The development voluntary service weltwärts - The South-North component

The development voluntary service weltwärts was founded in 2008 by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Since then, more than 25.000 volunteers have been sent from Germany and dedicated themselves to development projects. Since 2013, young people from partner countries have also been able to do a development volunteer service in Germany.

Weltwärts is a learning service. During the voluntary service you can improve your language skills, gain work experience and acquire intercultural competences. This allows you to meet people from other cultures as equals. At the same time, you make a contribution to a German charity organisation.

Weltwärts focuses on joint intercultural learning and is open to people between 18 and 28 years of age. You volunteer for 6 to 24 months at a local partner organization in education, health, environment, agriculture, culture or human rights.

If you would like to participate in weltwärts, you must have vocational training or a school degree or comparable experiences, for example in an internship or volunteer service in your homeland. Depending on the project, the sending organization can demand certain other experiences.

Basic knowledge of the German language is advisable. If you do not have basic knowledge of the language, you should be willing to learn German before your departure and after your arrival in Germany, since this is necessary for the success of your volunteer service.

To take part in the voluntary service you need a visa for Germany ('nationales Visum-D'). Your sending organization will support you in the application for the visa.

Since weltwärts is funded by the BMZ, you will not have any costs for your voluntary service. However, it can occur that your sending organization will expect you to collect a small amount in donations for the volunteer service, since the host organizations in Germany must fund at least 25 per cent of the costs from their own resources.

Your sending organization ensures transport to the place of assignment and back or will reimburse you for the travel costs. With assignments in Germany, you will receive normal accommodations and meals. During the assignment, you will receive pocket money. The costs for the necessary insurance are covered during your voluntary service. Vaccination costs are usually paid for.

Further information about weltwärts can be found under