Everything you wanted to know about the E.S.C. European Solidarity Corps programs
Let’s begin with the basics: what is the European Solidarity Corps?
E.S.C. volunteer project: the European Solidarity Corps is an initiative of the European Union that allows all young people like you, between 18 and 30 years old, to carry out a non-formal training experience abroad or in their own country, for a period between 2 and 12 months. (If you’re already familiar with the European Voluntary Service, don’t worry, the European Solidarity Corps is its “updated” version, officially launched in December 2016.)
[For a quicker guide, go to: what is ESC]
During this period abroad, young volunteers have the opportunity to improve and acquire skills for personal and professional development, as well as for their social integration.
In which sectors do the activities of a European Solidarity Corps project take place?
- Cultural Heritage
What are the costs of participating in the European Solidarity Corps? Is there a salary?
Among the primary objectives of the project is to ensure a near-zero cost for the volunteer. If you participate in the European Solidarity Corps programs, you have almost all of the costs paid for:
- travel to / from (respecting the maximum limit indicated),
- food and accommodation,
- language training,
- health insurance,
- transportation on site,
- visa (if required).
Each volunteer is entitled to a small monthly salary, the so-called monthly “pocket money” that varies depending on the host country of the project.
A commitment of 30/35 hours per week is expected.
Who can participate?
The only requirement to participate in a European Solidarity Corps project is:
- Be a young person between the ages of 17 and 30* residing in a program country.
- A volunteer can only participate in one long-term ESC project. With one exception: those who have been on one ESC/ex-EVS project for no more than 59 days may participate in another.
European Solidarity Corps: Volunteering, Internship and Work
The European Solidarity Corps consists of 2 complementary sections: volunteer and employment activities.
- The voluntary section offers young people the opportunity to perform full-time voluntary service in another country for periods of between 2 and 12 months.
- The employment section offers young people job or internship opportunities in a wide range of sectors engaged in charitable activities and are looking for highly motivated and socially interested young people. (Job opportunities and internships are a small part of European Solidarity Corps activities)
The Youthpass – Is there a certification at the end of the project?
Yes. At the end of the project, as indicated in the Charter of the European Solidarity Corps, each volunteer receives a certificate confirming their participation, their skills and the description of their project: the Youthpass.
How can I join the E.S.C. volunteer programs?
If you want to participate in a European Solidarity Corps project, look no further! Almost every weeks we publish new opportunities on this website. You can also visit the official website. It is also important that you register on the European Solidarity Corps Portal (see contact details below). After doing so, you are automatically registered in the database and can then be selected by an organization.
Once you are part of the E.S.C. network, if an organization contacts you and offers you a place on a project, you do not have to accept the proposal: the decision whether or not to participate in a project is entirely yours.
You can and should be proactive in this program. Instead of waiting for an organization to contact you, you can search (by country or project activity) for a suitable organization and get in touch with it. Typically, you will be asked to send your resume and a motivational letter.
European Solidarity Corps in the Time of the Coronavirus (Covid-19)
As reported on the official website of the European Youth Portal:
- The Commission fully respects all containment measures currently in place at the national level. It also understands that these measures could affect the participation of students, pupils, volunteers and others in mobility programs under Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps
- Some projects may be delayed due to “force majeure”. Organizations may postpone planned activities for a maximum of 12 months per project.
- Here you canf ind updates on the situation Coronavirus (Covid-19): https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/resources/coronavirus-impact_en
CONTACT DETAILS & OTHER USEFUL LINKS
- Official website: https://europa.eu/youth/solidarity_en
- European Solidarity Corps charter: https://europa.eu/youth/solidarity/charter_en
- Mission and principles of the European Solidarity Corps – https://europa.eu/youth/solidarity/mission_en
- Frequently asked questions about European Solidarity Corps – https://europa.eu/youth/solidarity/faq_en
- Fb page: https://www.facebook.com/EuropeanYouthEU
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