EU Aid Volunteers
EU Aid Volunteers (European international volunteer programme for humanitarian missions abroad) is an initiative by the European Commission’s department for Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) and is managed by the EU Executive Agency for Education, Audiovisual and Culture (EACEA). It offers EU citizens aged 18 or over, as well as those resident in Europe for a lengthy period, the opportunity to be involved in paid foreign voluntary work in humanitarian aid projects worldwide.
EU Aid Volunteers (2016-2020) is enabling more than 4,000 European citizens to become volunteers so that they can contribute to and support − through their time, work and specific skills – the humanitarian missions already active in the countries with the greatest need. It is training over 4,400 professionals belonging to the local organisations that will welcome and coordinate the volunteers. It is offering 10,000 online volunteering opportunities.
The European Commission has finalised this joint volunteer training programme, and has set European standards for the humanitarian organisations working worldwide within EU-funded projects to reinforce and support local skills in prevention, preparation and recovery from crisis. It finances projects proposed by groups made up of European and non-European NGOs that aim to strengthen local organisations in countries hit by humanitarian emergencies. It supports the activities of European organisations that provide technical assistance to similar European organisations so that these can meet the set requirements and correctly carry out the procedures necessary to taking part in the EU Aid Volunteers initiative.
These three aspects are achieved through different project types (Capacity Building, Deployment and Technical Assistance) to which GVC – to date the sole Italian NGO certified to send volunteers on its humanitarian missions abroad – has been committed, along with its partners, right since the pilot stage.