B. Explore the world

                                            Volunteering in Europe

Are you interested in international volunteering this year? The IARS is now recruiting a group of young people to participate in the 3-month volunteering placements in Europe in 2022. It is the last year of the EU-funded European Solidarity Corps programme at the IARS, and we are keen on creating as many volunteering opportunities for young people as possible!


The European Solidarity Corps is an EU initiative which creates opportunities for young people in Europe who agree with and uphold its Mission and Principles. This programme is aligned with IARS’ ethos. We were set up by young volunteers from across Europe as the first EU-wide, youth-led network on equality matters. Our mission remains to empower young people and marginalised groups to participate in public life as equal citizens.


The programme will contribute to all travel, accommodation and living expenses for the volunteers. This also includes linguistic support, insurance and any special assistance, where needed.

The programme has an inclusion support fund to help young people facing psychological, educational, economic and social challenges.

  • Anyone who is 18 to 30 years old at the start of the placement, open-minded, curious about other cultures, European values, learning a new language and motivated to help others!
  • We will prioritise young people with fewer opportunities, who may face social, geographical or economic obstacles, health problems, disabilities, cultural differences or educational challenges.
  • You don’t need to speak a foreign language but willingness to learn is a plus!
  • The programme is for EU and UK citizens who are current UK residents (volunteers applying for placements in Europe). You need a valid passport to travel abroad.

IARS works as coordinating and supporting organisation for outgoing and incoming volunteers. We work in collaboration with other European partner organisations and together are able to provide meaningful and well-supported volunteering 3-month placements for our volunteers. We are currently recruiting volunteers for the following countries and cities:

  • Romania
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Finland

The programme runs throughout 2022. We will start to fill places up as suitable volunteers are identified and the activities will commence as soon as it is safe to do so. We are monitoring the situation very closely and keeping ourselves updated with the latest information from ESC and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

Contact m.babecka@iars.org.uk for more information on specific placements/countries and how you can apply!


Volunteers travelling to Romania will work with the Asociatia Comunitati pentru Tineret (ACT), an organisation based in Craiova, Dolj County, South West part of Romania. ACT mission is to develop, implement and support youth development programs built around the concepts of lifelong learning, mobility and associativity ACT works to empower young people to participate actively in society to improve their own lives. The organisation is now looking for volunteers to help with the ACT Volunteering Centre. Placements will start in February and March!


 Read the blog from Georgie, a volunteer we supported on her ESC placement to ACT in Romania, to hear her reflections on her amazing experience there:

EcoYouth! – Six months as a Brit in Romania with the European Solidarity Corps

My experience as a European Solidarity Corps Volunteer in Romania


Volunteers travelling to Italy will work with the Associazione Interculturale UNIVERSO, an intercultural non-profit association based in Bologna since 2002. It was created by a group of students and workers, both foreign and Italian, with the aim of promoting and supporting social initiatives alongside motivating and facilitating mutual understanding between people of different cultures and origins. 

Find out more about the activities run by UNIVERSO:


Volunteers travelling to Spain will have an opportunity to gain knowledge of project management and international work with the Asociación Caminos team in Vélez-Málaga or learn more more about agriculture and tourism at the ESC project at Finca La Cañada del Robledo in southern Spain. It is recommended that the candidates know at least a basic level of Spanish.

Infopack for office-based projects

Infopack for projects at Finca La Cañada del Robledo


Allianssi Youth Exchanges works as a supporting/coordinating organisation for incoming volunteers based in organisations in different parts of Finland, usually in smaller communities.  All the projects have lots of interaction with local and immigrant youths as well as a wide variety of tasks.

Read more about the projects available in Finland here.



The IARS is also going to host a number of European volunteers in London. The placements are for up to three months (88 days) and are full time with a five-day working week. Volunteers will accumulate two days off upon completion of each month (6 days in total).

The activities are structured within our well tested and simple civic engagement model, including a variety of online and face-to-face training, delivery of a social action project in the areas of human rights, equality, justice, youth policy and evaluation and accreditation.

Our partners are responsible for recruiting and sending European volunteers to the UK. If you are interested in applying, get in touch with m.babecka@iars.org.uk to find out more about the recruitment process and relevant contact details for a sending organisation from your home country (we are currently looking for volunteers from Romania, Italy, Spain and Finland).


The programme will contribute to all travel, accommodation and living expenses for the volunteers. This also includes linguistic support, insurance and any special assistance, where needed.

Flight costs will be reimbursed by IARS either to the volunteer’s sending organisation partner or to the volunteer directly (depending on arrangements).

The programme has an inclusion support fund to help young people facing psychological, educational, economic and social challenges.



If you would like to be considered for a placement, please your CV to m.babecka@iars.org.uk. You will receive further information about the recruitment process.


You will have access to Online Linguistic Support (OLS), which is a free online language learning platform designed for Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps participants. With OLS, you can test your current level in the language you will use while you are abroad. Your results will not prevent you from taking part in an Erasmus+ or European Solidarity Corps mobility, but will give you access to an OLS language course! OLS complements face-to-face teaching, allowing you to develop your skills outside the classroom. It also provides you with collaborative and peer learning opportunities.


Travelling to Europe







Here are the travel opportunities as a part of YOU WEEN Project

Who is this for? 

Youth workers and women entrepreneurs.All expenses covered.

  • 1 travel opportunity for youth workers, in Poland, at CDR’s headquarters in Krakow, lasting 5 days (part of this training will be online in May, as agreed upon during the KoM, to allow youth workers to move forward with planned activities, such as coaching circles, while waiting to be able to do the f2f training).
  • 1 travel opportunity for young women, in Lithuania, at the EFEKTO’s headquarters, also lasting 5 days.

For more information please contact Sophie Nicholas  s.nicholas@iars.org.uk


We are Sculpt

IARS International Institute to operate as Sculpt

*Charity CEO available for interview – details in notes 

A UK-based youth charity today changes its operating name from the IARS International Institute to Sculpt. 

IARS is an international NGO that’s been working to empower young people to forge a fairer society for over 20 years. Their work is guided and evaluated by young people themselves.  

Over the last 20 years, IARS has delivered more than 70 successful projects that have addressed real problems that young people face, in areas such as: 

  • Gender discrimination 
  • Violence against women and girls 
  • Supporting young people to find work 
  • Creating green and sustainable business 
  • Promoting collaboration among young people across the world and much more. 

In 2021, with the world changing rapidly and opportunities for their work shifting, they decided to refresh their purpose and identity, and made the decision to rebrand as Sculpt. 

Claire Bonham, Chief Executive of Sculpt, said: 

‘We are delighted to launch our new brand that speaks to our aim to empower young people to shape their future.

‘We believe that many of today’s young people are facing unjust challenges – economically, environmentally and socially. A fair, sustainable society can only evolve if all young people have the opportunities, the confidence, the ambition and the skills to make their voices heard and propel change in their communities, irrespective of who they are or where they come from.  

‘Our rebrand, like our work, has been guided by research and by young people themselves. As an organisation we base our work on rigorously researched evidence and are led in our approach by our youth advisory board. Their voices and insight are critical to solving the right problems in meaningful ways.’  


Notes to editors:  

Dr. Claire Bonham, Chief Executive of The IARS International Institute is available for interview. Contact Claire directly on: director@iars.org.uk +44(0) 7833 224442  



Sculpt is a UK-based charity providing research, training and work-experience opportunities that empower young people to shape their own futures and those of their communities. 

We work directly with young people, employers and professionals who support young people. All our work is guided by young people themselves and based on carefully researched evidence. We: 

  • Facilitate forums for young people to make their needs and their voices heard. 
  • Publish a magazine by young people to express their perspectives and encourage debate around public policy issues. 
  • Conduct research to uncover young people’s real needs and what works to empower and support them. 
  • Deliver training to build young people’s confidence, skills, ambition, resilience and sense of responsibility, so they can shape their futures and change their communities for the better, as leaders, social entrepreneurs and active participants in civic life. 
  • Deliver training for professionals who work with young people, drawing on our research and expertise. 
  • Engage with employers to facilitate work experience and employment opportunities for young people to develop skills and access diverse jobs. 
  • Facilitate international exchange opportunities to encourage and enable young people to experience and appreciate other cultures, perspectives and ways of life. 

We tackle disempowerment from three angles: working directly with young people to build confidence and skills and their voice, working with professionals who support young people, and working with employers to break down barriers to opportunity.