The EU Aid Volunteers Initiative is a program funded by the European Commission in order to develop its humanitarian aid actions. Its framework is partly based on european sending organisations who specialize in sending volunteers on missions outside the European Union. Those sending organisations are entrusted with all the aspects of identification, selection, preparation, deployment and management of EU Aid Volunteers. They shall ensure that the hosting organisation is consistently involved throughout the entire project life-cycle.


EU Aid Volunteers purpose is to carry out European scheme for humanitarian aid in the coming years. Sending EU Aid Volunteers allows certified organisations to take part in that scheme.

EU Aid Volunteers are qualified individuals of both junior and senior profiles. They offer skills and/or expertise in various areas such as:  

  • project management
  • building local community resilience
  • managing natural disasters consequences (for example: draught, flood, seism, volcanic eruptions…)

Recruited volunteers form teams working in hosting organizations based in disaster affected countries. There, they reinforce their hosting structures’ capacity to prevent and manage risks linked to natural disasters and improve the resilience of local community in case of disaster.

Each and every sending organisation eligible to the EU Aid Volunteers initiative must meet a set of criteria and adhere to the standards and procedures of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative. If they do so, they can be certified by the European Commission (more on the certification below).

Every candidate organisation must:

  • be active in the field of humanitarian aid.
  • belong to any of the following categories:
    • non-governmental not-for-profit organisations established in a EU Member State
    • civilian public law bodies from a Member State;
    • the International Federation of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
  • Organisations established in acceding countries, candidate countries, potential candidates and partner countries of the European Neighbourhood Policy, countries members of the European Economic Area (EEA) can participate at a later stage when these countries have signed agreements with the EU covering the programme.


You are a sending agency and you are interested in sending EU Aid Volunteers on the field ?

Every sending agency must be certified under the EU Aid Volunteers Initiative before setting up projects and sending EU Aid Volunteers on the field.

The EU Aid Volunteers initiative is implemented through highly qualitative projects funded and coordinated by the European Commission. By engaging its potential partners in this certification process, the European Union ensures the quality of the sending and hosting processes and therefore a successful outcome for all the stakeholders.

The certification process is based on a number of standards set up by the European Commission for both sending and hosting agencies. They mostly concern the organisations’ volunteer management system.

The details concerning the certification requirements can be found on the European Commission website.

La Guilde leads 2 technical assistance projects :



La Guilde is coordinating a consortium of European partners willing to get certified as EU Aid Volunteers Sending organisations. Together, they implement self-assessment activities, share good practices and procedures in order to improve their volunteer management system.

Find more on :

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Led by La Guilde, is a technical assistance project with a consortium composed of EU-based organisations, from Ireland, Portugal and Malta. Technical assistance shall help organisations to comply with the EU standards and procedures required to obtain the EU Aid Volunteers certification and then, be able to send EU Aid Volunteers.

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