weltwärts – a success story
And off we go!
Finally the day has come: on 17 January 2008 the first 50 volunteers are sent off on an adventure. By the end of the year, their number will have grown to over 2,000 – all young people on their way to volunteer in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Oceania or Eastern Europe.
weltwärts – and then?
From the very beginning, the weltwärts programme gives strong consideration to enabling volunteers to remain active upon their return. A concept by the name of “weltwärts - und danach?” is formally adopted in 2009. The objective is to enable the volunteers to share the invaluable experience they gain abroad once they come back to Germany.
The 10,000th volunteer
Christian Päßler is the 10,000th volunteer to go abroad with weltwärts. In November 2010 he departs for a year in South Africa, where he will volunteer for a sports and development project near Durban
weltwärts is evaluated
In preparation for the further development of the programme, in year three of weltwärts the BMZ performs a first evaluation. The report concludes that weltwärts is meeting its objectives: to inspire young people in joining a volunteer development service and to encourage greater understanding between North and South.
Engagement Global is established
In connection with the structural reform of Germany’s development cooperation sector, on 1 January 2012 the weltwärts secretariat is spun off to become part of the newly established entity Engagement Global gGmbH – Service für Entwicklungsinitiativen. From 2013, it is known as the weltwärts Coordination Unit.
In 2013 weltwärts celebrates its fifth anniversary. On 11 and 12 April 2013, over 400 returnees, representatives of implementing and partner organisations and many other weltwärts stakeholders meet to review the last five years, discuss the future of weltwärts – and of course to celebrate.
No longer a one-way street!
Since 2013, young people from the Global South have been able to travel to Germany to gain practical experience via the weltwärts programme. In the first year after the South-North component is launched, 130 young volunteers arrive in Germany.
To this end, in 2015 a number of civil society competence centres are set up. They advise implementing organisations as well as interested young people with a vocational qualification and/or an impairment on going abroad as volunteers.
A new format: weltwärts exchange projects. This new programme element enables youth groups to take part in development exchanges. Groups of young people from Germany and the Global South receive funding so they can work together on one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
1,000th South-North volunteer
he 1,000th volunteer from the Global South, Della Bii-Mai from Cameroon, commences her assignment on 4 September 2017 with the Partnerschaft mit Afrika foundation in Potsdam near Berlin.
#weltwärts leaves its mark
On 15 September, weltwärts celebrates its tenth anniversary in Berlin at an event attended by around 1,000 guests. In the ten years of weltwärts, more than 34,000 young Gemans have gone abroad to volunteer, while over 1,500 volunteers have come to Germany as volunteers with the South-North component.
Youth groups go weltwärts
The three-year pilot phase for weltwärts exchanges ends on a successful note. By late 2019, funding will have been granted to 81 projects by 74 different organisations involving a multitude of partner countries in and outside of Africa on all 17 Sustainable Development Goals.