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 European Solidarity Corps brings together young people to build a more inclusive society, supporting vulnerable people and responding to societal challenges. It offers an inspiring and empowering experience for young people who want to help, learn and develop.
The old name of the program was EVS: since 2016 the program has changed its branding and the current name is European Solidarity Corps. However, volunteers from all around the world are used to referring the program as EVS.
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.
Also to participate in volunteering activities, you must be legally resident in the EU Member States or one of the following countries:
• North Macedonia and Turkey
• Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway
• Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia
• Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine
• Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia
• Russian Federation
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.
Whilst you can join the European Solidarity Corps if you meet these criteria, some projects may have additional restrictions on ages, legal residency or nationality, depending on the type of project and how it is funded.
European Solidarity Corps projects cover a wide variety of topics for example:
- helping rebuild a school or community center that has been devastated following an earthquake
- providing support to newly arrived asylum seekers
- clearing vegetation from forests to help prevent wildfires
- working with disabled people in a community center.
You can search for a “perfect” project for yourself by:
- contacting organizations that have an accreditation to send and host ESC volunteers in your city.
- monitoring public groups posting ESC vacancies on Facebook or any other social media (for example, https://www.facebook.com/groups/EVS.vacancy/ or https://www.facebook.com/Discover-the-EVS-European-Voluntary-Service-139995199358271/?ref=br_rs)
- registering for European Youth Portal, official website of the program – https://europa.eu/youth/solidarity_en
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.
Once you found an ESC project for yourself, you must send your application to the organization running the project. Usually the application includes your CV, Motivation Letter and Application Form. Sometimes organizations conduct Skype interviews with the applicants in order to get to know them better.
You can reach further information about ESC projects here https://europa.eu/youth/solidarity/faq_en. If you have any additional questions, we’ll be happy to answer – contact us by e-mail [email protected]