.... in humanitarian projects. Envisaged by the Treaty of Lisbon, the programme will match the interest of Europeans who want to roll up their sleeves and make a difference for the victims of disasters, with humanitarian organisations' need for well-trained, motivated volunteers to assist in their operations.
Trained volunteers will have a variety of options: from performing online tasks from home, through work at the offices of humanitarian organisation inside the European Union, to deployment to EU-funded humanitarian operations around the world.
Intensive preparation has been going on since 2011 to make sure that "EU Aid Volunteers" will fit seamlessly among existing volunteering schemes and will be a real, practical asset to humanitarian organisations, motivated Europeans and the victims of disasters who will benefit from their assistance.
The programme has gone through three preparatory phases, through which 270 "pilot volunteers" have been deployed to projects in 44 countries: including Haiti, Uganda and the Philippines. Volunteers have come from 30 different countries; their experience and that of the organisations hosting them has served as the basis of the Commission's work on the programme.