Number and facts
About 250 German non-government organisations have been approved as sending organisations of the weltwärts programme. Of these, about 160 are active as sending organisations. Please find information about the organisations on the profile pages.
Of the 160 organisations, 73 also host volunteers from weltwärts partner countries in Germany. Under the link you will find a list of participating organisations and countries.
More than 9,000 assignments have been approved for weltwärts.
Young people in Germany are very interested in development volunteer service. Since 2008, more than 30,000 volunteers have gone out, with 65 per cent being women. The average age of the volunteers is 19.6 years.
In the partner countries, too, the interest in volunteer service in Germany is very high. In the first year after the launch of the South-North component, 130 volunteers were able to participate in volunteer service at German organisations. In the second year, the number of international volunteers increased to 227. In 2016, 470 young people completed voluntary service in Germany.
Volunteer numbers by years of assignment
- 2008: 2,257 volunteers, with 62.1 per cent women
- 2009: 3,525 volunteers, with 59.9 per cent women
- 2010: 4,288 volunteers, with 57.7 per cent women
- 2011: 3,162 volunteers, with 65.8 per cent women
- 2012: 3,320 volunteers, with 66.4 per cent women
- 2013: 3,366 volunteers, with 68.3 per cent women
- 2014: 3,381 volunteers, with 68.2 per cent women
Countries and regions
Volunteer service for volunteers from Germany is possible in all developing and emerging countries, if the location is safe enough. Most volunteers (roughly 42 per cent) do work in Latin America, followed by Africa (37 per cent) and Asia (roughly 20 per cent). Only just under 2 per cent of the volunteers travel to eastern Europe.
The main destinations in 2014 were:
- India: 327 volunteers
- South Africa: 291 volunteers
- Tanzania: 246 volunteers
- Peru: 235 volunteers
- Bolivia: 231 volunteers
Areas of work
The majority of the volunteers work in the area of education (roughly 37 per cent of the volunteers) and with children and young people (roughly 33 per cent of the volunteers). This includes projects such as after-school help with homework for children and young people in homes, working as teaching assistants in rural schools or supporting mobile schools for street children. However, volunteers also offer leisure activities for children on the street or in homes. Sports, art or cultural activities offer in particular vulnerable children and youths the opportunity to take part actively in social life.
In the area of the environment and health, projects are offered to educate locals on subjects such as climate protection or AIDS prevention. This may take place through training projects, educational campaigns or theatre workshops, or by preparing volunteer informational material. Projects on environmental or animal protection are also possible.
Other areas of assignment are agriculture and the promotion of human rights, democracy and peace.
In Germany, volunteers from partner countries are primarily active in the social sector. They work with children and adolescents, people with disabilities or seniors. Some places of assignment are also dedicated to development subjects such as fair trade and intercultural exchange.