GVC Italia: “EU Aid Volunteers benefits volunteers and organisations alike”
Today’s humanitarian crises pose unprecedented challenges for the humanitarian and development actors. They are mostly large-scale, protracted and complex, each with unique on-the-ground difficulties and political realities.
Among the challenges for responding organisations is the difficulty in finding skilled volunteers. The EU Aid Volunteers initiative, created by the European Commission, aims to fill that gap, by connecting humanitarian and development agencies with volunteers from EU Member States.
The initiative provides volunteers with accommodation, travel, insurance, ongoing learning, development, a monthly allowance while on deployment, and a resettlement allowance to help with expenses on returning home. There is also a training period to prepare the volunteers for deployment. The organisations, meanwhile, receive technical assistance to strengthen their capacities to participate in the initiative.
The first EU Aid Volunteers were deployed in 2017, and, earlier this year, we spoke to the EU Aid Volunteers Team Leader at the European Commission’s humanitarian arm DG ECHO, Caterine Ebah Moussa, about the programme’s added value for the humanitarian sector. Today, we meet one of the organisations taking part in the initiative.
Watch our interview with GVC Italia’s programmes director, Stefania Piccinelli, in which she explains why her organisation has been part of EU Aid Volunteers since the pilot phase in 2014.
“EU Aid Volunteers provides volunteers with an opportunity to see first-hand what it means to work in a humanitarian sector, in a different country,” Piccinelli told us at this year’s European Development Days in Brussels. “But, for us, it’s also a chance to find well-trained people who could join our team after – and this has been the case in recent years.”
What is EU Aid Volunteers?
EU Aid Volunteers is an initiative of the European Union that brings together volunteers and organisations from different countries, providing practical support to humanitarian aid projects and contributing to strengthening the local capacity and resilience of disaster-affected communities.
For more read this Q&A on Capacity4dev.
This article was written by Bartosz Brzezinski, Capacity4dev's Editorial Coordinator. Image credit: GVC Italia