European initiatives in the field of education and development enhance the prominent role of the lifelong learning. European Institutions believe in the importance of non-formal methods in education field. The principles lay down by European commission in the field of education and youth are: voluntary character, the intrinsic motivation of participant and the evaluation of success and failure.
But what are the differences among formal, informal and non-formal education? The formal education has a hierarchical structure, students are obliged to attend classes and also pass tests. The informal education is a kind of learning resulting from daily life activities related to work, family or leisure. The non-formal education is any organized activity outside the established formal system. For example, non-formal learning in youth works includes individual based teaching, like workshop, seminars, interviews, simulations etc.
These tools help young people to learn new skills also thanks to the exchange with their peers. The non- formal method gives to young people more confidence to speak in another language. Furthermore non-formal education in youth work activities try to help the young people to overcome unemployment, and also to teach young people to live in a multicultural society, promoting the value of solidarity. This different educational approach can play an innovative role in the education of young people. The changes which have occurred in in the fields of labor market and in the economy has made the education system obsolete. Often the schools and universities are not able to give at the students a good formation to enter in the labor market. In this world so complex and difficult the young people, especially those with fewer opportunities, need to increase their competences and capacities.
An extraordinary example of non-formal education action is represented by European Voluntary Services projects, It is an international volunteer program funded by the European Commission. Thanks to this kind of project the young europeans, between 17-30 years old, after being selected they can go to voluntary abroad in different field as, art, sport, environment, culture, etc. The duration of the project ranges from 2 months to 12 months. With the EVS program is possible to be a volunteer in the 28 state of European union plus five more country like: Macedonia, Norway, Turkey, Lichtestein, Iceland, but it’s possible to be selected in the other country from all the continents.
With regard to budget accommodation the foreign host organization, thanks to European funding , provides the board candidate, accommodation and health insurance, plus a monthly pocket money the price varies between 50 and 150 euros depending on the destination for extra charges. The return trip is fully refunded if within certain limits set by the European Commission based on the destination.
With regard to the sending organization, they are responsible for the preparation of the young before departure. Also undertakes to inform the candidate about the search mode of EVS projects, the predeparture training and follows the remote volunteer during his trip and upon his return. Now it is important to say what is not the evs. It is not an internship in the company, a language course, a paid work, a period of vacation.
The evs project remains one of the best tools for promoting European Union values and to produce citizens of future.