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European Voluntary Service

The European Voluntary Service (EVS) is a programme initiated by the European Commission that gives young people aged 17-30 years the chance to work as a volunteer for a time period between 2 weeks and 12 months. As the EVS is part of the Erasmus+ programme, only young people from Erasmus+ programme countries and partner countries (these include mostly European countries and certain neighbouring countries) are eligible to participate. You can find out whether or not your country is a Erasmus+ programme country (or a partner country) in the Erasmus+ Programme guide (page 21).

You have the possibility to serve your EVS in Germany in a non-profit project not only within the fields of environment, arts and culture, sports and leisure, but also in activities with children, young people or the elderly. EVS volunteers do not have to bear any costs and do not need any language skills. Board and lodging, travel costs, a language course, allowance and insurances will be covered by the EU. Furthermore a support program is offered and each volunteer will get a personal mentor. If you have completed your EVS in Germany, you will receive the YouthPass (www.youthpass.eu/en/about-youthpass/about/) – a certificate which validates your activities during your EVS.

If you want to participate in the EVS, you need both a sending organisation in your home country and a host organisation in Germany. It's easiest if you start by looking for a sending organisation, because generally sending organisations are happy to assist their volunteers in searching for a suitable host organisation. If you have found both organisations, one of the two will file the application for the funding for your EVS project with the national agency.

You'll find all organisations that are accredited within the EVS programme in a European database: europa.eu/youth/evs_database. Here, you can search for both – a sending organisation and an interesting host organisation.

Further information on the EVS in general and on the application process is available on the website of the European Commission.

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