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European network on youth volunteering

IRIV (France) facilitated this project with the partnership of ISIS (Germany), FIVOL (Italy), AEVOL (Spain), IRV (United Kingdom) and NOV (the Netherlands); with the support of the European commission (programme youth for Europe) and the The European Youth Foundation (EYF). The results of the work group were published: Bénévolat des jeunes en Europe.


More and more Europeans are concerned by volunteering in all fields of social life : sports and leisure, health, social services, culture, environment, human rights, consumption…Since in Europe the average levels of education are rising, the numbers of people willing to volunteer should also increase : it appears that higher levels of education are correlated to higher rates of participation in voluntary organizations..But if volunteering is still elitist we shouldn't forget that it may be a fundamental step for all young people to prepare their future social and professional life. For youngsters who didn't go on with studies, volunteering is less easy or suffers by a bad image. Nevertheless, it can be much more decisive for his/her future : feeling useful for the collectivity, meeting people they wouldn't have had the chance to meet in their life. Concerning youth volunteering, the European Commission has led a very positive action with the European voluntary service for young. A new form of " proximity volunteering " is being developped in countries. For governments, volunteering has become a key issue. The aim of our project is to evaluate youth volunteering in different European countries on the basis of national studies already done and to propose concrete actions to promote it on both European and national levels.


The aim of the project is to create a network to exchange expertise and to stimulate national governments on the subject of Youth volunteering. This project will keep in mind that " instead of attempting to make young people fit into existing volunteering, we should reshape volunteering to accomodate them " (Gaskin, Voluntary action, 1998).


1. What is already done in Europe : synthetis of studies already made on the subject of Youth volunteering ;

2. What should be improve : methods to improve volunteering among youngsters and to open voluntary organisations to the younger generation ;

3. For which results : programs or proposals of common actions to promote youth volunteering .

Project outcomes

1. Information for European youngsters : for instance through a website and a specific refering on Youth volunteering to make it easy to find the informations ;

2. The next International Conference on volunteering will take place in the Netherlands in january 2001 : a presentation could be made on Youth volunteering in Europe , the ways to promote it ; the network should be broadened to other countries on this occasion ;

3. Promotion of innovative ways of volunteering for the New Millenium, respecting the cultural backgroungs and definition of volunteering in each country, original formula for " proximity volunteering " within the reach of any kind of youngster (student or not, working or not, urban or rural, with a privileged background or not…)


European experts have been chosen on the basis of their skills in the field of volunteering :


Dr. Jurgen Schumacher
Nonnenpfad 14
D-60599 Frankfurt am Mair
Tel.: +49-69-654340


Carmen Rodriguez Eyre
Maria Jesus Cordoba
Gran Via, 17 A
28013 Madrid
Tel.: +34 91 523 36 24


Dr Bénédicte Halba
26, bd Raspail
F-75007 Paris
Tel.: +33-1-42840825


Tiziana Cruciani
Dr Renato Frisanco
Via Nazionale, 39
00184 Rome
Tel.: +39 06 47 43 887

The Netherlands

Annemieke Hijink
Plompetorengracht 15A
NL-GW 3500 Utrecht
Tel.: +31-30-2319844

United Kingdom

Merlin Sibley
Regent Warf
8 All Saints
N1 9RL London
Tel.: +44 171 520 89 00


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