Q&A

Who can become an EU Aid Volunteer?

The EU Aid Volunteers initiative is open to EU citizens and third country long-term residents in a Member State of, at least, 18 years of age. They can come from a wide range of backgrounds and with different experiences, from newcomers to experienced professionals. The selection of EU Aid Volunteers is determined by the humanitarian needs in the sector at the time of recruitment and guided by equal opportunities and non-discrimination principles.

I am not an EU citizen – can still I get involved?

Anyone will be able to be involved via online volunteering. Check out our online volunteering opportunities!

Are there any age restrictions?

The minimum age for volunteers is 18 and there is no upper limit.

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 vacancy profile you are interested in, in order to assess whether you are suitable for the position.

Which professional profiles will be considered for the EU Aid Volunteers initiative?

Each assignment will have its specific competence requirements. Generally, there will be two main volunteer profiles within the EU Aid Volunteers initiative: Each assignment will either be senior or junior level. Some EU Aid Volunteers will have 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.

I have never worked in a humanitarian setting. Can I apply?

You can apply if your profile matches the required competences as stated in the vacancy announcement. As a junior professional, you may be required to first spend up to six months in an organization based in the EU in order to familiarize yourself with the humanitarian nature of your project.

Will I be paid?

The programme covers your expenses during the deployment, including travel costs, insurances, and accommodation. 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?

Training of volunteers and strong security procedures are essential to the EU Aid Volunteers initiative. EU Aid Volunteers benefit from a centrally organized training programme where their readiness for deployment is evaluated. The training covers topics such as Introduction to the European Union, its external relations and crisis response system; Introduction to humanitarian action, the Union humanitarian aid policy and the EU Aid Volunteers; managing personal safety, health and security; Project management; inter-cultural awareness and a scenario-based exercise, with additional optional modules depending on the type of volunteer deployment.

EU Aid Volunteers sending organizations are certified on safety and security protocols and volunteers are trained specifically on these aspects pre-deployment, are briefed in country and are fully insured while deployed as EU Aid Volunteers.

Where can I apply?

Please note that the European Commission's department for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) does not recruit directly. The vacancies are published on the EU Aid Volunteers platform, and you will need to apply directly with the sending organization in charge of the specific project/s you are interested in.

When can I apply?

The deadlines for applying for each volunteer vacancy are specified in the vacancy notice. New vacancies are published regularly.

What will EU Aid Volunteers do during their deployment?

The task assignment of each volunteer will be based on a prior needs assessment of the specific context of deployment. Each announcement for a placement will contain a detailed explanation of the activities to be performed during the deployment. Volunteers will work on different types of assignments, depending on their profile and experience. The activities performed by EU Aid Volunteers will be in fields such as organizational development and capacity-building, project management, disaster risk management support, food and nutrition, water and sanitation.

Where will EU Aid Volunteers be deployed?

Deployment countries are defined for each EU Aid Volunteer assignment on the basis of real needs on a local level. Volunteers will be deployed to countries outside the EU where humanitarian aid operations take place. EU Aid Volunteers will not be deployed to countries or regions with international or non-international armed conflicts.

I want to help but I can't leave my country/work?

You can still help! EU Aid Volunteers offers the chance to join an online volunteering platform, where volunteers have the chance to get in touch with organizations that need support that can be offered remotely. Specific online volunteering opportunities are published on our website.

What is online volunteering?

The EU Aid Volunteers online volunteering platform is a tool that offers the opportunity to organizations and volunteers to get in touch and work together on specific assignments.

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