European Voluntary Service (EVS) is part of the programme of European Commission, Department of Education and Culture, ERASMUS+ YOUTH IN ACTION, and is a programme for young people.

The new programme Erasmus+ combines all previously existing EU programmes, i.e. educational, training, youth and sport programmes including Lifelong learning programme (Erasmus, Leonardo da Vinci, Comenius, Grundtvig), Youth in Action programme and five programmes of international cooperation (Erasmus Mundus, Tempus, Alfa, Edulink and a programme of cooperation with industrialized countries).

Previous Youth in Action programme options will mostly be available in the new programme, but options that are exclusive for the youth field will be promoted under the name ERASMUS+ YOUTH IN ACTION.

The intention of EVS is to enable life and work abroad for young people, increase their mobility and employability, encourage intercultural learning and help them gain life and work experience.

Who is it for?

EVS is a project that enables young people between the age of 17 and 30 to become volunteers in another country for the period between 2 and 12 months and hence use the opportunity to learn through their work and live in a foreign environment.

Who participates in the project?

EVS is a cooperating project between the sending and the hosting organisation, the volunteer and the National Agency. Both organisations are obliged to properly prepare the volunteers for work in a new environment and at the same time support them during the project.

Fields of work

EVS projects often include activities in the fields of environment, art and culture, cultural and historical heritage, working with children, young or elder people, and also sports and other socially beneficial activities.

Why should you become a volunteer?

EVS is a great opportunity for young people. It offers entirely free accommodation in a foreign country and participation in the chosen activities, which often become volunteers’ occupation or field of interest after they return home. One of the most important values of EVS is also the opportunity of informal learning and gaining key skills for lifelong learning.

How to become an EVS volunteer?

The sending organisation (it can be us, Pekarna Magdalenske mreže Maribor) and the volunteer search for an appropriate hosting organisation from the database of organisations that hold EVS projects. The sending organisation and the volunteer contact the hosting organisation and send them the motivational letter, in which they introduce the volunteer as well as the reasons, why the volunteer wants to join that particular organisation.

The volunteer, the sending and the hosting organisation prepare all requirements to carry out the project and send the application form for co-funding to the National Agency, programme Erasmus+ YOUTH IN ACTION, which must be sent at least three months before departure.
The deadlines for applications are 2st February, 26th April and 4th October 2016.

Officially approved and financially supported project provides the volunteer with accommodation, food, transport to work, health and accident insurance, monthly allowance and travel expenses to foreign country and home during the EVS project.

What are EVS volunteers doing in our organisation?

In our organisation we’ve been developing and performing the EVS programme since 2004. We try to include EVS volunteers in all organisation’s activities, that seem interesting to them or that they want to learn, and we actively encourage them in creating and performing their own projects. Volunteers actively participate in creating cultural, art, youth, informative, social and civic activities, and through their work also promote EVS among young people in our environment. Through their activities and living they gain the feeling of belonging to organisation as well as belonging to community and local environment, they grow personally, spread and develop their fields of interest, and also continually learn during the process.

Among many things volunteers learn the strategies and techniques of self-organising and planning cultural, youth and other events, and gain the required abilities to work in a group of people with different cultural and social backgrounds. During that process they learn about the projects and workings of non-government, non-profit organisation and perform publicly renowned projects in the fields of culture, art, music and activism. Each EVS volunteer is precious to a hosting organisation, because they bring difference, novelty, fresh perspective, experience and knowledge to work, relationships and projects.

You can learn about life, perspective, work, crazy experience, photography, stories and moments of EVS volunteers in Pekarna Magdalenske mreže Maribor on their blog.

More information: evs@pekarna.org

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