Who we are and what we do
The Alliance of European Voluntary Service Organisations is an International Non-Governmental Youth Organisation (INGYO) founded in 1982. It is a cooperative network of independent, national organisations working together on the quality and development of International Voluntary Service.
Each member organisation runs an annual programme of International Volunteer Projects in their own country, on a national level, and exchanges volunteers with each other following the Alliance Quality Charter. Every year an average of 15.000 young volunteers participate in more than 1300 local community projects, workcamps, organised by member organisations. International Voluntary Service (IVS) projects are organised by the Alliance members either on a national or regional basis but always in partnership with local communities. They engage the volunteer groups in a wide diversity of community development tasks including environmental, construction, renovation, social, cultural and archaeological work.
Voluntary work is considered as a tool to improve active citizenship and democratic, political participation. All projects provide resources and support to local communities, giving at the same time individuals from diverse backgrounds and all ages the opportunity to meet and live an intercultural and empowering experience. The Alliance members provide individuals with a chance to exercise volunteering regardless to nationality, gender, age, economical, social and physical conditions. We believe that volunteering is a service, a duty, opportunity and right for everyone.
The Alliance is a democratic, accessible, efficient, supportive and open network, based on the active voluntary participation of its diverse members, a cooperative structure and a permanent secretariat. The aims are to promote better cooperation among our members and to develop common standards and best practice activities for the benefit of volunteers and local partners. The focus lies on improving the quality of the voluntary projects by facilitating the networking and training of our members. One of the main training activities of the Alliance is the Long Term Training Course, that is implemented every two years in accordance with the Alliance Training and Education policy.
Alliance educational activities
Alliance educational activities are coherent to actual priorities of the network and they are based on vision and mission of the network, its annual priorities set during the General Assembly as well as the current needs of Alliance members.
One of the basic principles of the Alliance is non-formal education. Non-formal education is a way to enable personal growth and social development of the participants and an integral part of what the Alliance does; it is a part of all of the activities as far as its methods are used in participative and evaluative practices. The Alliance considers workcamps as a possible non-formal educational tool through learning by doing approach and learning from each other.
Through all its activities, the Alliance aims to empower young people to accompany them in their intercultural process to develop among them relevant learning opportunities, to contribute to organisational and youth policy development.
The Alliance provides capacity building for its members from IVS technical placement procedures to training and social skills development, external relations, social inclusion/participation, environmental and general sustainability in IVS projects and networking events, quality management, volunteering trends research and policy development on various issues representing the network.
The online learning platform is our step forward into the innovation of the non-formal education and youth activism. The Alliance initiates an e-community of learners, in the effort of using current IT tools that offer great advantages for youth workers and trainers in many contexts.