Centrul Național de Resurse pentru Voluntariat

EU Aid Volunteers Building in Resilience

EU Aid Volunteers is an initiative of the European Commission based on The Lisbon Treaty and implemented by DG ECHO with the aim of offering international volunteering opportunities to EU citizens to be able to get involved in humanitarian aid and civil protection activities around the globe. From 2011, DG ECHO financed a number of pilot projects implemented by agencies and NGOs with the aim of testing and validating different mechanisms through which a large European volunteering program could be implemented starting with 2015. Pro Vobis participated, as a partner of VSO International and VSO Netherlands, in 2 such project pilots, between 2012 and 2015.

The “Eu Aid Volunteers Building in Resilience” pilot project was implemented between August 2013 and January 2015 by VSO International (UK) in partnership with VSO Netherlands (NL) and Pro Vobis (Romania), having also Oxfam India, Care India and Sphere as associate partners. A number of 17 experts were recruited, trained and deployed as short and long-term volunteers (up to 9 months) in The Philippines, India and Pakistan, and a number of over 900 staff members from local beneficiary communities have been trained and mentored. The work of the EUAV volunteers was focused on building the disaster risk reduction (DRR), disaster management (DM) and climate change adaptation (CCA) planning and coordinating capacity of local communities, local civil society organisations and networks and national planning and research agencies.

In India, the project worked with vulnerable rural communities in the states of Assam, Odisha and Jharkhand. In Pakistan, the action worked to strengthen key strategic networks in disaster preparedness and response, targeting the lack of coordination between departments and agencies. In the Philippines, EU Aid Volunteers workd on building the capacity of the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) to implement the National Operational Assessment of Hazards (NOAH) programme launched in 2012 to enable flood warning. Indirect beneficiaries were 200,000 community members in the target areas in India, Pakistan and the Philippines who are enabled to better anticipate, minimise and absorb potential stresses and shocks of diasters, through adaptation or resilience.

Pro Vobis was directly involved in:

  • promoting volunteering opportunities;
  • training the 17 EUAV volunteers in Practical Skills and Tools for Community Volunteer Management, to enable them to support the mentoring/consultancy program;
  • implementing a mentoring/consultancy program where 7 European experts in Volunteer and Volunteer Program Managament, 5 from Romania (Cosmin Catana, Cristian Babutau, Ioana Bere, Nicoleta Chis-Racolta and Oana Ticle) and 2 from the UK (Violeta Vajda and Evelyn Rodrigues) offered consultancy to 5 organisations in Pakistan (Humahung Forum, Peace Foundation, Gorakh Foundation, EHD Pakistan and Rescue 1122), 1 organisation in India (Pravah) and 1 in The Philippines (GVSP), to enable them to initiate and develop their community volunteering programs in DRR;
  • making recommendations to DG ECHO for future initiatives.