The European Solidarity Corps is the new European Union initiative which creates opportunities for young people to volunteer or work in projects in their own country or abroad that benefit communities and people around Europe. It was adopted this week by the European Parliament.
The programme will allow 100,000 young Europeans, including young people from Kilkenny and Ireland, support communities in need between 2018 and 2020 through volunteering, traineeships and job placements.
The overall budget available for the implementation of the European Solidarity Corps is set at €376.5 million for this period. Another even larger EU programme will follow for the period after 2020.
Young people in Kilkenny can register for the European Solidarity Corps when they are 17 years old, but cannot start a project until they are over 18. European Solidarity Corps projects will be available to people up to the age of 30 years old.
Examples of what a person could be asked to do include:
Helping rebuild a school or community centre that has been devastated following an earthquake
Providing support to newly arrived asylum seekers
Clearing vegetation from forests to help prevent wildfires
Working with disabled people in a community centre.
Ireland South MEP, Deirdre Clune was involved in preparing the Employment Committee’s opinion on the matter.
MEP Clune said: “This is such a fantastic initiative from the European Union which allows young people from across the EU to get involved in so many varied projects. I would encourage young people from Tipperary to get involved in this very worthwhile initiative."
When a person registers their details they will be held in the European Solidarity Corps system, and organisations will be able to search the database for people for their projects. Organisations will then ask selected participants to join these projects.