About EU Aid Volunteers
“We have here a unique opportunity to send a positive signal in these times of financial crises and increasing humanitarian crises: The EU Aid Volunteers will express European solidarity with concrete deeds helping those most in need. And they will at the same time learn invaluable skills and competencies: Saving lives is a life-changing experience that they will never forget.” Kristalina Georgieva, European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid, and Crisis Response.
EU Aid Volunteers brings together volunteers and organizations from all over the world, providing practical support to humanitarian aid projects and contributing to strengthening the local capacity and resilience of vulnerable and disaster-affected communities.
The EU Aid Volunteers initiative is open to people from a wide range of backgrounds and with different experiences, from newcomers to experienced professionals. The selection of EU Aid Volunteers will be driven by the humanitarian needs in the sector at the time of recruitment and guided by equal opportunities and non-discrimination principles. Volunteers are European Union citizens and long-term residents in an EU Member State. The minimum age for volunteers is 18 and there is no upper limit.
What should I know about EU Aid volunteering?
HOW LONG WILL I BE DEPLOYED?
The length of deployment depends on the specific project the volunteer works on. This can be from 5 to 12 months. View currently opened vacancies.
WILL I RECEIVE ANY REMUNERATION?
The program covers your expenses during the deployment, including travel costs, insurances, and accommodation is provided. In addition, EU Aid Volunteers will receive a monthly subsistence allowance covering everyday expenses such as food, local transport, and other expenses. Rates for these will depend on the country of deployment.
WILL I BE TRAINED?
Adequate training is an essential part of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative. All EU Aid Volunteers will participate in a centrally organized training program where their readiness for deployment will be assessed. In addition to the training centrally organized by ECHO/EACEA, the volunteers will get further preparation and support before, during and after their deployment:
- During the induction period, in which a three-day workshop will take place in each of the four European countries to prepare the volunteers on DRR/EPRP policies and materials and to offer them an insight into the partnership policy of the sending organization as well country specific information.
- Country specific working groups will be trained and supported through e-learning methods prior and during deployment. Volunteers in a country will regularly meet physically to exchange experiences where feasible.
- Continuous learning through an online exchange, eLearning, and webinars with the support of experts from universities during the deployment phase.
- Debriefing and evaluation after deployment with the line manager in the hosting organization and the project coordinator in the sending organization. If needed, the volunteers can receive post-deployment psychosocial support.
Qualifications and experience requirements
DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO BE AN EU AID VOLUNTEER?
There is not a single profile! Each assignment has its specific competence requirements. Generally, there are two main volunteer profiles within the EU Aid Volunteers initiative:
- Junior professionals (Less than 5 years of work experience)
- Senior professionals (More than 5 years of work experience)
Each assignment specifies whether the volunteer needed is a senior or junior professional. Some EU Aid Volunteers position will require specialist knowledge relevant in the context of humanitarian aid such as:
- logistics and transport
- organizational development and capacity building
- water and sanitation, protection and shelter
- nutrition and health
- disaster data and knowledge
- medical and paramedical services
Do you have one of these qualifications and are you willing to give your time and skills? Then you are a perfect EU Aid Volunteers candidate!
DO I NEED PREVIOUS VOLUNTEERING EXPERIENCE?
The profile for each volunteering placement will depend on the humanitarian needs of the hosting organization and the context of deployment. You do not necessarily need previous volunteering experience. However, please refer to the competence profile of the vacancy you are interested in, in order to understand whether you are a suitable candidate for the position.
What will volunteering give to you?
EU Aid Volunteer program opens a wide range of learning opportunities to its participants. Thanks to a multi-level preparatory training prepared by ECHO and partner organizations the volunteers will be introduced to both practical aspects of being part of an international team and working in a vulnerable country with specific cultural and social characteristics, as well as to theoretical concepts related to Disaster Risk Reduction, resilience building, and humanitarian response.
The experience of volunteers who took part in the program in previous years show that the mission is often demanding in many ways, pushing participants beyond their comfort zone, but also extremely enriching for their personal and professional development. Facing new ways of thinking and learning about local and global challenges and problems, understanding interconnections of various phenomena, getting familiar with local setting, history, culture, social structures help participants to deconstruct their stereotypes and misconceptions but also open space for creative solutions and transfer of volunteers’ knowledge and previous experience to the particular context.
Need for getting by with limited resources and use of local or adapted solutions brings a very practical aspect to participants’ learning. Working in the multicultural team and with various stakeholders also opens new perspectives and space for knowledge sharing, but also for the practical use of culturally sensitive behavior, non-violent communication, problem resolution, teamwork, and time management.
YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE AN EU AID VOLUNTEER? GREAT! IT’S TIME TO APPLY. THE DEADLINE FOR SUBMITTING YOUR APPLICATION IS ON 8TH OF MAY.
Diaconia ECCB - Centre for Relief and Development is working on EU Aid Volunteers deployments projects. We deploy senior and junior volunteers to Cambodia, Nepal, Uganda and Ethiopia.
Once you have spotted the mission you are interested in, please fill in the application package and send it back to us through the recruitment application system. Selected candidates will later be invited for an interview. If successful, they will attend a special training before being deployed on the field.