France Volontaires is the French platform of Volunteering for International Exchange and Solidarity (VIES). Founded in 2009 as an association, France Volontaires is the product of a cooperative effort by public sector and non-profit sector stakeholders engaged in international solidarity. As an implementing agency of the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, it brings together state, local and regional authorities and associations within the framework of a shared mission – the development and promotion of volunteer and solidarity commitments around the world.
An international network
France Volontaires relies on a network of Volunteering Centres in sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean and Asia, in addition to its French headquarters. As resource centres they inform, guide, support and network international volunteering stakeholders – applicants, volunteers and unpaid staff, hosting and sending organisations, government agencies and others. France Volontaires also has territorial offices in Lille, Nantes, Marseille, Ivry-sur-Seine, La Réunion and New Caledonia.
France Volontaires’ vision of volunteerism
Commitment to international solidarity is a powerful and cross-cutting answer to the challenges facing our society and the world, an answer that is evolving in the context of a voluntary world: accessible to everyone, both locally and internationally, throughout their lives. Based on human relations, intercultural exchanges, partnership and the principle of reciprocity, it is part of a pathway by which citizens and professionals can acquire new knowledge, interpersonal skills and know-how. Its universal nature allows it to meet the challenges of human and sustainable development, and to strengthen civil society. It promotes the emergence of inclusive and socially responsible societies that are open to the world.
France Volontaires’ mission
Dialogue and advocacy
France Volontaires organises opportunities for dialogue between volunteering stakeholders, and thus promotes the formulation and implementation of public policies and multi-actor initiatives in the areas of international solidarity and commitment.
Information and guidance
France Volontaires ensures that the broadest possible audience – public institutions, associations, the general public and others – is kept aware of and up-to-date on French and European international volunteerism activities. These include International Solidarity Volunteering, Civic Service Commitment and European Voluntary Service. This is done through various channels including public information and guidance, publications, digital tools and participation in a range of events.
France Volontaires works for the recognition and appreciation of volunteerism and all forms of commitment to international solidarity, particularly their acknowledgement in volunteers’ career paths.
France Volontaires analyses the dynamics of volunteerism and implements specific programs in a spirit of experimentation and innovation. Through its international network, it supports national volunteer systems and reciprocity programs, hosting foreign volunteers in France.
Coaching and networking
France Volontaires offers expertise and training, and assists in the capacity-building efforts of its members and partners in France and around the world. Its Volunteering Centres facilitate action, support and networking for all volunteering stakeholders in the countries in which they are established, in order to secure stronger engagement and enhance their impact.