Skip to main content

European Solidarity Corps

Sterkari saman

This content is currently not available in Íslenska

Volunteering in Humanitarian Aid

As from 2022, the European Solidarity Corps opens up to the world and offers new cross-border volunteering activities in support of humanitarian aid operations in third countries.

These projects are an excellent opportunity to engage as an active citizen, show solidarity to people in countries outside of the EU who have faced humanitarian disasters or need to increase their preparedness to possible disasters in the future, while learning new skills, cultures and ways of life – definitively a life-changing experience!

Beyond disaster preparedness and post-disaster relief, the projects in which you will participate cover a wide range of issues. Here are just a few examples: promotion of gender equality, protection of women and children, protection of refugees and internally displaced persons, protection of undocumented migrants, mitigation of the effects of climate change, improvement of food security, etc.

You have the choice between individual volunteering and volunteering in teams, for a short or longer period.

Individual volunteering

  • can last from 2 months up to 12 months
  • is full-time (between 30 and 38 hours a week) 
  • allows you to contribute to the daily to carry out tasks needed to support the activities undertaken by the host organisation, which is an organisation active in the humanitarian aid field
  • is ‘cross-border’ – i.e. in a different country to where you live – and takes place in a third country where there are ongoing humanitarian aid activities and operations

Team volunteering 

If you can’t commit for a long period, but still want to help, then check out team volunteering, which:

  • can last between 2 weeks and 2 months
  • is full-time (between 30 and 38 hours a week)
  • you volunteer with people from at least 2 different countries
  • the group will be between 5 and 40 volunteers who will be selected by the supporting and host organisations 
  • takes place in a third country where there are ongoing humanitarian aid activities and operations

Supporting and host organisations

If you’re selected to go abroad for some humanitarian aid volunteering, at least 3 organisations will be involved:

  • At least 2 support organisations – from different EU Member States or third countries associated to the programme (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Türkiye and North Macedonia). These organisations will help you to prepare for your experience abroad. 
  • At least 1 host organisation – based in a third country not associated to the programme where there are no ongoing international or non-international armed conflicts and where humanitarian aid activities take place. This organisation will accompany you during your volunteering activities abroad. 

Who can volunteer?

European Solidarity Corps volunteering activities are open to 18-30 (35 for humanitarian aid volunteering) year old people who legally reside legally in a EU Member State or in a third country associated to the Programme (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Türkiye and North Macedonia) and who have registered in the European Solidarity Corps Portal.

What is covered?

  • You are covered by a complementary insurance
  • You can access a range of support services such as linguistic support and training
  • Your basic costs will be covered (your travel to and from the project, accommodation and food)
  • You’ll also receive a small allowance for personal expenses 
  • If you have specific needs (e.g. a disability), these costs may also be covered

How to register?

Young people between 18 and 35 years old have the opportunity to express their interest in humanitarian aid volunteering when they register on the European Solidarity Corps portal.

To express interest in humanitarian aid volunteering, candidates should follow these steps:
- go to ‘My profile’ 
- go to ‘Humanitarian Aid volunteering projects’ 
- select ‘I want to be considered for Humanitarian Aid volunteering projects’  
- fill in all other relevant information
- save the information

To apply for vacancies under the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps, young people need to complete a compulsory training. It consists of online modules on the EU Academy platform and, for those who pass the test at the end of the online training, of a 5-day face-to-face training in groups of around 25 candidates.

Once candidates have registered on the portal and indicated their interest, the online training courses on EU Academy are accessible via the ‘Online training’ tab in their European Solidarity Corps account. Candidates should select the option ‘Humanitarian aid training’. On the EU Academy platform, they'll first be invited to make a self-assessment. If they decide to continue the process, they'll start the compulsory online training for Humanitarian Aid Volunteering. The online training ends with an online test. After successfully completing the online test and indicating their availability for the face-to-face training via the ‘scheduling solution’, the service provider responsible for delivering the training will contact the candidates within 1 to 2 months to inform them of their available slots for the face-to-face training.

The face-to-face training is organised in 3 slots per year: in February – March, May – June and September – October. The provisional sessions calendar is published on EU Academy under the item ‘Online training for candidates of the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps’. Due to a very high interest in the humanitarian aid face-to-face training, the scheduling solution for applying for the face-to-face training needs to be closed from time to time. To know the time periods when registration is open, please check the information on EU Academy.

/!\ As the number of interested candidates is much higher than the number of humanitarian aid volunteering opportunities offered by projects, there is no guarantee that you will be selected by one of the humanitarian aid volunteering projects after having completed the training.

Should you have any question about the training, please contact the European Solidarity Corps team at