What is Young Volunteers for the Environment?
Young Volunteers for the Environment (YVE) - or Jeunes Volontaires pour l'Environnement (JVE) in french - is a non-governmental organisation, created in 2001, and seated in Lomé, Togo. The organisation has some 40 local branches in Togo. Through affiliates in a total of 21 countries all over Africa, JVE is today known as the biggest youth-oriented environmental movement in Africa. From the starting point in the small Togolese village of Tsiko, working with information and education concerning the degrading local environment, the organisation has expanded its geographical and thematic areas of work, but still in the domain of sustainable development.
Its activities are mainly focused around access to basic energy, water and sanitation services; cultural biodiversity and eco-conscience; climate change; and natural resource management.
Volunteering for YVE
As part of its mission to involve youth in the sustainable development process, JVE is continually seeking young volunteers from around the globe to join us in the struggle to protect the environment. From our perspective, the term "young" is applicable for all those interested and feel that they have the necessary dynamism and energy to be involved in our activities. There is no age limit, though teenagers need to be accompanied by parents, teachers or mentors; or show a parental authorization document. The final aim of this program is to give the chance to every citizen of our fragile planet the occasion to 'be the change they want to see in the world'.
To date, more than 300 volunteers have worked with our organisation, and there are always a need for more, at any stage in their career, and with any type of background. Positions include project assistance, administration and field work at ground level – in Togo or in any of the countries in the network. We also offer field opportunities for researchers and students.
We are also open to propositions and suggestions from interested volunteers on interesting projects or programs relevant to our overall objective, which they would like to implement or pilot with us.
Most of assignments are based in Lomé, our main office, with possible visits to cities and rural communities. Working hours are 8h-12h and 14h30 to 17h30 Monday through Friday, although, depending on your position projects and events, different schedules and occasional special work hours may be required. Accommodation with a host family which allows to get acquainted with local culture.
A period of at least three months is great suggested, as it takes time to get familiar with the office, the assignment and the environment, but this is kept open for discussion. Periods running from six months to one year are highly appreciated and desired as this help build a strong knowledge of the assignment and maximise results. Your assignments will be chosen based on discussion, taking into account your interests and competences, the needs of the organisation, and the length of your stay. Take a look at different opportunities below.
At the end of the internship or volunteering, JVE expect a short report to be submitted outlining activities carried out, experience gained, points to be improved in similar projects, follow up measures and personal appreciation of the organisation activities. Once a report is submitted, a Certificate of Internship or Volunteering is issued, usually on the occasion of a small goodbye dancing party.
Is French a prerequisite?
Working in the office does not need a lot of French knowledge, as lot of the staff speaks adequate English. Actually, if you are an English native speaker, one of your assets to us will be your language skills, because of the huge amount of communication we have to do in English. A basic level of French is however recommended for communication with colleagues and daily life in Togo.
How much does it cost?
Volunteers are housed with a Togolese family, unless otherwise requested. A 150 € per month will be demanded which will cover the room, breakfast and diner. Lunch is provided in the week-ends (as it is supposed that you will at the office at midday). The contribution also covers any trip or excursion arranged by the organisation. Volunteers are in charge of their travel expenses to Lomé but will be picked up at the airport. You will also need to have a health insurance. Visa to Togo costs about 15 € per month.
How to Apply
People interested (also in positions in the international network) can send a letter of motivation that includes your availability, how you can contribute to the organization, and your past experience with development work; please also attach a CV - to Séna Alouka, Executive Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once your demand is received along with your preferred position, you will then be sent additional information about the project to which your assignment is attached, if applicable. The following discussion is about logistics. Finally, here you are in Lomé, appreciating the stars as your family invites for a hot foufou, a preferred Togolese food. Woezon loo!