What is volunteering?
Becoming a volunteer is a commitment. It is a citizen’s commitment to society, of oneself to others. When you choose to spend your time serving others you open yourself to experiences off the beaten track.
Volunteering is open to all young people: whether you have no high school diploma or have 5 years of higher education, whether you’ve done charity work or not, whether you have no professional experience or several internships under your belt… Everyone is different and VISA-AD guides candidates based on their interests so they can fulfil their desire to volunteer.
From a legal point of view, a civic volunteer is something between a casual volunteer and a salaried employee. It is a contracted assignment with a fixed term during which the volunteer has to follow a training course. Volunteering lasts about 9 months and has a working week between 24-35 hours, or up to 38 hours internationally. The volunteer receives an allowance (different from a salary). It has a waiver status in the labour code, this involves a principle of reciprocity and not of subordination. The volunteer benefits from a social security package. Volunteering can only take place in communities or non-profit organisations working for the public interest.
Volunteering can take place in various fields including solidarity action, environmental work, education or leisure and culture, with beneficiaries such as the elderly, people with disabilities, homeless people, refugees etc. There are various volunteer programmes available. VISA-AD is accredited with the following programmes:
- French Service Civique
- International Service Civique
- The European Solidarity Corps -ex EVS (France > Abroad)
- The European Solidarity Corps -ex EVS (European > France)
- The Internationaler Jugendfreiwilligendienst (IJFD)
In practice, volunteering is a chance to define your mission, a form of professional experience, a way to benefit others by taking part in a collective project and enhancing your experience in your professional career.