The purpose of voluntary service is to develop solidarity among young people, promote active citizenship, foster mutual understanding between them, and create a learning and guidance experience for them within the framework of a volunteer programme.
It offers young people under the age of 30, who have completed their compulsory schooling, informal training experience by enabling them to take part in public-interest projects in Luxembourg or abroad, on a full-time basis, for a fixed period of time.
In Luxembourg, there are 3 volunteer service programmes, coordinated by the National Youth Service (Service national de la jeunesse - SNJ): the national volunteer service programme (Luxembourg), the European Solidarity Corps (other European countries) and the Development Volunteer Service (developing countries). Depending on the programme, the activities therefore take place in Luxembourg or abroad.
Who is concerned
Volunteer service is intended for young people - as of the age of 16 - wishing to engage in a public-interest project, on a full-time basis without interruption, for a period of up to 12 months.
To qualify for a volunteer service programme, the candidate must:
- have completed their compulsory education;
- be less than 30 years old at the beginning of the volunteer service;
- be legally resident in Luxembourg;
- speak one of the country's 3 official languages (Luxembourgish, French or German);
- be registered as a volunteer worker with the SNJ.
Note that age conditions may vary depending on the programme.
How to proceed
The different volunteer service programmes
The National Volunteer Service programme (Service volontaire national - SVN)
Volunteer workers between 16 and 30 years of age commit to work in:
- a host organisation in Luxembourg;
- for a duration of up to 12 months.
Volunteers can benefit from professional and personalised support towards employment and/or obtain educational qualification. Their tasks consist in providing administrative, cultural, organisational and mobilisation support.
The SVN enables the volunteer worker to give meaning to a stage of their life at the national level, to become a committed citizen and to discover themselves.
The SNJ's local youth branches (Antennes locales pour jeunes - ALJ) are responsible for the implementation of the SVN.
The European Solidarity Corps (corps européen de solidarité - CES)
The CES is a new European Union (EU) initiative that aims to give young people the opportunity to volunteer or work on projects:
- organised in their country or abroad;
- aimes at helping communities and people across Europe.
For a period of 14 to 59 days or of 3 months to a maximum of 12 months, the young person is involved in a public-interest project in fields as varied as activity coordination, arts, environment, sport, etc. The programme seeks to promote and foster:
- youth mobility within and beyond the borders of the EU;
- non-formal training;
- intercultural dialogue;
- youth employability;
- integration of all young people, whatever their level of education and social and cultural background.
The Development Volunteer Service (Service volontaire de coopération - SVC)
The SVC enables young adults to travel to developing countries. This programme was set up in partnership with the Development CooperationDirectorate of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.
Volunteers are sent—by sending organisations accredited as non-governmental development organisations (NGDOs) or as volunteer service organisations—to work on a humanitarian project that they are encouraged to find on their own. The Development NGO Cooperation Circle (Cercle de Coopération des ONG de développement) provides them with useful advice.
Interested young people can contact the National Youth Service or the NGO Circle to learn more about the Development Volunteer Service programme. They can also get in touch with the sending organisations directly.
Benefits of volunteer status
These various programmes allow applicants to obtain:
- recognition of their volunteer status;
- pocket money and a subsistence allowance;
- family benefits, in the case of minors;
- monthly financial aid from the State, for volunteers over 18 years of age, if they are effectively and continuously resident in Luxembourg and have their legal domicile there;
- discounts (cinema, theatre, etc.);
- registration with the Social Security services;
- free training (pre-departure seminars, language training, workshops, etc.).