A volunteer has many rights and responsibilities:
- The main responsibility is to work and achieve the task and goals of the project that was already prepared when applying for the project.
- If volunteers wants to do other activities, they can discuss this with the hosting organization and see if it possible to do this or not.
- The volunteer should be active and with enough commitment to the project.
- The volunteer rights are for accommodation, health insurance, food, pocket money, reasonable working hours, transportation, linguistic support.
- Finding out about the hosting country with the help of the sending and the hosting organization.
Also, as suggestions:
- The volunteer may write a blog about their experiences and if possible to make a guide about the new experience, culture and country that he had.
- The volunteer should promote the EVS program in his country after he finishes his EVS.
- If applied for a volunteer needs to participate in an Advance Planning Visit.
Volunteers With Fewer Opportunities:
The Erasmus+ Program encourages and sets as priority the inclusion of youth with fewer opportunities. Youth with fewer opportunities are young people with social, economic, educational, cultural, geographical difficulties, and health obstacles and disabilities compared to their peers.. When including youth with fewer opportunities in the project the short term EVS are more prevalent and last from 2 weeks to 2 months. The volunteers should first apply for a short term EVS in order to assure that they chose activities appropriate to their interests, objectives and needs and get used to the new environment. If they want they can apply for long term EVS in the same organization, but these projects cannot exceed 12 months altogether.
Special costs are allocated for reinforced mentorship and for specific preparation in the case of participation of young people with fewer opportunities. Volunteers with disabilities have the right of accompanying person who will assist them during their travel and stay, but it is very important to include these into the application forms.
Sending organization should communicate with the hosting organization to make sure that they are ready for any special situation, and to make sure that the new environment is not too different or difficult form what the volunteer is accustomed to. Host organizations can contact other specialized organisations who work with fewer opportunity groups, who can assist involvement in local community. Also in order to assure that all health problems can be managed, contact with hospitals and doctors should be prepared. If the volunteer uses specific medicines, airport and customs special rules should be checked and the proper authorities need to be informed about them at booking and travel.
Advice for the organizations working with fewer opportunities
– Crisis prevention:
The sending organization could organize a small one or two week project imitating the future activities of the volunteer in the hosting organization. This could help all a stakeholders to come across unforeseen difficulties. And to figure out ways to manage them.
– During the project (example):
If the volunteer have economical difficulties during the project the hosting organization can organize a training connected to entrepreneurship and get a certificate that can be used in the country of the volunteer. And the training can be given by experts in the field and it can be one of the additional activities included in the project. The training will give the volunteer basic entrepreneurial skills and experts will assist the volunteer to create a business plan that they can implement in their country. Other specific activities can be done to support all types of fewer opportunity categories.
The hosting organization could organize feedback and team building activities involving local community, once a month, an activity that brings together volunteers and the local community with the same needs.
-After the project:
A good practices would be after the end of the EVS to involve volunteers with fewer opportunities in mentoring their peers in future projects and promoting EVS.
The Hosting Organization
The tasks and responsibilities of the host organization are to:
- Ensure that the activity of the volunteer is properly prepared and managed.
- Ensure all of the rights of the volunteer (refund money, accommodation, health insurance, food, pocket money, reasonable working hours, transportation, linguistic support).
- To assign a mentor who is supporting the volunteer in the daily tasks and who has a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly meeting to discuss all that happened during the week and to evaluate the work and if there is any problem, either on the work level or the personal level or the social level, to support it and to help with finding ways to overcome them.
- Ensure achieving the project tasks, targets and supporting the volunteer in achieving these.
- Support for the volunteer to make the Youthpass with the details about the learning achievements and the experiences received during the project
- Manage and send the volunteer to on arrival training and mid-term meeting.
- Manage the final evaluation of the project and the follow up activities
- Apply and do Advance Planning Visit for volunteers with fewer opportunities.
If possible, a host organization should let the volunteer participate in other project that the organization organize and not only his project, also to accept any new ideas that the volunteer wants to do if possible
The Sending organization
This stakeholder is responsible to:
- do the selection of the volunteer while ensuring the criteria of selecting that is already agreed upon with the hosting organization, putting in mind the commitment of the selected person and making sure that volunteer expectation is meeting with the project that is applied for.
- Do a pre-departure training and preparation of the volunteer before sending
- Inform the volunteer about rights and responsibilities and about the Youthpass.
- Inform volunteers about the country, traveling details, culture, follow up activities amd money refund.
- Organize an evaluation for the volunteer and the experience that they had after finishing the EVS.
- Promoting EVS in the community
This stakeholder is responsible to:
- Write and apply for the EVS project
- Choose the sending, hosing organizations and the volunteer
- Ensure good communication between sending and hosting organizations
- Mange the project and handle all the needed paperwork and financial matters within timely limits.
- Writing the EVS contract in a simple, clear language.
- Coordinate the selection process between the sending, hosting organization and the volunteer.
- Giving the deadlines for writing reports and sending the necessary legal documents
Other indirect stakeholders are the National Agency which evaluates and approves or rejects projects, offers the grant and monitors project implementation and the local communities which are usually the target groups of the EVS activities.