 (See the history here). SCI branch in Greece was established in 1983. We sending and hosting EVS volunteers since 2001.
In the framework of EVS, we inform young people about the opportunity to volunteer abroad, we help interested volunteers with understanding what is EVS and how to apply. Before the project, we answer questions about EVS, living abroad, volunteering, practical issues etc., and we prepare the volunteer to take part in the EVS project. During and after the EVS project we support the volunteers on the practical and personal level and after the return, we enable the volunteer to use gained experienced in SCI Hellas by participating in local activities and supporting EVS volunteers that we host.
In order to choose SCI Hellas your sending organisation, please fill in the following questionnaire. (link)