VSI Step Up EVS project

European Solidarity Corps & European Voluntary Service

The aim of our Step Up! strategic EVS project is to contribute to inclusion and integration of all young people.

With this project we want to:

  • Create a systemic change in the inclusion and integration of young people in European and neighbouring countries’ societies and in Europe as a whole, and to do this through volunteering through the EVS programme
  • Raise young people’s awareness of their rights, peace and social justice, sustainable development and the environment
  • Increase young people’s intercultural learning and understanding
  • Increase young people’s active citizenship and participation in society to increase their personal and professional development and to enhance their employability
  • Raise awareness of the value of volunteering for young people, youth organisations and in European societies generally
  • Promote the recognition of non-formal learning through volunteering
  • Develop young people’s sense of European citizenship and identity and to provide learning opportunities between EU and partner countries
  • Increase knowledge, skills and capacity in youth managers, youth workers and organisations

To achieve this through this project we are working with young people of all backgrounds including young people with fewer opportunities (including those with disabilities), with youth organisation managers and youth workers in Ireland and within the EU and the EU’s neighbouring partner countries. We have arranged short-term, long-term, individual and group EVS projects.


So far, the following projects took place:


Voluntary Service International, Ireland

09/05/2018 - 01/12/2018

Eliska volunteered in VSI as the Placement Officer, working on our international volunteer projects (IVP) programme which means receiving applications from volunteers from around the world, liaising with our international partner organisations and helping with preparing volunteers and running IVP programme in Ireland – e.g. liaising with the volunteers before arrival and meeting them to carry out the project evaluation. She also coordinated one of those projects and got the opportunity to spend time with young people from around the world facilitating their team work. She was also involved in promoting the EVS programme to young people and youth workers and other professionals working with young people through Eurodesk Network events and volunteering fairs at different universities.

Killarney 04_2018



Voluntary Service International, Ireland

04/04/2018 - 30/06/2018

Ana volunteered in VSI for 3 months as the Communications and Marketing Officer. She was engaging with young people interested in volunteering through different channels. She was working on social media, posting about international volunteer opportunities including Erasmus+ opportunities,  creating leaflets about VSI programmes and answering enquiries from young people interested in volunteering in Ireland and abroad.



The Republican Center for Children and Youth “Artico”, Moldova

August 2018 – June 2019

Joanne did her EVS placement with Artico which is a non-profit organisation that offers development opportunities for young people and children through non-formal education methods. Artico work with children and youth of all backgrounds through many different activities. Joanne was very involved in Artico’s activities focused on social inclusion and non-formal education as well as encouraging active citizenship among young people of Moldova. Joanne ran workshops and activities for the children and youth including arts and crafts, dance, singing, theatre, teaching English, emotional and individual development trainings and promoting European cultures.  She was also an integral part of the office team, learning about EU mobility opportunities for young people and supported the office team in writing and organising Erasmus+ projects.

Joanne Reilly Artico Moldova



Projekte Vullnetare Nderkombetare, Albania

July 2018

Kerry’s project with PVN involved activities on awareness-raising on human rights and intercultural learning with young people and children with fewer opportunities in disadvantaged areas of Tirana. She was also engaged in an International Volunteer Project in Tirana with a group of young volunteers from around the world. 



Projekte Vullnetare Nderkombetare, Albania

May – July 2019

Jacqueline's project with PVN, just like Kerry’s, involved activities on awareness-raising on human rights and intercultural learning with young people and children with fewer opportunities in a primary and a secondary school in disadvantaged areas of Tirana. Those workshops really fit well with her and her interest in youth work and inclusion so she designed a gender equality workshop and delivered it to different classes. She also worked on games and delivering activities in the daily centre for children in street situations. She also took part in an International Volunteer Project in Tirana with a group of young volunteers from around the world.

Jacqueline Jacky Casserly EVS in Albania 2019 2



VitaTiim, Estonia

July 2019

Ceara’s project entailed assistance with preparation and implementation of an international volunteer project working on a children’s camp and assistance with preparation and implementation of the Youth Day in August 2019.  We had planned many more activities for Ceara as part of her project, such as activities with the English Conversation Club and presentations of Irish culture and language for local young people and adults, however, Ceara didn’t get a chance to participate in them as she left the project early.



ADVIT, Moldova

July 2019 – March 2020

Craig did his EVS with ADVIT Moldova who work on empowerment and inclusion of young people at national and international levels in the fields of education, culture, ecology, historical heritage protection and social justice. His project focused on film, media and social media. He volunteered with the ADVIT office team helping with the social media and newsletters, and with other EVS and ESC volunteers in Moldova, aimed at filming their projects and experiences to create a video to promote the ESC programme to young people around Europe. He also visited a school where he spoke about volunteering to the students and held talks in a public library about visual media and volunteering. He attended a training course about Social entrepreneurship. 

Craig Donnelly EVS Moldova group photo



Projekte Vullnetare Nderkombetare, Albania

September 2019 – March 2020

Similar to Jacqueline and Kerry, Louise was volunteering on delivering non-formal education workshops, but in a more strategic way as her project was long term. Her workshops also focus on the topics of discrimination and human rights issues. In addition to her work in schools, she organised free-time activities with children in a street situation who attend the day community centre in Tirana. She also supported PVN in the office with admin activities, planning and writing projects and was involved in organising a large SCI international meeting in Albania in October. Mateja from VSI who is an ESC Job Participant and VSI’s ESC Volunteer Gosia, met with Louise at the meeting which added to the impact of the project for them. Louise met lots of people from different countries, cultures and backgrounds through this involvement in a large international peace and solidarity organisation. Due to COVID-19 Louise spent one month volunteering with PVN online from Ireland working on online campaigns and social media. 

Louise Mac Elwain EVS in Albania 4



Projekte Vullnetare Nderkombetare, Albania

January – March 2020

Like Louise and other short term volunteers, Sophie was volunteering on delivering non-formal education workshops and local tours for children and youth in a school in a disadvantaged area of Tirana and organising games and activities with children in a street situation who attend the day community centre in Tirana. Her workshops focused on the topics of human rights issues, environment and climate justice. She also took part in a Youth Dialogue project PVN were running with local schools and some international partner organisations from Balkans. 

Sophie Albania EVS group environmental creative workshop


Step Up Group EVS

Kinisi Ethelonton Service Civil International Ellas, Greece

June 2019

Volunteers: Aaron, Bradley, James, Jamie, Joseph, Joshua, Kaylagh, Megan
Accompanying youth worker: Amy

The main aim of this project was to allow a social and cultural inclusion for the refugees, as well as empowerment. During the project, the refugees weren't only simply participating in activities with the group from Ireland, but they were active in creating them and giving their input. The group worked with refugees from local communities on a theatre project and prepared and ran fun and educational activities for refugee children. They created a video of their theatre journey and the final show they performed. Our volunteers gained an increased understanding of the experiences and situation of refugee families, they learnt how to be more flexible and built stronger relationships with the target group members.

group EVS in Greece last day photo