EU Aid is a programme financed by the European Union that puts volunteers in contact with organisations that operate in humanitarian action projects in communities affected by disasters, both natural and man-made. This programme can be a first step to start working in the humanitarian field and aims to ensure that the basic needs of local people are met.
The EU Aid volunteering programme is available to nationals and long term residents of European Union countries from the age of 18. We would like to highlight it is unlikely that an 18 year old will be selected for this type of activity, since it is necessary to have some experience and psychological preparation to volunteer in the context of development.
Depending on the destination country, it may be necessary to speak different languages, such as English, French, Spanish, Arabic, among others. Each vacancy announces all the necessary requirements and there are vacancies for junior and senior positions, depending on the level of experience.
Volunteer projects last between 1 and 18 months, however, most vacancies advertised last between 6 and 12 months. It is important to take into account that, in addition to the months on mission, there is initial training organised by the sending organisation that will cover topics such as security, international relations, humanitarian action, among others dependent on the roles of the volunteers and the topic of the mission. After returning, there will still be moments of evaluation to close the volunteering project.
EU Aid volunteer projects are carried out outside the European Union, in countries where there is a need to support local communities, however volunteers are not sent to missions in countries or regions where there are armed conflicts. Some examples of countries where there have already been volunteer projects are the following: Colombia, Philippines, Senegal, South Africa, Lebanon, India, Georgia, among many others.
EU Aid also offers some positions to volunteer online in translation, website development and design. This is a great option if you don’t have a lot of time to volunteer abroad!
The programme provides support for volunteers from the moment of training to the return after mission. The support consists of trips between the countries of origin and destination in the training and mission stages, insurance, accommodation and pocket money. The pocket money is calculated according to the country where the mission takes place and aims to cover food, transportation and other expenses. For each month of mission abroad, volunteers are entitled to a reallocation amount of 100€/ month to be paid upon return.
Applicants must search for vacancies on the EU Aid Volunteers platform and make the application following the indications for each vacancy, since it has specific forms and selection stages.
After the closing of applications’ period, the most suitable candidates are contacted for an interview, so that the organisation can select volunteers with the most suitable profile for the project. Before leaving for the mission, the volunteers have a preparation training in the country defined in the call, which is followed by the moment of implementation and finally a final evaluation.