European Solidarity Corps (ESC)
The ESC, like the EVS before it, gives young people living in Europe (not just European Union countries) the chance to go to another country as a volunteer for a period of several months and work on a variety of initiatives relevant to the local community.
How to become a volunteer?
Here are some of the most important points:
- Do you want to go on an ESC project? You can do it if you are between 18 and 30 years old. You do not need to know the language of the country you want to go to or have a specific education. The most important thing is your willingness to learn new things, your motivation, your enthusiasm and your desire to do something important for others. Write to us at email@example.com. As a sending organisation, we will guide you step by step and together we will draw up a timetable of the activities you need to do in order to be able to apply for an ESC trip. At the same time, register on the European Solidarity Corps portal. This is COMPULSORY for all candidates.
- Using the search engine for accredited organisations, you find one or more organisations where you want to carry out your project. If you are interested in going to a country which is not listed in the search engine, contact the ESC Projects Coordinator in our Association, who will provide information on whether a trip to a given place is possible and support you in finding partners.
- Create your CV and letter of motivation (in English), which you send to potential host organisations and wait (impatiently) for information that a given institution wants you to become a volunteer and support their activities. Remember that host organisations do not always have a project ready – sometimes it is just a general outline of activities, so your invention and creativity counts a lot! Don’t worry if you don’t find your dream organisation straight away.
- Once you have found a host organisation, we, as a sending organisation, will liaise with them and create a project application. The grant application is the official document that the Association, as a sending organisation, submits to the Erasmus+ National Agency, the body which manages the EU money for youth projects in the respective Programme countries. Applications can be submitted by the specified deadline. We have to wait about 8 weeks for a reply from the National Agency, whether the application is accepted or rejected. In practice, the departure on the project can take place at the earliest after three months from the moment of submitting the application, i.e.; if we submit the application in April, the earliest the volunteer can leave is after 30th July, and in practice in recent years it has been rather September of the same year
The application has been accepted – what next?
After receiving the funding, we start preparing the volunteer for his/her stay on the project.
As a Volunteer you are guaranteed:
- international travel costs to and from the project,
- food and accommodation: for the duration of your stay abroad on the project, your host organisation must provide you with accommodation (this could be a room in a larger flat shared with other volunteers, accommodation with a host family or in a student residence – there are many possibilities) and food,
- insurance: under an agreement between the European Commission and Cigna, each volunteer is covered by a group insurance scheme. So you can easily benefit from the health care in the country you will go to on your ESC and do not have to pay for it,
- learning the language of the host country: if you want to learn the language of the host country, the host organisation is obliged to provide you with linguistic support (this can be in the form of a language tandem, individual lessons with a teacher or a course in a language school),
- pocket money: the rate is set by the European Commission. You receive a monthly allowance and you decide what you want to spend it on,
- a series of trainings: you get prepared by the pre-departure training in the organisation. When you arrive at the project site, you take part in an on-arrival training to introduce you to the new cultural and social reality. About halfway through your stay on the project, you participate in a mid-term evaluation, which helps you to reflect on what you have already achieved in the project, what challenges you still have to face and how you will manage your career after the project.
Upon your return to Poland, you meet again with your sending organisation for the final evaluation of your project.
If you have any further questions about the European Solidarity Corps (ESC), please contact Dominika at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Long Term Volunteering (LTV) – find out more:
LTV projects are long-term volunteering activities that take place virtually all over the world – you will find projects in Europe, Asia, Africa or the Americas. The host organisations for LTV projects are either branches of Service Civil International (SCI) or partner organisations of SCI. LTV projects are open to people who are at least 18 years old, have a good command of the language of the project and are ready for a great adventure! For trips to non-European projects, previous intercultural experience is an additional requirement.
Please note that, in contrast to European Voluntary Service, most LTV projects do not receive external funding.
Therefore, the volunteer has to take into account some out of pocket costs: travel costs, visa costs and costs for vaccinations are standard. On some projects, volunteers are also asked to pay additional fees – from these funds, the host organisations organise accommodation and food. Detailed information about costs and fees is described individually for each available project.
How to go on an LTV project?
Here are some key points:
- start by looking at the available LTV projects at www.longterm.lteg.info
- if you find a project that particularly interests you, read it carefully, also in terms of the costs you will have to pay. If you have questions about the project, the work or the costs, please contact (NAME) by sending an email to email@example.com or by calling the office at 61 84 84 336.
- when you have full knowledge about the project you have chosen, fill in the application for LTV (download here) and send it to (NAME) together with the confirmation of the participation fee of PLN 350 or PLN 300 for participants of the open One World Club (you can join at any time)
- the partner organisation makes a decision about accepting a volunteer on average within two weeks – expect an additional online interview with the project coordinator from the country you want to go to.