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European Voluntary Service

This image shows young people playing as part of an EVS activity

If you are between 18 and 30 years old, have the enthusiasm and dynamism and between 2 and 12 months to dedicate to a local project in another European country- the European Voluntary Service (EVS) might be for you!

Through EVS, volunteers are given the opportunity for personal development along with practical experience supported by the National Agency (Léargas in Ireland) before, during and after the their time abroad.  EVS funding covers100% of travel costs, an allowance for pre-departure trainings and preparations and an allowance for the host organisation to cover living expenses of the volunteer (e.g. food, accommodation, local transport).

Currently, Political Science graduate Daniel Farrell is volunteering at a Holocaust memorial centre in Weimar. You can read his blog here: http://volunteeringinbuchenwald.blogspot.com/.

If you are interested in EVS, then you need to get started six weeks before your chosen funding application deadline. You can browse the many hundreds of active host projects by theme and country through the Youthnetworks.eu website.

The European Commission also provides an EVS database although opportunities on this are not always up to date.

Screenshot of youthnetworks

You will then need to narrow down your options, prepare your motivation letter, liaise with host organisations etc. Once you have settled on a host organisation (based on additional information and volunteer stories etc.) and that host organisation has accepted you on the basis of your CV and motivation letter, you will need to fill out certain sections of the funding application. After a successful application, you will need to work with the EVS coordinator from your host organisation to create an Activity Agreement. This is like your contract for the EVS placement and clarifies the role of your Sending and Host Organisation in supporting you (trainings, mentors, frequency and mode of communication with sending, what happens if it doesn't work out etc.)

Léargas Youth Work Service- the exchange bureau is responsible for the delivery of EVS. On their website you can find a helpful FAQ section.

Youth Association creACTive is one of many EVS host organisations

Thanks to Léargas and Youth Association creACTive ( EVS host in Macedonia) for the use of their EVS imagery.

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Last updated 14 August 2013 Civic Engagement (Email).