It’s hard to believe, but almost a year ago we dealt with the European Solidarity Corps program for the first time. Actually, the plan was to place interns and workers, but the change of the program by the European Commission, did not see the sense for the new funding period. Understandable, because as the name says, it should be mainly about solidarity. The first application was written quickly, because the values of the ESK are not only compatible with ours, but we have been implementing and living them in our company culture for a long time. We submitted the application for 11 positions for volunteers from all program countries in the areas of social projects, initial training, international projects, after-school care and Benedict School. On 20.04.2021 the requested areas were checked again online. Everyone was nervous, but it was clear that we as an institution fit into the program. So it happened that we received the quality label of the ESC on 20.04.2021.
The locations are characterized by both short- and long-term projects. The former is intended for participants who have only limited opportunities to take part in projects abroad due to impairments. The mobility period here ranges from two weeks to 2 months, with an extension to 12 months possible. The Longterm projects start at two months and end at 12 months stay. In the above-mentioned areas, the volunteers have a chance to gain insights into our educational work – primarily extracurricular – to get to know different target groups and to independently initiate and accompany smaller projects. We would like to promote the personal development of the participant. In terms of individual development, stays abroad primarily mean an increase in self-esteem, self-confidence and self-assurance, independence, the ability to compromise and solve problems, as well as creativity and interculturality. We take up and promote these competences in our daily work with migrants, young adults, long-term unemployed, children, European and Asian guests, so why not offer the opportunity to others. At the same time you will gain an impression of the educational work, which offers challenges and opportunities. From getting to know each other, through the development process, to integration, there is a wide range of work to be done.
The ESK is planned as a project until 2027, first we offer the opportunity to work directly with us, then we want to win our partners for the project and integrate volunteers there. In addition, we would like to offer our graduates of the vocational school and the vocational high school to complete a voluntary year abroad. In this way, new structures, partnerships and networks will emerge in the coming years, which we are very excited about.