EU Launches Pilot Phase of Volunteer Program

    A member of the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps talks with collegues. Photo by: ECHO

    The pilot phase of the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps officially commenced on June 17. It involves selecting, training and deploying the first team of European humanitarian volunteers overseas, according to the European Commission.

    The commission expects the volunteers selected and trained under the pilot phase to begin working in third countries through three pilot projects later in 2011.

    “The pilot projects will give us a clear blueprint to move forward. We have two goals - first, to create an exciting opportunity for Europeans to make a difference in the world, and second, to bring collective value to individuals’ willingness to volunteer in the humanitarian area,” European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response Kristalina Georgieva said in a news release. “I am excited that the European citizens’ solidarity with the world’s most vulnerable people will now have its first ambassadors - our volunteers.”

    The pilot projects will help the EU determine how the volunteers can best complement the non-governmental aid groups’ work. The French Red Cross, Save the Children U.K. and Voluntary Service Overseas were chosen as key partners for these projects.

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    About the author

    • Eliza Villarino

      Eliza Villarino currently manages one of today’s leading publications on humanitarian aid, global health and international development, the weekly GDB. At Devex, she has helped grow a global newsroom, with talented journalists from major development hubs such as Washington, D.C, London and Brussels. She regularly writes about innovations in global development.