European Solidarity Corps
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.
Scene and Heard is the European Solidarity Corps (ESC) flagship event which aims to amplify the voices of young people participating in ESC and showcase the transformational impact that volunteering has on participants, organisations and communities.
We’ve asked volunteers to send us videos, images, recordings and testimonials that demonstrate their experiences and the life-changing impact of ESC so that we can launch a video compilation – where all volunteer voices can be seen and heard.
This year’s event will take place on 5th December 2023 in Stella Cinemas (Rathmines) where select ESC volunteers will be invited to a cinematic experience, presented by renowned activist, actor and screenwriter Emmet Kirwan.
Visit here to learn more about Scene & Heard and see what’s on the agenda for the day!
European Solidarity Corps Projects
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’.
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’).
What Options are Available to Me?
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 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.
What Budget is Available?
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:
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.
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!
Discover at a Discovery Day!
Plan at a Project Lab
Attend a Quality Label Hub
Prepare at an Application Workshop