The EU Aid was a program funded by the European Union that connected volunteers with organisations, enabling them to contribute to humanitarian projects in communities affected by disasters. As of 2022, this program became part of the European Solidarity Corps. This initiative can serve as a first step for individuals looking to work in the humanitarian field, with the goal of ensuring that the basic needs of local populations are met.
Requirements and Types of Volunteering
The humanitarian aid volunteering program is intended for nationals and residents of European Union countries and third countries associated with the program – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Turkey, and the Republic of North Macedonia – aged between 18 and 35. There is the possibility to undertake volunteer projects individually or in teams.
Team Volunteering brings together 5 to 40 young people of different nationalities in one country, where they engage in various volunteer activities. These volunteering projects typically last between 2 weeks and 2 months and, to some extent, are similar to short-term projects, as volunteers live in an international and highly active environment.
Individual Volunteering has a duration of 2 to 12 months, making it a long-term project. Although there may be other volunteers in the association, individual volunteers will have more responsibilities and the opportunity to develop new skills and professional knowledge.
Depending on the destinations, it may be necessary to speak different languages, such as English, French, Spanish, Arabic, among others. To ensure eligibility for participation in the program, it is also necessary to undergo online training. Months later, each person will be invited to attend in-person training, both of which are mandatory. All information can be found on the Youth Portal.
Volunteering projects in humanitarian aid are carried out outside the European Union, in countries where there is a need to support local communities. However, it is important to note that volunteers are not sent on missions to countries or regions with armed conflicts. Some examples of countries where volunteering projects have already taken place include Colombia, the Philippines, Senegal, South Africa, Lebanon, India, Georgia, among many others.
Volunteers benefit from supplementary insurance covering various contingencies. They have access to a variety of support services, including linguistic support and training. Basic costs, such as travel to and from the project, accommodation, and meals, will be covered. Additionally, they will receive a small allowance for personal expenses. In the case of specific needs, such as a disability, these costs may also be covered.
After completing the online and face-to-face training sessions, eligible volunteers for the European Solidarity Corps humanitarian action projects can apply for the vacancies presented on the official website, the European Youth Portal.