There is a funded programme paid for by the European Commission called ESC which stands for European Solidarity Corp.
Your local Youth Information Service would be delighted to tell you more about how it works and help & support you with the application process – contact us.
It’s on offer to young people and young adults in Ireland aged between 18 and 30 years. We work with a sending and hosting organisation called VSI – Voluntary Service International – they arrange the programme for you and handle the application and sending process. You can also do an ‘advance visit’, where you get to visit your host country and see your accommodation, & where you’ll be volunteering etc.
With ESC your flights, travel, accommodation and insurance are covered, you also get an volunteering allowance. In some countries depending on the situation for example if you’re not living-in with a family but maybe sharing a house with other volunteers, a food allowance is included.
There is also extra financial supports for young people with fewer opportunities to help them with additional things like getting their passport or maybe for luggage.
There are a few options within this programme, for example there is a short term volunteering experience for a couple of weeks as well as a longer version for up to one year.
Depending on your personal circumstances there is a lot of flexibility and support built in to ESC to encourage you to think about it. For example some young people with a disability can go with their support worker, others could take part in a small group volunteering opportunity. VSI is also in a position to design a specific volunteering opportunity for some young people with additional needs.
You are fully supported from start to finish with VSI and while in your host country, where’ll you also have a mentor to help you out.
If you would like more information on the ESC programme please contact us.