The European Solidarity Corps funds and supports young people between 18 and 30 to volunteer or work in projects that benefit communities. It’s an initiative of the European Union and offers an inspiring and empowering experience for those who want to help others as well as learn and develop themselves. Young people can volunteer or work, in their own country or abroad, through the Volunteering, Traineeships, Jobs, and Solidarity Projects strands.
Young people can volunteer or work in European Solidarity Corps projects on a wide variety of topics ranging from youth work to environmental issues, arts, drama or culture. Volunteering placements are full-time (30-38 hours per week) and can last two to twelve months, or from two weeks to two months in some cases. Traineeship placements involve full-time work practice with a learning and training element, and usually last two to six months. Volunteers and trainees receive funding for their expenses. Jobs must include a learning and training component and be based on a written employment contract. Jobs last from three to twelve months, and young people are paid by the employer.
If you are 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!
Volunteers receive funding for accommodation, food, travel, insurance and pocket money through their sending organisation. The sending organisation receives an organisational support budget also. For traineeship placements, travel costs, organisational support and a relocation allowance are normally paid. For those in an employment placement, there will always be a labour contract as well as a wage paid for by the organisation in accordance with local laws, regulations and collective agreements. All participants will receive a certificate detailing the actions they have taken through the European Solidarity Corps.
The European Solidarity Corps is designed for people who are ready for a challenge and willing to dedicate themselves to helping others. Young people can improve their practical, social and cultural skills, while showing their personal commitment to the community. The experience can also be a stepping stone to employment or to further learning. Organisations can connect quickly to a dedicated and enthusiastic group of young people who share their aims. This allows organisations to be more creative and flexible when working towards their goals.