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Capacity building, an essential aim of the EUAV programme

Juliette joined ACTED in December 2016 as a European Union Aid Volunteer, working with the finance and logistics departments in the organisation's headquarters in Paris, before joining the ACTED Lebanon team in Beirut. She tells about her experience as a European Union Aid Volunteer.

"The EUAV initiative promotes the value of solidarity and engagement but first and foremost, aims at capacity building. First, of the volunteers themselves, who by going on the field to work on humanitarian and development projects, gain experience in the humanitarian sector. They acquire new knowledge, skills and competencies, ultimately helping them advance their career as aid and development practioners.

Secondly, given the ever growing number of humanitarian crises around the globe, the programme aims at complementing the delivery of humanitarian aid funds by the European Union, with qualified, motivated volunteers so that the humanitarian assistance provided is more effective.

Finally, the initiative also encourages the strengthening of the capacities of humanitarian organisations and local respondents. In this regard, the initiative provides funds specifically dedicated to supporting technical assistance and capacity building of deployment/host organisations. Its specific focus on working on projects closely aligned with the Sendai’s framework for disaster risk reduction and the objectives of the World Humanitarian Summit also enables volunteers and staff of local organisations and communities to strengthen their disaster management capacities. Many volunteers are working or will work on the response to disasters and the resilience of local communities. For instance, Marie-Elodie is working on a project to strengthen the practices of local farmers in the Matam region of Senegal to counter the chronic food insecurity. Emeline on the other hand is implementing new agricultural practices in Haiti to counter impacts of climate change.

For my part, this experience as a EUAV is allowing me to deepen my skills and comprehension of the sector. From the Paris I am progressively grasping the functioning of a large NGO like ACTED, of the scale of the operations, in particular as part of the finance and logistics departments. I am now looking forward to pursuing this adventure by going on the field, to get closer to the projects, the teams and the beneficiaries."