Dzūkija National Park and Čepkeliai State Strict Nature Reserve are since 2009 working with young volunteers from the European Youth in Action program “European Voluntary Service (EVS)”. Youth volunteering center "DEINETA" is the coordinating and sending organization of EVS and other youth voluntary projects in Lithuania.
The European Voluntary Service (EVS) provides young Europeans with the unique chance to express their personal commitment through unpaid and fulltime voluntary activities in a foreign country within or outside the EU. In this way, it seeks to develop solidarity, mutual understanding and tolerance among young people, thus contributing to reinforcing social cohesion in the European Union and to promoting young people’s active citizenship.
Participants of the project, acting as volunteer assistants to specialists, will contribute to the implementation of the host organizations’ environmental, educational and cultural missions; spread positive practices of volunteering, intercultural communication in the local community and, without doubt, volunteers will acquire new professional and social competencies. In addition, the project provides space for personal volunteer initiatives and project / program publicity activities are planned. Volunteers’ tasks are based on the principles of non-formal education/learning. The project aims to encourage (young) people's awareness of global environmental problems, to disseminate ideas for volunteering in rural areas, to provide intercultural communication/cognition opportunities for local communities, to provide new operational challenges for the host organizations’ staff and to show local youth the benefits of volunteering in response to the difficult situation on the labour market.
In 2013 Dzūkija National Park and Čepkeliai State Strict Nature Reserve were hosting the volunteers Maria Nochrina (Russia) and Giovvani Casi (Italy). This year, in 2014, Iryna Dzvinnyk (The Ukraine) and Alice Korsch (The Netherlands) are experiencing volunteering in the park. Read more about them and their experiences on this page.