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How to participate in a youth volunteer project?

Verified 17 June 2020 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

A youth volunteer project offers volunteer missions in France and abroad. This initiative aims to bring together young people from all walks of life around a project that is useful to the community.

The youth volunteer project offers activities in several areas:

  • Construction or restoration of cultural heritage
  • Environmental protection (plantations, waste collection, trail markings...)
  • Animation
  • Support for the organization of a festival, ...


a youth volunteer site should not be confused with a humanitarian mission, a holiday center, a language holiday or a summer job.

According to the sites, the minimum age of participants is:

  • 14 to 18 years in France,
  • 18 years abroad (but some sites accept young people from 16 years old).

No training or qualification is required in order to participate.

To be able to register in a youth volunteer project, you must contact an association approved (preferably) by different ministries.

To obtain the contact details of these associations, you should contact your departmental directorate responsible for the protection of populations or for social cohesion.

Who shall I contact

Most of the building sites take place in the summer.

They last between 2 and 3 weeks.

Some may extend their activities during the year and on weekends.

Weekly working time is

  • 20 to 30 hours for teenagers
  • and from 30 to 35 hours for adults.

To participate in a construction site, the youth must pay a financial contribution.

The young person is housed and fed, but the insurance and membership of the association are at his expense.

Membership fees may be higher when sports or cultural activities require special supervision.

Transport is the responsibility of the young person.

In case of financial difficulties of the young, the organizing association of the yard can try to obtain assistance from the regional directorate of youth, sports and social cohesion (DRJSCS).

Organizers of young volunteers are subject to specific regulations. They must be approved.

Approval is granted by the prefecture of the department, provided that the association can justify:

  • professional competence (presence of qualified personnel),
  • a financial guarantee,
  • professional insurance,
  • and civil liability.

Parents can check with the prefecture of the department where the head office of the organization is located to find out whether it is in compliance with the legislation.

Who shall I contact