European Solidarity Corps
Volunteering through the European Solidarity Corps brings positive and long-lasting effects to participants, participating organisations and communities involved. Jump in and find out more!
Volunteering Opportunities for Young People and Organisations
What is a Volunteering Project?
A Volunteering Project is where you volunteer with an organisation to take on challenges and help communities. You can volunteer in your own country (called ‘in-country’) or in another country (called ‘cross-border’). country. A Volunteering Project might set out to protect human rights, tackle climate change, or help include different kinds of people in society.
How Will Volunteering Benefit Me?
Many young people find volunteering helps them develop their personal, educational, social, civic, cultural and professional skills, by working with others and giving something back to the community.
How Do I Get Involved?
You can take part in two ways:
- As an individual volunteer
- As part of a volunteering team
As an Individual Volunteer you can contribute to the daily work of organisations that benefit the community. You can volunteer for between two and 12 months.
To help young people with fewer opportunities take part, in some cases you can volunteer for between two weeks and two months.
As part of a Volunteering team you can volunteer together with participants from at least two different countries, for between two weeks and two months. A Volunteering team must be truly international – at least a quarter of the volunteers must come from a country other than the one you volunteer in.
What Happens on a Volunteering Project?
There are four stages in a Volunteering Project. You’ll work with an organisation to guide you through all of them.
- Planning: Defining what you will learn and what you will do each day
- Preparation: Making practical arrangements like getting the travel documents you need, deciding where you will stay, how you will travel to the place where you volunteer, who will mentor you
- Implementation: Carrying out the voluntary work
- Follow-up: Evaluating how your experience was, getting a certificate of participation, sharing your learning with others.
Can I Take Part?
You can take part if you are:
- Between 18 and 30 years old
- A legal resident of the Republic of Ireland.
If you are a legal resident of another country that is part of the European Solidarity Corps, check with the European Solidarity Corps National Agency in that country.
Where do I Register My Interest?
Register on the European Solidarity Corps Portal. The Portal is a place for young people and organisations to find each other. When you have registered, an organisation can contact you and ask you to take part in a project. Young people with fewer opportunities may receive support from organisations to complete registration.
Can I Take Part More Than Once?
You can only volunteer as individual once. You can volunteer as part of a Volunteering Team more than once.
What Else Should I Know?
Before you go you may receive training and support with language learning. You will receive insurance while you are away. You may also receive a document showing what competences you gained while you volunteered. .
What Funding is Available?
- Travel – for return travel costs from participants’ homes to the place they will learn or train
- Inclusion Support – to enable people with fewer opportunities to take part
- Pocket Money – Contribution to additional personal expenses for participants
- Language learning support – for language learning materials and training, where needed.
What is a Solidarity Project?
A Solidarity Project is one started, developed and carried out by young people themselves. Small groups come together to bring positive change to their local community. The project should have a clearly identified topic and address a key challenge. Projects can last from two to 12 months.
How Will a Solidarity Project Benefit Me?
Starting a Solidarity Project is an active and practical way to take on challenges you see around you. It will also give you great experience in working with others, and how to plan and see a project through to its end.
How Do I Get Involved?
The first step is to register on the European Solidarity Corps portal. If you already have a group who want to run a solidarity project together, you can seek support from a public or private organization to help you apply. This organisation’s support should focus on administration and finance, not the project plant itself. If you need it, the organisation can also help you to identify and document the learning outcomes from the project.
If you would prefer to work with a coach, you can do that too! Coaches are people with youth work experience who empower the group to successfully carry out the project. This could be a youth worker or a leader at a youth organisation. You can work with more than one coach if it’s helpful. The coach is considered an external helper, not There is no maximum number of group members, but it is important to note that the coach is not considered a member of the group, and more than one coach can be used.
How Is a Solidarity Project Organised?
A Solidarity Project takes place in the same country that the organising group lives in. The group themselves decide on their way of working, and how the project will be managed. One group member takes the role of ‘legal representative’ and submits the application. Remember, if you choose to work with an organsiation they can submit the application on your behalf.
The group arranges the distribution of tasks and responsibilities, makes sure there is a clear plan and timeline for carrying out the project, and that all the group members are communicating with each other. Working methods should involve all members of the group as much as possible. The project has four phases:
- Carrying out the activities (‘implementation’)
- Follow-up (this includes evaluating the project and sharing the results).
Can I Take Part?
To take part you need to be aged between 18 and 30 years old. You must be part of a group that has at least five members, who all live in the same programme country. You must be available to carry out the full project, which can last from two up to 12 months. Finally, you have to register on the on the European Solidarity Corps Portal.
What Funding is Available?
- Project Management – Costs linked to managing and carrying out the project.
- Coaching costs – Costs linked to the involvement of a coach in the project.
- Exceptional costs – costs for providing a financial guarantee, if you are asked for it.
What Else Do I Need to Know?
To be considered for funding, your proposal has to score at least 60 points when it is evaluated. It also has to score at least half of the maximum available points for each of these categories:
- Relevance, rationale and impact of the project
- Quality of the project design
- Quality of project management.