European Solidarity Corps

Simply put, the European Solidarity Corps is designed to help you help others!

An initiative of the European Union, the European Solidarity Corps funds and supports young people aged between 18 and 30 from EU member states, to volunteer or self-organise projects that benefit communities.

Young people can volunteer at home or abroad, through the Volunteering Projects and Solidarity Projects strands.

European Solidarity Corps Projects

Why Should I Get Involved in the European Solidarity Corps?

Do you want to make a difference in your community? If your answer is yes, keep reading!

Maybe you want to affect change in your own life? Or perhaps you want to help others do it in theirs? Good news; with the European Solidarity Corps, you can and will do both.

While the European Solidarity Corps is designed for people who want to help others, the programme is actually a two-way street. Many volunteers see just as many positive changes in their own lives as in the lives of those they work with!

So, if you want to learn and evolve while giving back to your community or wider society, the European Solidarity Corps is the way to do it.

What Do I Need to Consider?

Generally speaking, there are three main factors to consider when starting something new: your goal, your time and your finances. For the European Solidarity Corps, we can look at this as the ‘Three Fs’ – Fuel, Flexibility and Funding.

Fuel: What fuels you?
Whether it’s cultural pursuits, environmental issues, youth-specific issues, or social justice  that fuels and invigorates you, you can volunteer in or start up a European Solidarity Corps project that will play to your interests and strengths.

Flexibility: How flexible are you?
Flexibility is a feature of the European Solidarity Corps. Volunteering placements are full-time (30-38 hours per week), but they can last between two weeks and twelve months depending on your circumstances.

Funding: What funding do you need?
Volunteers abroad receive funding to cover accommodation, food, travel, insurance and pocket money through their sending organisation. The sending organisation receives a budget too, for their organisational costs.

What Options are Available to Me?

If you’ve decided the European Solidarity Corps is for you, it’s time to explore the options available.

There are two main project types: Volunteering Projects and Solidarity Projects. Both types are called ‘Solidarity Activities’.

Volunteering Projects

You can take part in a Volunteering project individually or as part of a team.

Individual Volunteering is a full-time unpaid solidarity activity. It lasts from two to 12 months. In some cases, however, you can volunteer from two weeks up to two months. Being an individual volunteer gives you the chance to take part in the daily work of organisations and perform tasks that can have a real impact. You can volunteer either in a country different to your own (called ‘cross-border’) or in Ireland (called ‘in-country’).

Team Volunteering is for teams of 10 to 40 European Solidarity Corps participants from at least two different countries. Teams can volunteer together for a period between two weeks and two months. Team volunteering especially contributes to the inclusion of young people with fewer opportunities in the European Solidarity Corps.

To find out more read the European Solidarity Corps Programme Guide. 

Solidarity Projects

Solidarity projects take place in Ireland and it’s young people themselves who create the projects, develop them, and make them happen. You need a group of at least five to set up a project. The project should address a key challenge in your community, while reflecting European values.  Projects can last from two to 12 months. Young people who want to form a group to run a solidarity project must be registered in the European Solidarity Corps Portal.

 

European Solidarity Corps: Amy's Story

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What Budget is Available?

Download the October 2021 European Solidarity Corps budget.

How Will the European Solidarity Corps Benefit Me?

By taking part in the European Solidarity Corps, you will evolve in more ways than one!

On a personal level, you will improve your practical, social and cultural skills by dedicating your time to a cause, giving back to society and challenging yourself in the process.

In a professional capacity, the experience has proven itself to be a stepping stone to employment or to further learning.

And if you’re part of an organisation, your organisation can connect quickly to a dedicated and enthusiastic group of young people who share your aims. This allows for more creativity and flexibility as you work towards your organisational goals.

I’m Interested; What Now?

Before you commit, you can find out more in our booklet ‘Explore, Experience, Empower‘ or visit the European Solidarity Corps website. If you like what you see and you’re up for the European Solidarity Corps challenge, visit the online portal to register your details and areas of interest.  Project organisers may then invite you to join a project and help their work!

Whether you want to take part in a volunteer project or set up your own solidarity project, there are a number of steps you will need to complete to begin:

Next Steps

Step 1

Sign Up For Updates

Whether you are a young person interested in taking part in European Solidarity Corps or an organisation looking to send or host volunteers, signing up to our Newsletter gets you regular updates on workshops, training opportunities and supportive events.

Step 2

Contact your local Youth Information Service

If you are a young person looking to take part, be sure to get in touch with your local Youth Information Service about how you can access the European Solidarity Corps.  Our Eurodesk network are only too happy to help you get involved!

STEP 2

Discover at a Discovery Day!

For organisations, a great place to begin is at a Discovery Day. This event is for those working in the community, voluntary, youth and civil society sectors with little or no experience in EU programmes. At this short event you will discover EU funding opportunities under Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps. Experts will be on hand to introduce the programmes and help you identify if they are for you and what are your next steps.

STEP 3

Plan at a Project Lab

Once you’ve attended a Discovery Day, we recommend you sign up for the subsequent Project Lab, where you’ll have the time and space to consider how a European project can address your organisation’s needs. You’ll get inspiration for your project, support to develop your ideas, and an expert’s feedback on those ideas. If your organisation is thinking of applying, it really is worth taking some time to prepare your project. This half-day event will give you an insight into the values and quality criteria of Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps and helps you prepare for the application stage.

Register Now
STEP 4

Attend a Quality Label Hub

To take part in the European Solidarity Corps, your organisation must hold a Quality Label. Once you’ve a strong project idea, we recommend that you join us at a Quality Label Hub. These hubs run for half a day and are for newcomer organisations wishing to apply for the Quality Label. An expert will facilitate the workshop, guiding you through the application form, addressing queries and explaining the award criteria used to assess applications.

 

STEP 5

Prepare at an Application Workshop

As the deadline approaches, we strongly recommend that you join us at an Application Clinic. This full day Clinic offers organisations with a Quality Label the chance to work on the application form, address budget and finance queries, and develop an understanding of the award criteria used to assess applications. This event is for when you and your organisation have identified your project partners, have a project idea in mind and are ready to apply.

Learn More

Find out more about the steps involved in applying for funding by choosing your option below.

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Key Events

Private: Erasmus+ & European Solidarity Corps Launch Online

This online event officially launches the new Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps programmes in Ireland.

Deadline: 21 June 2021

Private: European Solidarity Corps: Jobs & Traineeship Quality Booster Online, Finland

This online training focuses on the quality elements in Jobs & Traineeship projects in the European Solidarity Corps.

Deadline: 23 May 2021

Deadline: 28 June 2021

Latest News

Work With Us! Head of Finance and Corporate Services; Support and Development Officer

The Head of Finance and Corporate Services will provide strategic leadership and take a key role in organisation-level strategic thinking, engagement of stakeholders, and communication of key messages.

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Meet The Team

Suzanne Kavanagh

Senior Support & Development Officer, European Solidarity Corps (01) 8871242

Noeleen O’Callaghan

Support & Development Officer, European Solidarity Corps (01) 8871219

Emmanuelle Place

Finance Officer, Erasmus+ Youth & European Solidarity Corps (01) 8871207

Nicola Sherry

Finance Officer, Erasmus+ Youth & European Solidarity Corps (01) 8871212

Carlos Barceló

Operations Officer, Erasmus+ Youth & European Solidarity Corps (01) 8871235

Seána Sweeney

Operations Officer, Erasmus+ Youth & European Solidarity Corps (01) 8871237