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Volunteering is a great way to explore a career path, get to know lots of new people, and help all at the same time.

European Solidarity Corps (ESC)

ESC stands for European Solidarity Corps - a programme that provides support and funding for young people to spend some time doing voluntary work, working or training in their own country or abraod in projects that benefit communities and people. The programme is open to young people between 18 and 30 years.

Through Volunteering, Traineeships, Jobs, or Solidarity Projects in their own communities, young people contribute to strengthening communities while gaining experience, skills and competences for their own personal, educational, social, civic and professional development.

Individual volunteering is a full-time unpaid solidarity activity that lasts from two to 12 months. In some cases, volunteering activities of two weeks to two months can be put in place for young people with fewer opportunities. This type of solidarity activity will give young people the chance to take part in the daily work of organisations and perform tasks that can have a real impact. Activities can take place either in a country other than the country of residence of the participant (cross-border) or in the country of residence of the participant (in-country).

Volunteering teams are solidarity activities allowing teams of 10 to 40 European Solidarity Corps participants from at least two different countries to volunteer together for a period between two weeks and two months. Such solidarity activities could especially contribute to the inclusion of young people with fewer opportunities in the European Solidarity Corps.

So what volunteering positions can you do? The possibilities are endless. Here are some examples of projects:

~ organise a music festival in Germany ~ assist in sports tournaments in Spain ~ work with children in a special school in Lithuania ~ help in a zoo in Estonia ~ See more examples here

If you need any more information, check out our links, or email or

ESC links

European Youth Portal

ESC database of organisations

Eurodesk video on Volunteering

Volunteer exchange links




Volunteer work in return for board

There are now many opportunities to volunteer your time in exchange for accommodation and food, and explore the country in your free time.

You can do a range of tasks, such as doing up an old cottage, helping out on an organic farm, au-pairing for a family, doing maintenance work on a holiday centre, carrying out general duties in a hostel, helping in an orphanage, being a guide for tourists, doing photography projects and much more. Examples of sites which list these opportunities are WorkAway and HelpX.

WWOOFing - which stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms - is whereby a volunteer works on an organic farm in exchange for accommodation and food. Lots of countries have their own website, however the main one is listed in the links.

Many hosts only require 4-6 hours work per day for 5 days, however this differs between hosts, and depends on whether accommodation and food or just accommodation are offered. The sites listed require a small fee for viewing all details of hosts.

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Other volunteering opportunities

Voluntary Service International (VSI) offers short and long-term volunteering opportunities and these are available world wide.

Comhlámh is an organisation that encourages, promotes and assists volunteering in overseas projects. It also campaigns for volunteer organisations to sign up to its Code of Good Practice, ensuring the safety and welfare of its volunteers.

United Nations Volunteers (UNV) has many different areas in which you can volunteer, from emergency relief to ICT.

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Volunteering links

Voluntary Service International


Comhlámh - Code of Good Practice

United Nations Volunteers