The European Solidarity Corps [ESC] – previously known as the European Volunteer Service [EVS] – is part of the Erasmus+ programme (former Youth In Action) to which EYFA applies every year with its own projects, as well as with other partner organisations all over Europe and beyond. ESC is a great opportunity for young people between 18 and 30 to go to a foreign country for up to 12 months to work on different projects.
The ESC projects EYFA coordinates provide volunteers the opportunity to volunteer within the EYFA network (with groups working on diverse initiatives: environmental, cultural, independent media, car-free, green-life, social justice, political art and propaganda etc.)
ESC is a useful tool for organisations to find volunteers to work on their projects. Since 1997, EYFA has taken part in various ESC projects as sending, hosting and coordinating organisation and since 2004, EYFA has widened its scope to include partner organisations from Eastern Europe (Russia and Belarus) as well as Latin America (Argentina).
At the moment, EYFA is navigating the challenges that the pandemic has brought on. We are working on adjusting this program to fit the current context, while at the same time communicating with our volunteers about how to best support them and encourage them to continue on their learning journey despite the difficulties.
All our volunteer placements are currently full. For further information about the European Solidarity Corps and EYFA’s involvement please contact: eyfa AT eyfa DOT org
Past ESC Projects:
Миру мир: Connecting peace-building communities across Europe
The “Mir Mir: Connecting peace-building communities across Europe” project the stay of three volunteers from Ukraine, Russian Federation and Spain from 1 July 2018 until 30 June 2019 with European Youth For Action in Berlin, Germany, and was dedicated to empowering youth to engage actively in peace-building and conflict transformation at the level of local communities as well as internationally.
Volunteers experienced self-organized work in an international environment, giving them more perspectives in order to expand their understanding of peace-building and inclusion, self-confidence and their network of contacts. With focus on participatory processes, horizontal skill sharing, non-formal education and the exchange of local and context specific experiences we wanted to create a space together, which could guide and inspire them to explore the topic of peace wider and deeper.
Together we learn, together we work: youth facilitating peer participation
The Project “Together we learn, together we work: youth facilitating peer participation” facilitated the stay of two volunteers from Ukraine and Belarus from 1 July 2017 until 30 June 2018 with European Youth For Action in Berlin, Germany. This project was dedicated to empowering young people, whose chances on the local labor market are lower.
Youth sharing skills to further intercultural dialogue and inclusion
The Project “Youth sharing skills to further intercultural dialogue and inclusion” facilitated the stay of two volunteers from the Russian Federation and Belarus from 1 July 2016 until 30 June 2017 with European Youth For Action in Berlin, Germany.
The project aimed to strengthen young people’s engagement as promoters of intercultural dialogue and social inclusion across Europe. In times where rising financial uncertainties and undercurrents of right-wing extremism have been causing waves of anti-migrant violence and loom over a potentially vibrant community of European youth, the volunteers explored and debated innovative solutions to ensuring the active participation of underprivileged groups in civil society.
Sustainable Future Youth taking action in you neighbourhood
The EVS Project “Sustainable Future Youth taking action in you neighbourhood” facilitated the stay of two volunteers (Polish and Slovenian) from 1 January 2015 until 31 December 2015 in Berlin.
During the project the participants had the opportunity to strengthen their engagement and act as promoters of environmental justice. They explored sustainable alternatives in Berlin and around Europe. Next to the local work (e.g. monthly film screening, the volunteers helped organizing an environmental gathering in Ukraine and one in Poland and participated in an anti-fracking youth gathering in the basque country. Last but least they went to EYFA strategy meeting and visited the COP21 conference in Paris in December.
Sharing Skills and Resources to Fight Exclusion and Precarity
The EVS-Project “Sharing Skills and Resources to Fight Exclusion and Precarity” facilitated two volunteers from Spain and Slovenia to spend 12 months with EYFA in Berlin, Germany from 01/09/2013 to 31/08/2014. The project aimed to empower young people to challenge precarity & economic exclusion by connecting dots between precarity and other forms of exclusion, like racism, gender privilege, homophobia & Roma rights, as well as inspiring young people to build alternative social and economic projects.
In the frame of the EVS the volunteers run the Precarity and exclusion blog. With this blog they invited locals to activities like movie screenings, discussions and workshops organised by them: https://precarityandexclusion.wordpress.com/
Multi-lateral EVS: Reclaiming Physical and Virtual Spaces
While the globalized market takes an increasingly larger share of the public awareness by providing a manufactured, impersonal, generic ‘consumable’ culture, youth groups and individuals find more difficulty accessing public space and exploring personal diversities.
This project aims to prevent youth becoming merely subjects to social, political and economic differences, instead becoming creators and developers of culture, gaining experiences and knowledge to confidently assert objective viewpoints and suggest tangible solutions. Concretely, this will mean volunteers taking an active role in the activities of organizations that provide forms of space for youth discourse and visibility.
The project is intended to be a way to provide youth with a self-organized, self-maintained platform to develop ideas and opinions on social and political events, and encourage them to claim the public space to convey them. The project is not only a cross-border exchange of different cultural and demographic backgrounds, but a skill-sharing exchange of varying methods of communication of ideas; specifically open space internet forums, artistic exhibitions, social events, political involvements and discursive meetings.
Volunteers selected for project are from Turkey, Sweden, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and Slovenia, and will work on the open space web platform www.openESF.net and in various social and cultural centres across Europe, from March 2009-2010.
Bi-lateral EVS: Biketour 2009 – Sustainable transport in the Western Balkans
From February 2009, two Dutch volunteers will work in Banja Luka, Bosnia, on the long-running Biketour project. Biketour consists of a group of people from all over Europe, forming a sustainable mobile community, cycling a two or three week route across a part of Europe. As the Ecotopia meeting which has been connected with Biketour has now ceased to be an EYFA project, the destination of this years Biketour is as yet unknown. However, the volunteers will be involved in discussions and planning of the route which will visit local projects and events across the western Balkans, bringing international attention to local issues, and promoting sustainable transport along the way.
Bi-lateral EVS: Tackle Global Climate Change
In May 2009 one volunteer started in EYFA for a one-year EVS. The volunteer contributed to two big projects on the issue of climate change in 2009. A Dutch/Belgian Climate Action Camp was organized in August on the Dutch/Belgium border in a collaboration with Dutch and Belgium environmental and youth organizations. At the end of 2009 EYFA organized a youth exchange in Copenhagen alongside the climate summit of the United Nations. The volunteer was involved in the implementation of both projects, and organized info events in the Netherlands to raise awareness on both events and the bigger topic of climate change.
Bi-lateral EVS: Ecotopia Biketour 2008
This year, EYFA is sending a young Dutch volunteer to Bulgaria to help with the organization of the Ecotopia Biketour. The volunteer will assist in planning the route, coordinating participants, arranging rest-points and ensuring adequate supplies of essentials. The Biketour will start in Serbia, and cross Bulgaria to the Ecotopia site in Sinop, Northern Turkey.
Bi-lateral EVS: Making Environmental Connections
EYFA activities are based on promoting an environmentally responsible attitude, acquiring and passing on information to individuals, groups and networks locally and internationally. The aim of this project is to strengthen EYFA’s support of individuals from all over Europe in the fight to live more sustainably. Particular interest is paid to patterns of use and impact of resource consumption from East to Western Europe, which vary widely, as do understandings and opinions of individual/local/national effects on the global problem. Within this project, the volunteer will be responsible for maintaining and developing EYFA’s presence in environmental matters, through assisting in projects and keeping up-to-date with current researches.
Bi-lateral EVS: Human Rights Protection and Promotion within Colombian student groups and Universities, Colombia
From mid-2008 to mid-2009 two EVS volunteers from the Netherlands were hosted by the Fundación Comité de Solidaridad con Presos Politicos (FCSPP) in Bogota, Colombia. The activities included workshops on human rights protection and seminars and the creation of audiovisual material on human rights violations in Public Universities and High-Schools in Colombia. EYFA assisted the volunteers with arranging the EVS funding, and provided all necessary pre-departure support.
Bi-lateral EVS: Ecorates project
EYFA is currently hosting a Slovene volunteer to work on the Ecorates fair currency system, which is used at all EYFA events . For more information on the project see eyfa.org/ecorates
Europeanvide Multi-lateral EVS:
Across Western and Eastern Europe young people are affected by precarious working and living conditions, whether through exploitation by “flex-work,” high unemployment rates, insecurity on the job market, and illegal jobs without contracts or benefits, or through unstable living conditions due to an expensive privatised housing market and the demolishing of social housing. Media coverage and academic attention is increasingly focusing on the causes and effects of “precarity” and bringing the obstacles facing young people to the forefront of public consciousness through film, publications, conferences and debates. With the project “Understanding and communicating youth precarity,” partners and youth from Belarus, Ukraine and Romania would like to exchange experience with partners and youth from the Netherlands, England and Germany in order to learn from each other how to better communicate these problems and solutions to the public using informal education and media tools.
Bi-lateral EVS: Promoting Economic Fairness: The Ecorates Evolution”
In 2006 EYFA hosted a young Irish EVS volunteer to contribute to the project “Promoting Economic Fairness: The Ecorates Evolution”. The project brought EYFA together in partnership with Gluaiseacht and involved researching economic inequalities in geographic Europe and creating an alternative currency system, to allow for more social & geographic inclusion and diversity at international events. The project also focussed on educating about economic inequalities at the local and international level.
For more past EVS projects: https://archive.eyfa.org/activities/evs_projects (defunct)