European Voluntary Service (EVS)

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European Voluntary Service (EVS) is a part of Erasmus +, a European Commission funded programme for lifelong learning and volunteering in Europe. The EVS programme allows young people to volunteer with a non-profit organisation in a country other than their home country.

For more information on the EVS Programme, please visit the European Commission Website. 

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Depaul Ireland (both in Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland) is an accredited EVS hosting and coordinating organisation that has worked with the EVS programme since 2004. We accept applications from Programme Countries and Partner Countries only.

Countries: Some of the countries that we have hosted volunteers from: Italy, Spain, Austria, Poland, Germany, Latvia, Turkey, Portugal, Russia, The Netherlands, Ukraine, Sweden, Serbia, Belarus, Greece, France, Belgium.

The contribution that these volunteers make is invaluable, as they deliver a range of activities and bring a fresh and unique cultural dimension to each of our services. In this way, everyone benefits; the volunteer gains experience and skills and an insight into a different way of living, while Depaul and our service users benefit from the volunteer's energy and enthusiasm, whilst learning about their culture.

Northern Ireland - EVS Volunteer Story - Sanita Pušpure

This is a story from an ex volunteer Sanita Pušpure from Latvia who undertook her EVS in Stella Maris from 2008- 2009...

Doing EVS in Stella Maris, Belfast, was a way to test myself and my readiness to work in the field - with real people and real problems, accepting and understanding them, as Depaul Ireland states "where they are at". Since I left Stella Maris 6 years ago, I went on to do a professional degree in Copenhagen and Riga, which involved a 7 month internship in Dublin, where I got to know another wonderful Depaul project; Sundial House.

I have collected some experience working at the social care unit of a hospital, supporting Roma children during after classes, as well as being involved in the train station mission of Cologne, Germany, working with homeless among other groups of people in need. Although it has been a good while since I left Belfast, whenever I need to think of the best experiences I had and explain people about my dream job, it always comes back to Stella Maris. Thank you for giving me this opportunity!

Photos: Sanita Pušpure (top photo) and far left (bottom photo).

Sanita Pušpure 2

Republic of Ireland
- EVS Volunteer Story -Maria Pospelova

This is a story from an ex volunteer Maria Pospelova from Russia who volunteered through our EVS programme in Peter's Place, Dublin from 2014-2015...

Living in Ireland, I felt home from the moment I arrived here. As a Depaul EVS volunteer, my experience has been the most exciting time of my life filled up with learning, making new friends and lots of traveling. The training I received during my time in Depaul gave me a better understanding of what is expected from me when undertaking my work. I had never worked in the homeless sector before but I've learnt so much about the issues that come with homelessness. I've learnt to be more confident and self-reliant with the residents and more understanding of substance abuse issues and mental health needs.

In general, I have changed my attitude towards friendship/relationships, work and life. I feel that I've become more open-minded and kind. It was a life-changing experience for me that affected the way I am going to live from now on. It has helped me to understand what is important in life and what is not. My future career will be defined by this experience, as well as my future way of living.

Northern Irelannd - EVS Volunteer Story - Monika Staab

Monika Staab, EX EVS volunteer from Germany who undertook her EVS at the Homeless Family Services, Belfast 2014- 2015.

Where are you now?
I'm back in my hometown in Germany and going to move to a new city (about 1h away from my hometown) where I'm going to start my master degree.

What are you doing?
Since my arrival home I meet family and friends, relaxed and worked in my sister's company to earn some money. In October I'm starting my master degree in "Science of Education".
Last week I attended a training to become a Europeer because I wanted to share my EVS experience with other young people. Europeers are volunteers who are active in the "youth in action program" and try to promote Europe and the excellent opportunities for young adults to go abroad. Here I get the chance to talk about my time as an EVS with Depaul and stay in contact with other former EVS. I'm looking forward to start my own projects and show people the prospects of a young Europe. It can offerthe chance to get to know other cultures, learn new languages, develop skills and make new friends.

What are your memories with Depaul?

When I think about my time with Depaul I remember many wonderful warm hearted and open minded people, interesting conversations and a great involvement of the Depaul staff. Gladly I'm looking through the pictures of our organised activities and time we spent in family services and think about all the challenges we coped with in the beginning. I'm proud to say we managed to create a great bond with our service users and made their lives a little better.

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Republic of Ireland - EVS Volunteer Story -Alberto Fernandez Garcia

This is a story from an ex volunteer AlbertoFernandez Garcia from Spain who volunteered through our EVS programme in Sundial House, Dublin from 2014-2015...

My experience as an EVS volunteer has been intense, rewarding, exciting and challenging. I volunteered in Depaul's Sundial House service. I worked on the life skills programme, a programme of practical support for service users and I found it an essential programme.

I found a lot of support in the mentoring and supervision sessions. They helped me to talk about Sundial issues but also about my life in Dublin in general. Before I started to volunteer in Sundial I used to believe that homelessness was a social problem. Although I still think this, after all these months I can see with my own eyes how a social problem affects individual people.

There is no theory or statistics, with volunteering in Sundial there is only reality. This means, loneliness, people suffering, pain, death, but also the most welcoming people, solidarity, honesty and joy.



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