On the 1st and the 2nd of December 2016 the annual meeting of the organisations coordinating the implementation of projects of European Voluntary Service was held in Anykščiai, Lithuania. The main aim of the meeting was to give an overview of the achievements of the year 2015, to set new targets, to update the handbook for EVS promoters Hopscotch to Quality in EVS and to discuss new initiatives of the European Commission – the European Solidarity Corps and Strategic EVS Projects. The organisators paid close attention to the role of Lithuanian youth in EVS projects.
Lithuanian National Agency (Jaunimo Tarptautinio bendradarbiavimo agentūra) presented a qualitative research study on the impact of EVS on the society. It was carried out in cooperation with Polish and Hungarian National Agencies. The study consisted in observing communities of four small towns in Lithuania, hosting a volunteer from abroad for the first time for a period of one year. The study included three stages: arranging the volunteer’s stay, the period of stay (3 months after the arrival) and the period after the departure.
Disproved stereotypes, the interest in the culture of other countries, improved trust, understanding and empathy, open attitude towards other people and their views, no fear of foreigners – it is only a part of the results of the decision to host a foreign volunteer. Summary of the study is available here.
What is the aim of the European Voluntary Service?
The aim of the EVS projects realised in the framework of the Erasmus + programme is to enable young people (17-30 years) to take a social work abroad. The trip can last anywhere from 2 to 12 months, all the costs of stay are covered by the European Commission (read more about the program here). This stay abroad is a great opportunity to develop, to improve knowledge of the language and culture of another country and to gain experience and new skills.
Two organisations that take part in the entire process are a sending organisation from the country of residence of the volunteer and the host organisation abroad, where the person will be working in the framework of the project. Both organizations are responsible for arranging the volunteer’s departure and the reintegration after the return. The cost of travel, food, accommodation, transport, as well as pocket money are covered. In addition, the volunteer is allowed to benefit from language support and online courses.
To participate in the program, simply contact a sending organisation in your country (check a database of accredited organisations) that will present you available projects or you can find a project abroad yourself and apply throughout a sending organisation.
The list of accredited sending organisations in Lithuania can be found here. EFHR may become your sending or receiving organisations or it can coordinate a project in that you want to participate in. Contact us by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. We will answer all your questions.