Youth in Action 

Youth in Action is the Programme the European Union has set up for young people. It aims to inspire a sense of active European citizenship, solidarity and tolerance among young Europeans and to involve them in shaping the Union's future. It promotes mobility within and beyond the EU's borders, non-formal learning and intercultural dialogue, and encourages the inclusion of all young people, regardless of their educational, social and cultural background: Youth in Action is a Programme for all!

By Decision N° 1719/2006/EC of 15 November 2006(1), the European Parliament and the Council adopted the Youth in Action Programme for the period 2007 to 2013 which put into place the legal framework to support non-formal learning activities for young people.

The Youth in Action Programme aims to respond at European level to the needs of young people from adolescence to adulthood. It makes an important contribution to the acquisition of competences and is therefore a key instrument in providing young people with opportunities for non-formal and informal learning with a European dimension. It contributes to the fulfilment of the aims set out in the revised Lisbon Strategy(2) and the European Youth Pact(3). Furthermore, it is an important instrument to support the EU Youth Strategy – Investing and Empowering(4).

(1) OJ L 327 of 24 November 2006, pp.30-44.
(2) Working together for growth and jobs. A new start for the Lisbon Strategy, COM (2005) 24 of 2 February 2005.
(3) Annex 1 of Presidency Conclusions of the European Council, Brussels, 22 and 23 March 2005.
(4) Council Resolution of 27 November 2009 on a renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018).

Objectives of the Youth in Action Programme

The general objectives stated in the legal basis of the Youth in Action Programme are to:

  • promote young people’s active citizenship in general and their European citizenship in particular
  • develop solidarity and promote tolerance among young people, in particular in order to foster social cohesion in the European Union
  • foster mutual understanding between young people in different countries
  • contribute to developing the quality of support systems for youth activities and the capabilities of civil society organisations in the youth field
  • promote European cooperation in the youth field.

Action 2 - European Voluntary Service

The aim of the European Voluntary Service (EVS) is to develop solidarity and promote active citizenship and mutual understanding among young people. The European Voluntary Service enables young people to carry out voluntary service for up to 12 months in a country other than their country of residence. It fosters solidarity among young people and is a true ‘learning service’. Beyond benefiting local communities, volunteers learn new skills and languages, and discover other cultures.


An EVS project has three phases:

  1. Planning and preparation.
  2. Implementation of the Activity.
  3. Evaluation (including reflection on a possible follow-up).

Non-formal learning principles and practice are reflected throughout the project. An EVS project can focus on a variety of themes and areas of intervention, such as culture, youth, sports, social care, cultural heritage, arts, civil protection, environment, development cooperation, etc. High-risk interventions in immediate post-crisis situations (e.g. humanitarian aid, immediate disaster relief, etc.) are excluded. It is designed to implement one or more EVS Activities.


EVS Activity

An EVS Activity has three essential components: the service, EVS training and evaluation cycle and ongoing volunteer support.


The Service

The volunteer is hosted by a promoter in a country other than her/his country of residence and carries out voluntary service for the benefit of the local community. The service is unpaid, non profit-making and full-time.


EVS Training and Evaluation Cycle

The promoters involved in the EVS Activity must ensure that each volunteer participates in:

  1. Pre-departure training .
  2. On-arrival training.
  3. Mid-term evaluation (for a Service lasting more than 4 months).
  4. Evaluation of the Activity.

All training courses must comply with the Guidelines and minimum quality standards set by the Commission; details are available on the website of the European Commission. For further information on the EVS Training and Evaluation Cycle, please consult section 'What else should you know about EVS?' in the website


Ongoing volunteer support

The promoters must provide personal, task-related, linguistic and administrative support to each volunteer involved in the Activity. An EVS Activity involving young people with fewer opportunities includes specific elements to ensure that adequate support is provided to the volunteers.


What EVS is Not

  1. Occasional, unstructured, part-time volunteering.
  2. An internship in an enterprise.
  3. A paid job; it must not replace paid jobs.
  4. A recreation or tourist activity.
  5. A language course.
  6. Exploitation of a cheap workforce.
  7. A period of study or vocational training abroad.

As Nossas Tarefas de Voluntário 

Our Volunteer Tasks

  • Ir ao supermercado fazer compras para os idosos.
  • Ir ao mercado livre.
  • Pagar as contas de electricidade, água, etc.
  • Ir à farmácia.
  • Ir ao médico buscar receitas médicas.
  • Trabalhar com os "family workers".
  • Fazer limpezas.
  • Passar a ferro.
  • Estender roupa.
  • Limpar as janelas.
  • Deitar o lixo no contentor.
  • Ajudar os "family helpers" a cortar as unhas dos idosos.
  • Sacudir os tapetes.
  • Lavar a loiça.
  • Levar comida à casa dos idosos.
  • Preparar comida para os idosos.
  • Acompanhar os idosos ao banco, etc.
  • Abastecer as casas com combustível para aquecimento.
  • Trabalhar no Clube K.A.P.I. Este clube organiza actividades e eventos para os idosos, e disponibiliza um espaço para estes passarem o tempo livre. Neste espaço existe um bar onde nós prestamos assistência. O Clube disponibiliza também serviço de fisioterapia.
  • Go to the supermarket and buy goods for the elderly.
  • Go to the free market.
  • Pay the bills for electricity, water, etc.
  • Go to the pharmacy.
  • Go to the doctor to collect medical prescriptions.
  • Work together with the "family workers".
  • Cleaning.
  • Ironing.
  • Hang clothes for drying.
  • Clean the windows.
  • Collect the garbage.
  • Help "family helpers" in cutting the nails of the elderly.
  • Clean the carpets.
  • Make the dishes.
  • Provide food to the elderly.
  • Prepare food to the elderly.
  • Accompany old people to the bank, etc.
  • Provide the elderly homes with petrol for heating.
  • Working in the Club K.A.P.I. This club organizes activities and events for the elderly people and provides a space for them to pass the free time. In this space there is a bar where we offer assistance. The club also provides physiotherapy service.

Personal Project 1 - Charity Campaign 

Our first personal project consisted in a charity campaign with the aim of helping the old people in need. The beneficiaries of this campaign were the elderly that were inscribed members of the "Help at Home" project, which live not only in the city of Xylokastro but also in interior desertified vilages like Panarity, Manna, Rizi, Styla, Zemeno, Pitza, etc. The majority of these members lived in very poor conditions with a low life quality standard. In order to help the old people we collected food, cloth, small furniture and functional electronic equipement during a whole week, in a public facility called Kentro Newn (K.D.A.P.).

  The charity campaign was advertised in the city of Xylokastro by spreading flyers, and placing posters in certain key locations. We conceived and designed the whole poster and we got permission for advertising with it from the Municipality in the 12th of May, 2010. The poster artwork is depicted in your right hand side.

  The title of the poster is a greek word that is composed of two words, filos which means friend and thropia which means human. The word Filantropia thus has the more general meaning of Charity.

  The space between the title and the image was reserved for a famous quotation from the greek slave and fable author Aesop (620 BC - 560 BC):

"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted..."


  The text bellow the image can be translated to english as:

  The Municipality of Xylokastro, in collaboration with the volunteers of the European Union that it hosts, is conducting a charity campaign in order to help the elderly registered in the "Help at Home" program of this Muicipality. The program aims to enhancet their quality of life and improve their poor living conditions. The items that are appropriate to be collected are food, cloth, small furniture and functional electronic equipment.

  The items will be collected from the 17th until the 21th of May, in the Kéntro Néwn (K.D.A.P.), in the central entrance, which is opposite to the Municipality of Xylokastro, during the following days and hours:

  Monday,        from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

  Tuesday,       from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

  Wednesday,  from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

  Thursday,     from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

  Friday,         from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The Municipality, the volunteers from the European Union and the elderly greatly appreciate your generosity!

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