ISCA volunteers past and present celebrate 20th anniversary of European Voluntary Scheme
The year 2016 has marked the 20th anniversary of the European Voluntary Service (EVS), which is part of the European Commission’s Erasmus+ programme. EVS gives young people (aged 17-30) an opportunity to travel, live abroad and contribute to a cause they are interested in by working for an NGO for a period from 2 to 12 months. While doing that, they are making new friends, improving foreign language skills and learning new skills that can help them later on in their professional career.
The EVS programme started as a pilot project in 1996, and over the last 20 years about 100,000 young people have been part of it. ISCA has been an EVS host organisation since 2001 and has so far hosted 48 volunteers from 22 countries. Here’s what they some of them shared with us about their experience at ISCA.
“I have gained a powerful international network and cultural sensitivity that has helped me navigate through different environments, feeling that I can ‘sit at the table’ with anyone, including Commissioners from the European Union, the Mayor of Ljubljana or the President of Iceland.”
Sorin Buruiana from Romania, EVS at ISCA from August 2009 until June 2010, currently working as a Communications Assistant at UNOPS in Myanmar
“What I liked in ISCA was the openness of the staff and enjoying sharing everybody’s experiences. One more aspect you wouldn’t miss is being active with your colleagues there as well as with the Danes biking to work or exploring the city.”
Anne-Flore Angot from France, EVS at ISCA from September 2010 to July 2011, currently working at the French Handisport Federation (FFH) as an Event and Project Coordinator
“ISCA is made of dedicated, innovative, passionate and inspiring people who are all keen to share their own experiences. I learnt a lot about project management, European projects and policies in the field of sport. I definitely learnt a lot about how an organisation can work with a very friendly atmosphere, a low hierarchy structure and a lot of independence among the different individuals who are still working as a team.”
Valentin Dupouey from France, EVS at ISCA from September 2013 to July 2014, now living in Brussels, working as Secretary General of JEF Europe (the Young European Federalists)
“On a personal level, as my EVS was my first experience abroad (and the only on so far), I think I have learned to be open to the rest of the world. Today I have the feeling I grew through contact with great people from all over the world.”
Marie Grillet from France, EVS at ISCA from September 2014 to August 2015, currently working in Paris as PR consultant in a communication agency
“The multicultural setting and good vibe you feel every day is a push to wake up early in the morning, take the train from Lyngby to the city centre and be certain that it is going to be a great day. That the people working next to you are pushing the boat to the same side, that there will be time to work hard and be focused, but also time to have fun, share experiences and be happy while moving the world.”
Maria Lourdes Gonzalez from Argentina/Germany, EVS at ISCA from March 2016 to February 2017
“I have developed both my personal and professional skills. Being with ISCA has confirmed that I have found the right field for me. Above all it’s about making friends and working day-to-day with these amazing teammates.”
Laura-Maria Tiidla, from Estonia, EVS at ISCA from September 2016 to August 2017
Would you like to join ISCA team as an EVS volunteer?
ISCA has an open call for EVS volunteers twice per year, usually in autumn (starting EVS in March) and in spring (starting EVS in September). The EVS period is one year and ISCA as host organisation covers costs of accommodation, transportation and lunches, and gives EVSes a monthly allowance. For more information about EVS please visit the official EU website or the ISCA Youth webpage.
By Monika Resetar, ISCA
Photos left to right (top): Sorin Buruiana, Anne-Flore Angot, Valentin Dupouey
Photos left to right (bottom): Marie Grillet, Maria Lourdes Gonzalez, Laura-Maria Tiidla