The aim of the European Voluntary Service (EVS) is to develop solidarity and promote active citizenship and mutual understanding among young people.
As a hosting organization, AJS has so far hosted 16 volunteers from 12 different countries in Spain (see graphic on the left). Two or three every year since 2011.
But AJS also acts as a sending organization. In the graphic you can see where AJS has send volunteers to (red pins) and where there are volunteers of AJS right now (green pins).
But what is a European Voluntary Service project?
The European Voluntary Service enables young people to carry out voluntary service for up to 12 months in a country other than their country of residence. It fosters solidarity among young people and is a true ‘learning service’. Beyond benefiting local communities, volunteers learn new skills and languages, and discover other cultures. An EVS project has three phases:
- planning and preparation
- implementation of the Activity
- evaluation (including reflection on a possible follow-up).
Non-formal learning principles and practice are reflected throughout the project. An EVS project can focus on a variety of themes and areas of intervention, such as culture, youth, sports, social care, cultural heritage, arts, civil protection, environment, development cooperation, etc. High-risk interventions in immediate post-crisis situations (e.g. humanitarian aid, immediate disaster relief, etc.) are excluded. It is designed to implement one or more EVS Activities.
An EVS Activity has three essential components:
The Service: the volunteer is hosted by a promoter in a country other than her/his country of residence and carries out voluntary service for the benefit of the local community. The service is unpaid, non profit-making and full-time.
EVS Training and Evaluation Cycle: the promoters involved in the EVS Activity must ensure that each volunteer participates in:
– pre-departure training
– on-arrival traning
– mid-term evaluation (for a Service lasting more than 4 months)
– evaluation of the Activity
All training courses must comply with the Guidelines and minimum quality standards set by the Commission; details are available on the website of the European Commission.
For further information on the EVS Training and Evaluation Cycle, please consult section ‘What else should you know about EVS?’ under this Action.
Ongoing volunteer support: the promoters must provide personal, task-related, linguistic and administrative support to each volunteer involved in the Activity. For further information, please consult section ‘What else should you know about EVS?’ under this Action An EVS Activity involving young people with fewer opportunities includes specific elements to ensure that adequate support is provided to the volunteers. According to the number of promoters and volunteers involved, an EVS Activity can be defined as an Individual or Group EVS Activity:
- Individual EVS Activity: 1 volunteer sent by one Sending Organisation to one Host Organisation
- Group EVS Activity: between 2 and 100 volunteers sent by one or several Sending Organisations to one orseveral Host Organisations. The distinguishing feature of the Group EVS Activity is that volunteers carry outtheir Service in the same time frame and the tasks they carry out are linked to a common thematic.A GroupEVS Activity can also be linked to a specific event; in this case the Activity requires a solid partnership withthe organising body of the event and the volunteers’ tasks must all relate to the event.