Olde Vechte Foundation is a verified hosting organization for the European Solidarity Corps project. As an organization, we provide a playground where people can experiment and experience different aspects of self-awareness and group dynamics. Through our volunteering programs, young people have the opportunity to learn and practice in different functional areas of the foundation and other organizations in and around Ommen. The target group of all of our activities is young people regardless of gender, physical limitations, religion, cultural differences, educational and social background. The basic requirement for our volunteers is that they come from an EU country and they are 18-30 years old.



12-month volunteering programme

Extra mile is a 12-month volunteering programme for young people between 18 and 30 years old. We host a group of 12 volunteers for a period of one year. They take active part in the maintaining and development of the organisation.

The team of volunteers support us to develop Olde Vechte as a youth centre and to provide learning opportunities for people from all over Europe.

As a volunteer you do different practical tasks: cooking for the participants of our youth exchanges and training courses, fixing bikes, laying paving bricks, repairing damages in the buildings, painting, gardening, planting trees etc. The volunteering consists of 30 working hours per week. You are accommodated in a house with three or four volunteers. You have your private room and share with others kitchen, living room and bathroom. The houses are situated close to the Vechte river, with beautiful places for relaxation. There is a vegetable garden in the area between the houses, where you can take care of your own plants.

In your free time you can travel and explore the Netherlands, learn a new language with the ESC language portal and meet the local people. We provide you with the opportunity to visit and spend a day volunteering in local farms and shops, so that you can learn about our Dutch culture and traditions.

This programme is a great opportunity to learn more about non-formal education and Erasmus+ mobility programmes. As a non-profit organisation with more than 60 years of experience, we are willing to share our knowledge and culture in the field of education.


2-month volunteering programme

Wider horizon is a 2-month volunteering programme. We host a group of 4 short-term volunteers.

The volunteers support us in the daily life of the organisation. They have mainly practical tasks, related to maintaining the building and the area around. This could include taking care of the vegetable garden, watering plants, fixing benches, cleaning the areas, renovating and painting the buildings and cooking for training courses.

The volunteering consists of 30 hours of work a week. The working hours are between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM with one hour of a break. If cooking for training courses, the working hours are less, but situated differently. You are accommodated in a shared house and have the opportunity to explore living with people from all over Europe, learning to express yourself in English and experiencing community life.

Olde Vechte is in the beautiful countryside of the Netherlands and in your free time you can explore the region. You will receive a bike that you can use, so that you can bike around and enjoy the beautiful landscapes.

We especially recommend this programme to young people who are in a period of re-evaluating where are they heading in life and what is that they want to do. As a volunteer you gain a lot of practical skills, learn to work in a team and develop your leadership skills.


What our volunteers are saying

  • "So basically I came to do the short term in September 2018 until November 2018. I was tired of my job and left it, then one summer day I saw an ad on Facebook and I applied, then actually forgot about it. After a few days, this organisation called me and asked me if I was still planning to go and I came to Olde Vechte. It was an incredible 2 months with a lovely group of people, hard work and fun mostly. After 1 month I decided that I want to come back for the long term, mainly because I saw different groups of people coming and going from the trainings, projects, youth exchanges etc.. In January 2019 I came back with the intention of developing myself and doing training courses. It was a life changing year I believe, I don't really know yet obviously but it feels like this. A year in which I was valued and empowered to grow, where I started to take my life in my own hands and being accountable and aware of things that I didn't realise I was doing before. I had time to think of what I really want to do in my life, and I also found love, unexpectedly! Now my plan for the future is to become a meditation teacher and a life coach."

    "Wider Horizon" September 2018 - November 2018 (two months) + "Extra Mile" January 2019-2020 (one year)
    Andrea Scroccaro, Italy
  • "As I was arriving in the Netherlands the worries and fears of moving to a country and organization I knew nothing about were eating me. I was scared to be alone and I thought that I won’t be able to commit to living and working at the same place for a full year. Soon enough, I was proved wrong as I started working outside on projects. I had changed my job a few times, from doing outside work, working in the kitchen, working in a second-hand shop to working in the office of Olde Vechte until I found my fit. Trying and failing, learning by doing was very important for me to shake off this “lost” feeling that has been following me my entire life, and now I feel like there’s something beautiful opening up for me, and I’m the one who’s in charge of it. This experience is the most important experience I’ve had in my life so far. It feels like a gift that keeps on giving."

    "Extra Mile" May 2019-2020 (one year)
    Teodora Saltirova, Macedonia
  • "My volunteering experience started in July of 2019, when I decided to venture out past the walls of Lithuania to the open fields of Ommen, the Netherlands as a short-term volunteer in Olde Vechte Foundation. From the first day, I arrived everyone made me feel very at home in their environment and I found it very easy to settle in. Then I decided to stay for the long term. Throughout my volunteering experience, I have learned a great deal about myself as well as my surroundings and other cultures, I have learned what it is to live in a community sharing a house with multiple people, how to manage my time and finances to live comfortably. I am very thankful for the volunteering experience in Olde Vechte and I will always keep it in my heart as a valuable experience."

    "Extra Mile" September 2019-2020 (one year)
    Patricija Gustaityte, Lithuania
  • "Doing an EVS at Olde Vechte Foundation was one of the best choices in my life. I have learned how to be independent, how to arrange my daily life, how to work in a team. Also I had the opportunity to learn and discover languages, cultures and I've got the freedom to learn and to develop myself."

    “YES EVS” 2016-2017 (one year)
    Dávid Diószegi, Hungary
  • "How can I contain a whole year in a couple of lines? During my EVS, I overworked, slacked off, cooked for 74 people, biked hundreds of kilometers, cried, laughed, baked cakes, painted walls, laminated papers and fixed flat tires. And most of the time, I made mistakes. Glorious, silly, unprecedented mistakes. So I learned, every day more and more, I learned how I function as an individual and as a part of society. Now I know that I can spread my colours everywhere, without doubt or fear. I arrived to Olde Vechte as a lost soul, I leave as an illuminated source of inspiration."

    "Yes EVS" 2015-2016 (one year)
    Daphne Vasila, Greece
  • "Love, fulfillment, commitment and creativity. It was an amazing experience! Lots of learning for me as a person and also professionally to become trainer and youth worker. Also being faced with homesickness by living here has been a great lesson. :)"

    "Yes EVS" 2015-2016 (one year)
    Ilze Vanaga, Latvia