Imagine a scholarship that pays you a two-ticket ticket to a country on the Old Continent, takes over the rent and utilities of the accommodation, provides you with food and offers you pocket money for personal expenses. And all this under the protection of the European Union.
Welcome to the wonderful world of the European Voluntary Service (EVS). Behind these words lies a whole world of opportunities for and for the members of the European Union. EVS supports transnational volunteering activities for young people.
It aims to develop solidarity and tolerance among young people, and in particular to promote the creation of social unity in the European Union. It promotes active civic participation, promotes mutual understanding between young people.
The European Voluntary Service is a ‘training’ process for young people, enabling the acquisition of skills and competences for personal, educational and professional development through non-formal learning. The project itself consists of an educational process related to the acquisition of mutual benefits for volunteers and organizations. The expected results, processes and methods, certification of acquired skills and qualifications, participation of the volunteer in trainings during EVS and continuous provision of technical, linguistic and personal support, including crisis prevention and management mechanisms are an integral part of the project. .
On the occasion of the International Volunteer Day, the Bulgarian Association of Former European Volunteers with the support of the Youth in Action Program and the company “Prime Time 06” for the third consecutive year organize an event representing the European Volunteer Service. This year the event is a concert and photo exhibition with the memories of young people who realized their EVS projects.
What is the European Voluntary Service?
The projects are an agreement between two non-governmental organizations – sending and welcoming. The role of the sending organization is to recruit, prepare and send volunteers. There can be more than one sending organization in one EVS project. During the project, the sending organization keeps in touch with the volunteer and helps in case any problem arises. Once the volunteer returns to his / her homeland, the sending organization helps him / her to reintegrate into society and gives him / her the opportunity to share and disseminate his / her experience and newly acquired skills and knowledge.
The host organization offers a project for the volunteer to work on. There is a designated person under the project to provide support for the volunteer activities of the project. EVS also provides a mentor for the volunteer. His task is to help the volunteer to integrate into the local community, support him for everything that is not related to the project, and help him in the training process. The host organization organizes the accommodation of the volunteer, the visits to a language course, regularly gives the money due to the volunteer or pays the pre-determined expenses.
The work of the volunteer
Of course, the volunteers will have to thank for the hospitality. The topics of the projects can be in the field of environmental protection, social activities (work with children, adults, disadvantaged people, etc.), art, culture, sports, media, protection of cultural and historical heritage and others. . Requirements for volunteers The duration of the projects varies between three months and one year. The requirements for accessing EVS are simple – be between the ages of 18 and 30
years and be an EU citizen. At no time is academic education or proficiency in a foreign language required, although this would be appreciated.
Of course, you can best find out about EVS from people who have already experienced it. You can get more information on the website of their association babed.eu.