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’.
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 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.
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