GEAI meets ESC
As well as hosting European volunteers, Good Energies Alliance Ireland acts as a supporting organisation for young people from Ireland who would like to go volunteering abroad as a part of European Solidarity Corps programme.
What is ESC?
The European Solidarity Corps (previously known as European Voluntary Service) is the European Union initiative which creates opportunities for young people to volunteer in long-term projects (2-12 months) – in their own country or abroad – that benefit communities and people around Europe.
Volunteer projects are an excellent opportunity to help where needed, learn new skills, spend time abroad, maybe learn a language – and definitely come back with unforgettable memories.
Learning for life!
ESC is open to all young people aged 18 to 30. Beyond benefiting the local communities, by participating in voluntary activities, young volunteers can develop new skills and, therefore, improve their personal, educational and professional development.
Volunteers can benefit from specific training throughout the activity and agree on their expected learning outcomes, processes and methods in advance. Their learning experience is formally recognised through a Youthpass.
Participation is free for the volunteers (except for a possible contribution of a maximum of 10% of the travel costs) who also get board and lodging, insurance cover and an allowance for the duration of the project. Special conditions apply to encourage the participation of young people with fewer opportunities. Further information can be found on the Léargas website.
The European Solidarity Corps spans a wide range of areas, such as environment, health, inclusion, digital technologies, culture, sport, etc. One thing all the activities have in common is a clear European and intercultural learning dimension. ESC is a mutually beneficial process, where everybody gains from getting to know the other’s culture.
“My trip to Greece was a great learning experience. I enjoyed myself thoroughly while facing a number of challenges in an unfamiliar country. The people I engaged with were friendly and welcoming, and the experience as a whole has definitely helped me to grow as a person”.
“The work we done in Greece involved planting trees, painting a school fence and collecting rubbish around Xylokastro. What surprised me most about Greece was the people and how friendly they were, even though most didn’t speak fluent English they still made you feel very comfortable and at home. The project overall made me a better and more confident person. Although there were slight challenges with language and different opinions, I learned to overcome them and communicate together to discuss it. I have no regrets going to Greece, and would recommend it to anyone. It’s been a memorable experience and I won’t forget it”.
“The work I did in Xylokastro was very rewarding and it was great to work as a team helping to paint the local school.
It was great to learn about other people’s culture.The project was sometimes challenging and other times fun, but it was great to see everyone motivated and helped each other to finish work. I feel I have grown as a person and have made new friends and created special memories during my stay in Xylokastro”.
“I had an amazing time as a volunteer in Greece. I had many new experiences and opportunities to learn Greek and about life there ‘Σιγά σιγά’ (siga siga) which means “slowly slowly”.
“I’d honestly recommend this experience to everyone. Especially those who want to make a difference in their lives. You need to have the mindset that when you are required to work, you work, but apart from that, it’s like a holiday! People need to realise that there’s more to life than school – college – work – 2 week holiday once a year. It was and is a privilege to be a part of this programme.”
Are you between 18 and 30 and willing to spend up to 12 months abroad as an ESC volunteer? Get in touch!