The European Solidarity Corps is the new European Union initiative which creates opportunities for young people to volunteer or work in projects in their own country or abroad that benefit communities and people around Europe.
The young people who participate in the European Solidarity Corps will all agree with and uphold its Mission and Principles.
You can register for the European Solidarity Corps when you are 17 years old, but you cannot start a project until you are over 18. European Solidarity Corps projects will be available to people up to the age of 30 years old.
After completing a simple registration process, European Solidarity Corps participants could be selected and invited to join a wide range of projects, such as helping to prevent natural disasters or rebuild afterwards, assisting in centres for asylum seekers, or addressing different social issues in communities.
Projects supported by the European Solidarity Corps can last from two to twelve months. They will usually be located within the European Union Member States.
1. Visit the European Youth Portal: Here you can find more info on the European Solidarity Corps. Register your details to obtain a unique Identification number. You can upload your CV and motivation letter. Like this, organizations will also be able to contact you.
2. Find a project: On the European Youth Portal you may search for projects that are open for applicants. Through the portal, you can contact the respective organizations to apply. There also are a number of groups and pages on Facebook where organizations post their call for volunteers. You may also try to ask your sending organization for help on this matter.
Tip: Projects under the European Solidarity Corps are diverse and tackle different issues such as the environment, youth, migration, culture and so on. Also projects generally have a specific starting date and have a duration time that might range between a month to 12 months. Consider your availability and interest when choosing a project.
Tip: Project often go through a selection process for volunteers. Be prepared to sit for an interview.
3. Find a sending organization: Keep in mind that projects under the European Solidarity Corps require the partnership of a sending and host organization. Check whether or not the project you are applying for has already defined who the partners are. If not, then you will need to find a sending organisation from your country of residence that have a valid quality label.
Tip: If you are lost where to look for one, then inquiring with your national agency for European programs might help.
Sending organizations are responsible to help you prepare adequately for the volunteering experience including obtaining the relevant documents such as insurance. Moreover, they will monitor your well being during project, liaise with the host organisation in case of any problem and help you settle down back home once the project is finished.
Hosting organizations are generally the ones managing the overall project. They are responsible for your safety throughout the duration of the project, train you for the tasks you are expected to perform, offer you a mentor and provide you with monthly allowance and accommodation.
Tip: Take time to ask all the necessary questions to the host organizations ahead of the project starting dates so that expectations are clear.
When volunteering you will gain new skills and knowledge, confidence in yourself, learn about teamwork, find new friends and have a better understanding of a new culture. At the end of your experience, you will receive formal recognition of all the knowledge and competencies you have achieved through a Youthpass. This can be part of your CV and helps to increase your chances of employment.
For more information about Youthpass click HERE .
Tip: Take time to reflect on the experience and the skills learnt during the volunteering experience together with your mentor so that you may be able compile a comprehensive youthpass.
1. Lonely no more!
A research done by campaigntoendloneliness.org shows that 43% of 17-25 year olds have experienced problems with loneliness. The simplest way to reverse this? Volunteer!
2. Improve self-esteem.
When people volunteer, they develop self-esteem, confidence and feelings of self worth. Nowdays, there are numerous boys and girls who struggle with self-esteem issues, social anxiety and depression. Considering all the benefits, volunteering could be both life-changing and life-saving for them!
3.Volunteering and longevity.
Did you know that long-term volunteers have longer lives, less diseases and better overall health? A study done by Corporation for National and Community Service, has shown that people who volunteer over 100 hours a year are some of the healthiest people in the world!
4. Helps you burn that belly fat. Let's make it straight, you spend too much time being physicaly inactive! Walking around a shelter, playing with kids or visiting elderly patients at a neighborhood nursing home all require that you do more than sitting at a desk or on a couch.
5.Volunteering saves lives.
When you invest time and energy in volunteering, you are investing in yourself just as much as in the causes you support. When volunteering, you are improving other people's lives as much as yours.
Facts aside, one more thing, which is basically the best part, is that volunteering is just plain fun!
Ready to make new friends, explore new places and cultures, and develop new skills along the way? Then get straight to our CONTACT PAGE and find out how to become a part of Youtheme family.
A project under the European Solidarity Corps provides funds to cover the volunteer's flights, accommodation, health insurances and visa. It also offers some pocket money to the volunteer and training in the native language of the country that is hosting you. The sending and host organisations will arrange all these for you! So you see once you are selected for a solidarity project there is little else you need to worry about!
Tip: Although, you will have some pocket money, we still suggest saving up some money ahead of the experience in order to be able to do that possible extra activity you would like to do while abroad.
Lead! was a volunteering project under the Erasmus+ Programme and was implemented between June 2018 and May 2020. During this time Youtheme Foundation hosted a young volunteer from Turkey for one year. Gonullu Hareketi was the sending organization involved in this project.
Lead! aimed to give the volunteer the opportunity to learn about different social realities and understand the role of social entrepreneurship in building communities. Moreover, it supported the volunteer to become an active participant of society through social action and at the same time giving him the knowledge and skills to increase his chances of employability.
*Video about Enes's volunteering experience
The experience offered the volunteer the opportunity to get involved in the daily operation of Youtheme Foundation. His work included assisting in the management of the social enterprise consisting of a fairtrade shop and a printing workshop. The volunteer also helped the foundation to increase awareness on the opportunities available through Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps programme by delivering information sessions and workshops with other young people that the foundation has worked with.
He also assisted the Foundation in the implementation of various projects. This included supporting other young people that the Foundation hosted through VET Erasmus+ project and other internships. He also helped out in an educational campaign about sustainable development goals and engaged in a number of workshops with young people and children in local schools.
*Enes on TVM
Moreover, project Lead! gave space to the volunteer to write, lead and develop his own social project entitled 'Rhythm of Life'. In this project, he used his passion for music and the skills and knowledge he gained during the volunteering experience to give a group of 8 young people with disabilities the opportunity to experiment with electronic music and learn basic DJ skills.
The volunteer planned a number of sessions over the period of 7 months where the young people with disabilities ultimately produced a track and design the art for the poster. They also had an opportunity to perform during a rave party which they called Power Pie. For this project, Youtheme Foundation was able to collaborate with YMCA and Agency Sapport.
*Video about Rhythm of life project
The impact of project Lead! and Rhythm of Life was greater than initially expected. Rhythm of life not only introduced electronic music to a group of young people with disabilities but also made it possible for the Foundation to work alongside Agency Sapport and YMCA to make this project happen. It has also inspired other volunteers from the organizations to develop dance workshops for people with disabilities in parallel to main workshops.
Additionally, we also managed to reach approximately 100 people with disabilities where they could enjoy and dance to music in a safe inclusive environment. The organizations involved have recognized the positive results of the volunteer's project and are continuing to deliver Rhythm of Life workshops. On the other hand, the volunteer has also managed to find stable employment as a teacher in special education in Turkey and is also now looking to enhance his skills as a DJ and producer of electronic music.
Enes shares his music on Instagram, click here to check it out.
*Enes produced Reel Urban Atelier as part of Rhythm of Life Project
"Hi, my name is Ilaria, I come from Italy, but I actually live in Sweden. Three years ago I decided to participate in EVS to improve my CV with an international experience and at the same time help the community.
My project was 9 months long and the organisation where I was volunteering was precisely Navigatorcentrum. Before leaving Italy I had a lot of doubts, would I have been able to live far away from my family, my friends, my culture and especially my food? It was a difficult choice to leave my country, but actually the best choice of my life.
After just a couple of months I understood how important was to get to know different cultures, new people and new way of thinking. I was getting along very well in this new environment, for sure there have been ups and downs during the 9 months, but the positive aspects of being here were definitely more than the negative, like for example home sickness or difficulties with learning a new language.
At the end of my volunteering project I decided that I wanted to stay in Sweden and continue to work with youth and I got the chance to be employed in Navigatorcentrum. It has been now 3 years living abroad and I can surely say that volunteering has given me so much, from opening my mind to be more independent and experience a lot of new things.
I would personally suggest to all young people to participate in ESC because it is an amazing opportunity that give empowerment and make you feel a real European citizen."
*Ilaria meets a moose for the first time.
Mirco Pugliese was a volunteer participating to a ESC project in the Dutch Caribbean Island, Caracao. He brought a lot of stories with him. Here is one we love. Thanks Mirco for letting us sharing this!
P.S. Find More info on ESC.
"Do what you love and be with your loved one to watch the sunset. Happiness is as simple as that. ... There is a little floating fish restaurant beside the fisherman's huts near the water purifiers and the people say is the best of the island.
The owner Gina Maria Roya clean the fish herself, she is a smiling woman, and when i met her she was feeding the pelicans with some Funchi. She told me she opens just few hours a day, just enough to sell all the fish that she receive in the morning. The menu is the catch of the day. She run the place with her husband, they've been together the whole life, she told me that when they met she ask him to buy her a drink and gave him 5 guilders, but he disappeared with the money. Few months later she met him at a party and went up to him saying: "you owe me 5 guilders !" So they start dancing, and they never stop. They lived in Spain and used to eat at chiringuitos, always dreamt to own one, so she took the idea back with her to Curaçao. ...
The story of her life is simple and beutiful, like the sunset in her street, like Curaçao. I wonder if all the efforts we put in achieving goals are ultimately deciveing us away from our way... ... There is a little floating restaurant beside the fisherman huts, is named after the owner favourite fish, Purunchi. And is the best of the island. At the end of the day, is all worth it."