European Solidarity Corps

4 junge Freiwillige bei Aufräumarbeiten nach der Flut

Via the European Solidarity Corps (ESC) you can apply for volunteering teams or for longer volunteer services in other European countries.

Volunteering teams are usually similar to traditional workcamps. They have a minimum duration of 2 weeks and involve a group of at least 10 volunteers. However, they are limited to the countries that participate in the ESC. Only volunteers from these countries can participate.

For your commitment through the ESC, whether in a volunteering team or in an individual voluntary service, your travel expenses will be reimbursed and you will receive a small pocket money. There is a strict age limit of 18 to 30 years and there are a few important steps to take before and after the project in addition to registering with us:

Before your ESC project

To apply to a ESC project you have to register in the ESC database. If you click "sign in", you will be prompted to create a one-time user account with the EU Commission's authentication service. With this "EU login" you will receive a password with which you can continue your registration in the ESC database. (Here are step-by-step instructions with pictures)

After you have registered, you will receive an automatic notification to the email address you provided. This e-mail contains your personal participant number (PRN). This is the code for your account in the database. You can enter your PRN in the comments when registering online for an ESC project or send it in by email after registration.

Please let us know whether you have mandatory or private health insurance.

Why is that important? A service of the ESC program is an insurance package from CIGNA insurance (brochure in English). In addition to liability insurance, travel insurance and a few others, health insurance is also part of the package. This applies in addition to your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which you must have with you during the project. You can find this on the back of your German health insurance card. If you do not have an EHIC, e.g. because you are privately insured, the CIGNA insurance can also step in as primary insurance. However, this must be applied for in good time by the organization that is carrying out the project (hosting organization).

If your application for a project was successful, the "hosting organization" will send you an official offer in the ESC database. You have to accept this so that your profile is officially linked to the right project and can be managed and financed accordingly.

Your "Volunteering Agreement" or "Activity Agreement" is the contractual agreement made between you and the "Hosting Organisation". Other parties in the agreement are IBG (as "Sending Organization") and possibly a so-called "Coordinating Organization" in the project country.

The agreement contains all the details about the project and the rights and obligations of all those involved. The agreement is concluded when all participants sign it. This is also possible digitally.

After your ESC project

After the end of your project, the ESC database will ask you to fill out a "Mobility Report". This mainly consists of multiple choice questions and must be completed by you (usually within 30 days) before the travel allowance can be paid out.

In order for us to be able to reimburse your travel expenses, you must send us all invoices, tickets, boarding passes, etc. Electronic receipts and scans/images simply by email. All receipts that you only have in paper form should be sent to the IBG office by post.

For the journey to and from your project, the ESC program provides a maximum reimbursement of €180 (for 100 to 499 km) or €275 (for 499 to 1,999 km) depending on distance (as the crow flies) between your place of residence and the project. Anything beyond that you have to pay for yourself. To pay the reimbursement of travel expenses, you need an account connection, your report (see above) must be completed and your travel receipts must be complete.

If you notice during your planning that your travel costs will be much more expensive than the maximum amount, or if it is a major obstacle for you to cover the travel costs until after the project, please contact us.

Reflect your experience

We organize a Volunteers' Weekend every year at the end of September/beginning of October. This weekend is your opportunity to evaluate the experiences from your ESC project and reflect on what you have learned during this time. You can exchange ideas with other volunteers and with us, learn more about IBG - and of course have a lot of fun again.

The German National Agency JUGEND für Europa, which coordinates the ESC program, also invites all volunteers to the 'comeback' event every year in November. This is an event for everyone who was active with the ESC that year.

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