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The European Year of Youth: The European Solidarity Corps

As part of the European Year of Youth (EYY2022), we’re looking at the opportunities available to young people in the EU. The European Solidarity Corps (ESC) offers great local and international volunteering opportunities that benefit communities.

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Applying to volunteer

You can enrol in the ESC if you are between 17 and 30 years old, but you must be at least 18 years old when you start a placement. The ESC’s database of accredited organisations allows you to find the contact details of organisations and projects looking for volunteers in a wide range of fields (e.g. education and training, citizenship and democratic participation, the environment and natural protection, migration, culture, and humanitarian aid), either abroad or in your own country. After you have registered, you can apply to opportunities directly through the site. Once you are selected, everything is arranged for you.

Alternatively, if you have an idea for how to improve your local community, small groups of at least five young people can set up and implement a solidarity project in their country of residence for 2 to 12 months. Your group will make decisions about the working method and management of your project, and also benefit from the support of a coach.

If you’re unsure what type of ESC activity to choose, take the quiz!

Applying as an organisation

If you’re an organisation that would like to run an ESC project, you can apply via online forms sent to the relevant National Agency in your country. Two calls for proposals are published each year. If your project is approved, you will have access to a pool of motivated young people between 18 and 30 years old on the ESC portal. Your organisation will be able to advertise opportunities, and search for and get in touch with potential participants.

ESC funding has several advantages for your organisation, including:

  • enabling you to do more;
  • helping you to tap into the skills and enthusiasm of highly motivated young people;
  • enabling you to create links with young people by offering them a meaningful learning experience;
  • bringing fresh ideas into your organisation’s day-to-day work;
  • encouraging stronger links with the local community.

Source: EURES Job mobility portal 01st September 2022

Date of publication: 07 October 2022

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