The European Union’s Aid Volunteers is the result of an initiative of the European Commission. It offers Europeans the opportunity to engage in international solidarity projects with NGOs partners. During the period 2016-2020, 4,000 volunteers will be deployed by humanitarian organisations to contribute to projects worldwide, and 10,000 additional posts will be opened for online volunteering.
The initiative is open to a variety of humanitarian profiles, ranging from beginner to experienced. It also enables volunteers and staff of local organisations and communities to strengthen their disaster management capacities: Many volunteers are working on the response to disasters and the resilience of local communities. They also encourage the strengthening of the humanitarian system and the capacities of humanitarian organisations and local respondents so that the humanitarian assistance provided is more effective. In this regard, the initiative provides funds specifically dedicated to supporting technical assistance and capacity building of deployment or host organisations.
The European Union Volunteers Initiative is an innovative instrument to complement the organization of humanitarian assistance and to strengthen the resilience and capacity of local communities. The initiative reflects the European Union’s commitment to meeting the current challenges and is closely aligned with Sendai’s framework for disaster risk reduction and the objectives of the Humanitarian Summit World.
ACTED has been participating in the EU Youth Volunteer Program since 2015, and has deployed five volunteers at the end of 2016 in Haiti, Lebanon and Senegal.
Now, thanks to the size of its programs and the number of its employees, ACTED, the second french NGO, is a major player in humanitarian aid at european level. ACTED is also a member of Alliance2015, a consortium of seven european NGOs working closely together to provide a coordinated and adequate humanitarian response in their different countries of intervention.
“We are five junior volunteers at ACTED. Our courses are rich, international and varied; engineering, commerce, law, project management, geography… These different courses correspond to the missions entrusted to us in Lebanon, Senegal and Haiti. We will stay one year in our respective countries to intervene in support of the projects implemented by ACTED. Young ambassadors of the European Union, we promote the commitment of youth on humanitarian issues, while at the same time making sure to disseminate the principles that form the basis of the European Union: solidarity, respect for human dignity, openness, tolerance, pluralism, non-discrimination, equality between women and men.”
Want to get involved? Do not hesitate to consult our website and the European Commission’s website!
Candidates must be over 18 years old and be citizens or long-term residents of a member state of the European Union. Citizens of candidate or potential candidate countries for entry into the European Union, the countries of the European Economic Area (EEA) or the European neighborhood policy may apply, provided that a bilateral agreement has been concluded between the European Union and these countries, allowing their participation in the initiative. Non-European citizens from countries affected by disasters can also participate in the initiative through local capacity-building activities.
The initiative is open to a variety of profiles: junior candidates (humanitarian workers, urban planners, architects, lawyers, hydraulic and agricultural engineers, environmentalists, logisticians…) wishing to gain experience in the humanitarian sector, or senior candidate with more than five years of relevant professional experience who would like to draw on their experience in the field of humanitarian aid. The preparation and deployment opportunities available to them depend on the skill level of each.