European Commission is calling for Proposals for Quality Label Humanitarian Aid Strand brings together young people to build a more inclusive society, supporting vulnerable people and responding to societal and humanitarian challenges.
It offers an inspiring and empowering experience for young people who want to help, learn and develop and provides a single entry point for such solidarity activities throughout the Union and beyond. It opens up more and better opportunities covering a broad range of areas, such as integration of migrants, environmental challenges, prevention of natural disasters, education and youth activities, humanitarian aid. It also supports national and local actors, in their efforts to cope with different societal challenges and crises.
- The general objective of the Programme is to enhance the engagement of young people and organisations in accessible and high-quality solidarity activities, primarily volunteering, as a means to strengthen cohesion, solidarity, democracy, European identity and active citizenship in the Union and beyond, addressing societal and humanitarian challenges on the ground, with a particular focus on the promotion of sustainable development, social inclusion and equal opportunities.
- The specific objective of the Programme is to provide young people, including young people with fewer opportunities, with easily accessible opportunities for engagement in solidarity activities that induce positive societal changes in the Union and beyond, while improving and properly validating their competences, as well as facilitating their continuous engagement as active citizens.
In order to achieve its objectives, the European Solidarity Corps implements four Actions structured into two strands:
- Participation of young people in solidarity activities:
- Volunteering Projects;
- Volunteering Teams in High Priority Areas;
- Solidarity Projects.
- Participation of young people in humanitarian aid related solidarity activities (“Volunteering under the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps”):
- Humanitarian Aid Volunteering projects.
- Inclusion and Diversity: The European Solidarity Corps aims to promote social inclusion, tolerance, human rights and the value of differences and diversity of all kinds and to provide all young people equal access to opportunities offered under its Actions.
- Environment Protection, Sustainable Development, and Climate Action: The European Solidarity Corps can make a meaningful contribution to the Commission’s commitment to tackling climate and environmental-related challenges. To contribute to the European Green Deal, the Programme aims at integrating green practices into all projects and activities as well as promoting environmentally sustainable and responsible behaviour among participants and participating organisations. Organisations and participants should thus have an environmental-friendly approach when designing and implementing their activities.
- Digital Transformation: The political guidelines of the European Commission underline the need for Europe to lead the digital transition. The European Solidarity Corps can play a role by supporting Europeans, regardless of their gender, age and background to live and thrive in the digital age through projects and activities that aim to boost digital skills, foster digital literacy and/or develop an understanding of the risks and opportunities of digital technology.
- Participation in Democratic Life: The programme promotes participation of young people in democratic processes and civic engagement. With volunteering at its heart, the programme engages and empowers young people to be active in society and addresses the Europe-wide trends of youth limited participation in democratic life and the low levels of knowledge and awareness about European matters that have an impact on the lives of all European citizens.
- Prevention, Promotion, Support in the field of Health: The European Solidarity Corps can add a significant value to the work ahead of Europe and beyond in addressing the COVID19’s impact and recovery, particularly when it comes to prevention, promotion and support in the field of health. It should play an important role in supporting the health and social care system, under extreme pressure, improving people’s experience of care, building stronger relationships between services and communities.
The European Solidarity Corps has an overall indicative financial envelope of EUR 1.009 billion of the EU Budget for the period 2021-2027.
- Young people constitute the target population of the European Solidarity Corps. With the exception of Solidarity Projects where young people can apply directly, the Corps mainly involves young people through organisations, institutions, public or private bodies that organise solidarity activities. The conditions of access to the Corps therefore relate to these two actors: the “participants” (young people participating in the Corps) and the “organisations”. For both participants and participating organisations, the conditions for participation depend on the country in which they are legally based and on the Action concerned. These conditions are specified in Part B and C of this Guide, under each specific Action.
- Young people express their willingness to participate in the European Solidarity Corps by registering on the European Solidarity Corps Portal. The registration at the European Solidarity Corps Portal is possible as of 17 years of age but participants must have reached 18 and must not be older than 30 at the start date of the activity. For participants in humanitarian aid related solidarity activities, the upper age limit at the start of the activity is 35 years old. European Solidarity Corps projects are mainly submitted and managed by organizations. Organizations participating in European Solidarity Corps projects must be established in a programme country or a partner country.
- Members States of the European Union and third countries associated to the Programme can fully take part in all the Actions of the European Solidarity Corps (Programme Countries). In addition, some Actions are open for participation of other countries (Partner Countries).
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