Esra Inan, who has been an EVS volunteer at ECAS since February 2016, was interviewed for EuroparlTV by MEP Silvia Costa, Chair of the Committee on Culture and Education, about her experiences as a volunteer on ECAS’ Youth Engagement and Active Participation in Europe (YEAP Europe) project.
The interview was part of a EuroparlTV feature showcasing the value and diversity of EVS experiences, which ECAS participates in as part of the ERASMUS+ Programme.
She said, “I really believe that volunteering is the right tool for inclusion, for getting rid of the barriers.
“ECAS promotes democracy and human rights and, at ECAS, what I do, it is what I believe we all need to have in an inclusive society.
“Everyone can contribute! Everyone can make a positive change within themselves or within the community in which they are doing their volunteer service.”
ECAS is accredited as an EVS coordinating and hosting organisation until 2020, and has hosted 12 EVS volunteers since 2007. The current project, YEAP Europe, enables volunteers to experience all aspects of ECAS’ operations, with a focus on youth policies and initiatives in the EU and in the Neighbourhood countries, and gives volunteers a valuable experience and personal development that will help them in their future careers.
As Ms Costa said, “People don’t realise how great it is to be a volunteer. I think this is a dimension of citizenship, but also a way towards personal growth. My dream is that in any educational path you are given the chance, maybe for a short or longer period of time, to have a volunteering experience and this is recognised as educational credit. “