European Solidarity Corps
Become a European Solidarity Corps volunteer!
Outward Bound believes in solidarity and social responsibility as the foundation of personal and social development. If you are aged between 18 and 30, you want to explore your interests, develop new skills and do something useful for the community, sign up as a volunteer in the European Solidarity Corps portal!
Volunteer in Croatia or abroad – all costs are covered!
Volunteering in the European Solidarity Corps
Volunteering projects provide an answer to societal needs and strengthen local communities. At the same time, they allow you to learn in a nonformal way, develop intercultural competency and personal and professional skills. Your hosting organization will support you in the process and structure your volunteering activity.
The projects last from 2 weeks to 2 months, and you can volunteer individually or in a team.
How to Become Part of the European Solidarity Corps?
1. Register in the PASS System
Maybe you are not entirely sure yet whether you're ready for an adventure called European Solidarity Corps.
That's fine. The PASS (short for Placement and Administration System or European Solidarity Corps Portal) is where your search begins.
The PASS is a database where you can create your profile that will help you find the right project.
The same portal is used by organizations that carry a Quality Label and are looking for volunteers for their projects. Having a Quality Label ensures that they have the capacity and knowledge to implement high-quality ESC projects.
Organizations can register and promote their projects. They can also invite you to apply.
Registering in the PASS database doesn't oblige you to anything. You are free to apply to a project or accept or reject an offer.
2. Define Your Area of Interest
When creating a profile, it's good to explain in detail what area you see yourself in. This makes it easier for organizations to find the volunteers that are the best fit for their projects. It also helps you select a project you are genuinely enthusiastic about.
Don't worry if you don't know exactly yet what interests you. Exploring your interests is also a legitimate reason for volunteering abroad.
3. Find a Project
The PASS database allows you to browse available projects and organizations you'd like to volunteer in.
However, you can find out about a project through other channels, too. NGOs often promote their projects through social media, e-mail newsletters, or offline events.
In that case, you will also have to create a PASS profile and get an identification number so you can be matched with the project you're going to join. This allows tracking the number of youngsters engaged in ESC projects and helps organizations report on their projects.
4. Contact an Organization
After finding the right project, it's time to contact the organization that announced it.
We recommend you put just as much effort into writing your CV and motivational letter for your volunteering position as you would for a job application.
Especially for volunteering projects, the participants' motivation is key. Therefore it's crucial to clearly state it in your application. If the organization likes your application, and you match the volunteer profile they're looking for, they will probably contact you online. That way, they can get to know you better before making a final decision.
Although PASS offers the possibility of organizations recruiting volunteers, we don't recommend you wait for an invitation. You will be much faster at finding a spot if you actively screen projects and contact organizations.
5. Are You Going Abroad? Contact Us!
If you're going abroad on a project, it's recommendable to prepare with the help of a supporting organization. This is also an organization that holds the Quality Label and is well aware of all the aspects of the European Solidarity Corps.
A supporting organization will help you choose the right project and organization, prepare for your departure, and communicate with your hosting organization.
Before leaving, we'll prepare a pre-departure training during which we'll discuss your expectations, fears, and practical questions. On your stay abroad, you can contact your supporting organization at any moment, should you have any kind of issues.
After returning, we'll meet up again to discuss your experience and the next steps you need to take - whether you decide to continue your education, search for a job or start something on your own.
6. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone!
Going on a European Solidarity Corps volunteering project demands a certain level of courage and decisiveness. We understand that all types of doubts might come up during the process, too.
An advantage of the European Solidarity Corps is the extensive support you will receive as a volunteer. You don't need to worry about the financial aspects of the project, nor about finding accommodation in the project venue. The supporting and hosting organizations will take care of that.
The coordinator from your supporting organization is always there for you, should you need anything. All you have to do is reach out through e-mail or phone. The same is true for your coordinator in the hosting organization, your work supervisor, and a mentor who you can ask for support when getting used to your new environment.
And trust us:
No one ever returned from a European Solidarity Corps project and said – I wish I wouldn't have done this!
News From the European Solidarity Corps
This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.