Applying for a European Solidarity Corps project takes some time but this exciting learning experience is worth it!
The first step is to find a project in a host association. To do so, you have to go and register on the website of the European Solidarity Corps to find one or more projects that interest you.
The European Solidarity Corps will give you the opportunity to help others, but also to follow a training course, to improve your skills and to get a life experience. Accommodation, food, travels, insurance and pocket money will normally be covered.
It is important to know that the European Solidarity Corps is based on a three-way partnership:
- The volunteer, that is, you;
- The host organization (where the project will take place) ;
- The sending organization (the organization that will help you before your project : the SVI)
Whether it is for an international workcamp or an ESC, we attach great importance to the volunteer follow-up before, during but also after the project. For the SVI, going to a country and taking part in a volunteer project is not an end in itself but a step in a process of associative engagement. Once you have been accepted on your project, you will then really get into the preparation phase of your project. We will then work together on a grant application to cover your expenses (Erasmus+) and submit it to the national agency. This application can be submitted during the following months: February, April and October.
A pre-departure training weekend is organized once a month for future volunteers. For two days, you will have the opportunity to share on topics like stereotypes and prejudices, the challenges of volunteering and of international solidarity but also on practical aspects like security, health, budget and what to take with you! You will also have the opportunity to discuss with other volunteers, former or new ones, and to meet the members of our team.
The international youth office also organizes a pre-departure seminar for ESC, which you will be required to attend.
Not taking the time to prepare properly is taking the risk to go away with a head full of dreams and to be disappointed once you get there. That’s why it is important to take part in these two preparation sessions. You will receive the registration form for the pre-departure weekend once your ESC project has been accepted.
It is also important to establish and maintain contact with your host organization before your departure in order to ask your practical questions about the tasks, the living conditions and accommodation.
The SVI team will support you in this whole process and will give you the main information to carry out your ESC (your info sheet, access to the virtual library…).
During your project, you will receive full support (plane tickets, accommodation, food, local transport, health coverage and civil liability). You will also receive monthly pocket money and social protection.
You will also receive online linguistic support and tutoring throughout your project. During your volunteering project, you will have different trainings:
- Training on arrival: organized by the national agency of the host country, this training course aims to help you connect with other volunteers, to integrate into the local community and to express difficulties linked to your project.
- Mid-term evaluation: a mid-term evaluation is organized by the national agency of the host country to share your experiences and to ensure the smooth running of your project.
The SVI will also set up a mid-term evaluation for your project.
When you return, you will have to write a final report and submit it to your sending organization. You can also get the “Youthpass”.
Youthpass is an approach that helps you make the most of your experiences when you participate in a volunteer project.
The Youthpass certificate is a document that allows you to describe your learning outcomes during your ESC project.
To help you think about what you have learned and put words on your achievements. These results are intended for future employers, or for formal education institutions that recognize skills acquired through non-formal learning.
Because it might be the first time you have been responsible for your own learning. The Youthpass certificate will make this learning visible and readable.
Be careful: you have 30 days to give an account of your experience. It is important: if you don’t do it, you may be asked to repay the advance received.
To continue the adventure, you can send us an email to the address firstname.lastname@example.org, with the following documents:
- the completed registration form
- a resume (in English or in French)
- the completed membership form
- the respective commitment, read and approved
- the “Consent” document, completed and signed
After examining your file, we will meet to discuss it and we will submit your file to the host association, who will make the final decision. We will then contact you to announce the decision and talk about the next steps.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us by phone or email. You can also visit us directly at our offices on Wednesday afternoons from 2pm, for information sessions to which parents are also invited. If you don’t live in Belgium or in France, you can join our online sessions (send us an email to have more information about these sessions). We are here to guide you as best we can in the realization of your project!
Do not buy your plane tickets until you have received the final confirmation that the project has been accepted by the European Commission.
Vaccines: even if the European Solidarity Corps is a specific programme for Europe, some countries (outside Europe) can be partners in the European Erasmus + programme. It is therefore sometimes possible, for some projects, to go outside Europe. A visit to your general practitioner is the first step. He or she will advise you on this point depending on the region you are visiting and will redirect you to a specialized centre if necessary.
Insurance: Within the ESC, the SVI will register you at least 14 days before your departure for the specific insurance you need. Don’t forget to ask your mutual insurance company for the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) at least 3 weeks before your departure. This card is issued free of charge and on request. A provisional certificate may be issued if your departure is imminent.
Important: all the steps related to logistics are only to be carried out once the ESC project has been accepted by the host association and the European Commission.