Organisations called National Agencies manage the programme in their country. In Ireland, the National Agency is Léargas. We have worked with Léargas welcoming volunteers from Europe since 2017 and have had our experiences were mutually positive.
The European Solidarity Corps is the European Union programme that supports young people aged 18 to 30 to address needs in their community or abroad by taking part in activities across Europe. It creates opportunities for young people to volunteer or work in projects that benefit communities and people. Through these activities, young people contribute to strengthening communities while gaining experience, skills and competences for their own personal, educational, social, civic and professional development. The European Commission oversees the overall management of the European Solidarity Corps.
We pride ourselves in giving young people a worthwhile and valuable learning and cultural experience. At the same time, we are convinced that all the members of the school community benefit from cultural diversity, this is especially true for the children in our care who will experience cultural diversity as part of everyday life from a young age. The projects are based around practical activities like crafting, gardening, outdoor activities, etc. where a lower adult to child ratio makes it a much more enriching experience for all involved.
Reflections from Previous European Solidarity Corps
My time in Galway has been wonderful. It has given me the opportunity to face new challenges living abroad. Because of this, I have developed and discovered new skills of me that I didn´t know. Furthermore, I met people with different ways to understanding and living life, which has opened my mind. I have been able to discover Ireland, its wonderful nature and traditions, and I have been amazed by the passion that this country feels for music. Of course, this experience has helped me to improve the English (and a bit of Irish).
On the other hand, my time at school has been incredible thanks to the wonderful staff, children and families that make this project possible, they are all a great team. Being a volunteer at school has helped me to know even more about Steiner methodology, since I have participated in all the activities as one more teacher and I have realised that is not just a methodology, but also a beautiful philosophy of life.
Also, due to the Irish weather, famous for its cloudy and rainy days, I have learned that “even in the rain you can continue dancing”
Noemi Melchor Velayos- ESC in Cuan na Gaillimhe CNS 2019/2020
A wonderful experience in a wonderful town. My year in Cuan na Gaillimhe CNS has been fantastic!
I met great staff always ready to help each other and the children with a beautiful smile every day. As a teacher, I now know more about the Waldorf approach. I could participate in the daily rhythm and in the activities with the infants group and I could share some of my own ideas with them. I have learnt some Irish traditions and I have participated in the school festivals during the year with families, teachers and children. Everything is in an amazing environment.
Galway is a cultural and active town full of nice activities! During my 10 months I discovered something new every day in and out of the school.
Since my experience in the school, I have recently participated in two international Steiner Waldorf camps in Lithuania and China to continue to discover more about the Waldorf approach.
‘I feel really grateful for a beautiful year’
Noemi Munt- ESC in Cuan na Gaillimhe CNS 2018/2019