pic_evsEuropean Voluntary Service (EVS) is a part of Youth in Action, a European Commission funded programme for lifelong learning and volunteering in Europe. The EVS programme allows young people (18-30 years old) to volunteer in a non-profit organisation in a country other than their home country.

The Youth in Action programme offers young Europeans the chance to make a real difference to the world and to their own lives through the European Voluntary Service.

European Voluntary Service (EVS) provides young Europeans with the unique chance to express their personal commitment through unpaid and full-time voluntary activities in a foreign country within or outside the EU. In this way, it seeks to develop solidarity, mutual understanding and tolerance among young people, thus contributing to reinforcing social cohesion in the European Union and to promoting young people’s active citizenship.

Learning for Life
Open to all young people aged 18 to 30, EVS is a true ‘learning service’. Beyond benefiting the local communities, by participating in voluntary activities, young volunteers can develop new skills and, therefore, improve their personal, educational and professional development. Volunteers can benefit from specific training throughout the activity and agree on their expected learning outcomes, processes and methods in advance. Their learning experience is formally recognised through a Youthpass. Participation is free for the volunteers who also get board and lodging, insurance cover and an allowance for the duration of the project. Special conditions apply to encourage the participation of young people with fewer opportunities. For instance, they can participate as of the age of 16. Further information can be found in the Youth in Action Programme guide.

Cooperations and Friendships
A successful EVS project requires close co-operation among at least three key players: a sending organisation, a host organisation and the volunteer. One of the organisations involved in this partnership also plays the role of coordinating organisation and applies for an EU grant on behalf of the partnership. Organisations perform a number of roles: they identify volunteering opportunities and develop projects that benefit the local community. They also recruit and prepare the volunteers, host them, and ensure follow-up.

EVS activities can be carried out both individually or in group. Up to 100 volunteers can now participate in the same EVS activity!

European Voluntary Service spans a wide range of areas, such as culture, youth, sports, social care, cultural heritage, the arts, civil protection, the environment, development co-operation, etc. One thing all the activities have in common is a clear European and intercultural learning dimension. EVS is a mutually beneficial process, where everybody gains from getting to know the other\'s culture.

European Voluntary Service (EVS) Downloadslogo_evs_com
Hands on Guide to European Voluntary Service (Léargas)
Hands on Guide to Youthpass (Léargas)
European Voluntary Service Management Guide (Léargas)
Youthpass User Guide (EU Commission)
European Voluntary Service guide for volunteers (E-Book)

Further information
If you are interested in being an EVS volunteer or you would like to host EVS volunteers please contact the Louth Volunteer Centre at (041) 980 6900.

EVS Project videos

The following video is from Hi-Rez Youth Club in Bray of their experience of hosting an EVS Volunteer from France.

The following video explains the process of organising EVS

The following video outlines the story of a group of EVS volunteers who travelled to Italy for their project

The following video was produced by the Greek National Agency for the Youth Programme to promote EVS

The following video promotes the complete Youth in Action Programme

The following video celebrates 20 years of European Youth Programmes

EVS has certain core values and quality standards which are laid down in the EVS Charter. In order to protect and uphold these, organisations interested in sending or hosting EVS volunteers or coordinating an EVS project need first to be accredited.

To receive accreditation, organisations submit an ‘expression of interest’ and, once their application is approved, they sign up to the EVS Charter. Accreditation lasts for three years, but can be withdrawn immediately in cases of non-compliance with the Charter.

National Agency for Ireland
189 Parnell Street
Dublin 1
T: (+353 1) 873 1411
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
W: www.leargas.ie/youth

Available and accrediated organisations
You can search the European database of EVS accredited organisations for accredited hosting, sending and coordinating organisations.  To search available projects and apply online, check out YouthNetworks.eu

Latest News

  • volunteering fairs day 031Louth Volunteer Centre are to hold two volunteering fairs during National Volunteering Week. The fairs will take place on Friday 16th & Saturday May 17th.


    The first of the two will be held in The Marshes shopping centre in Dundalk and the second will be an outdoor event on West St. in Drogheda.


    Up to 40 local community organisations will take part in the event. John Cotterell, manager of The Louth Volunteer Centre, said that “Taking part in the fair will give these organisations the opportunity to showcase the amazing work that they do & give them the opportunity to meet & recruit new volunteers”.


    The fair is set to have a great atmosphere with some surprise entertainment throughout the day.  So make sure to stop by and enjoy the festivities.


    Some places are still available for volunteer involving organisations to host a free stand. Call Kayleigh on 086 043 1379 or Niamh on 041 980 9008 for details.



  • 1898958 256539024521141 344671745 nLast Saturday, a group of students from DKIT Volunteer Society got together to lend a hand to a local community creche that needed some redecoration. 16 students, some of whom are pictured left, turned up on the day and painted the 2 sleep rooms.

    One of the volunteers had also contacted local paint/hardware stores and received some very kind donations of paint and equipment from local Dundalk businesses Colour Trend and Terry’s Paint & Wallpaper.

    Rebecca Somers, one of the students that got involved, said: "The reason I'm volunteering is that it’s a way to give something back to the community. Volunteering is a two way thing. You are showing people you care and this can go a long way, also its a sense of achievement within yourself. You learn different skills and get to meet different people along the way. If you can bring happiness to someone’s life who may need it then you will be happy too. I feel really happy that the service is there for us to volunteer as I feel we really do make a difference in the world. There are just so many reasons to volunteer”

    It is great to see so many students making an effort to help out in the local community. The Volunteer Society will also be getting involved in other events such as stewarding events, fundraising and other once off volunteering opportunities. Each student that gets involved will receive the President's Award for Civic Engagement, from DKIT President Denis Cummins, in May.

  • "Lens a Hand" - Photograpy competition & exhibition

    CarolineIn the spirit of National Volunteering Week and the Drogheda Arts Festival, Louth Volunteer Centre is combining volunteering and art by organising an amateur photographic competition and exhibition, 'Lens a Hand', aimed at promoting and encouraging volunteering in Louth.

    The theme for the competition is "capture the spirit of volunteering in Louth" and it will be open to everyone who wishes to enter a photograph of themselves or a friend or colleague volunteering, showcasing the diversity of volunteering in action and illustrating its positive impact in the local community.

    Competition will be open from March 07 to April 04 and prizes will be given for the best entries.

    The exhibition, to take place in the Drogheda Town Centre, will be an exciting and creative way of sharing the experience of helping others, its benefits and its stories.
    Be inspired and enter the competition or you can lens a hand by voting for your favourite picture.

    For more information, click here.
    Please do not send pictures to us via Facebook/Twitter as uploading your photo to these sites will reduce the printing quality and will mean that we can't print & display them.


  • lg lollipopday

    OCF needs You! Help sell our €2 lollies at street collections/ in Supermarkets and Shopping Centres nationwide, Fri 28/2 – Sat 1/3. Great fun with great people + you make a real difference by increasing public awareness and raising essential funding for OC research and patient support services. See here for more info and to apply.



    Lollipop Day is Oesophageal Cancer Fund's national annual fundraising event. Typically taking place in February it launches in Dublin City Centre with a free family event featuring live music and celebrity MCs such as Sonny Knowles, Lorraine Keane and Sinead Desmond.


    Volunteer collections are held in towns and cities across Ireland. A red, heart-shaped lollipop is both our charity's emblem and our main fundraising device. Supporters can donate by buying a €2 lolly or pin.