About weltwärts Exchange Projects

International, development-related youth-group exchanges

weltwärts Exchange Projects provides funding for international, extracurricular youth exchanges and accompanying/pilot projects linked to them. It enables youth groups from Germany and countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Oceania to work together on a joint project, in which they address one of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The projects, which run for a maximum of two years, include a visit from Germany to the partner country and vice versa as well as online collaboration before and after the visits. The exchanges are funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Photo of a participating youth group standing in a field. There are buildings and a South African flag on a flagpole in the background.
weltwärts Exchange Projects promotes international exchange

weltwärts Exchange Projects - Aims

  1. Nurturing a new generation of global citizens

    weltwärts Exchange Projects offers young people between the ages of 16 and 30 an opportunity to develop global awareness and discover the active role they can play in shaping our One World as “global citizens”. Through the direct interaction between youth groups from Germany and countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Oceania, participants learn that issues of vital importance to the future of a just world concern each and every one of us. Inspired by their personal experiences, their images of and ideas about the partner country become more nuanced. They develop an understanding of what it means to play a responsible role in a globalised world and how important it is to be aware of the consequences of one’s actions and to make them sustainable.
  2. Strengthening global partnerships and training opportunities

    These international youth-group exchanges strengthen equality-based, global partnerships and extracurricular youth exchange structures. The projects are conducted by an “application partnership”. In addition, weltwärts Exchange Projects is a way of providing additional training for those responsible for teaching others how to conduct youth exchange projects since knowledge and expertise are passed on through the dialogue and collaboration on the projects.
  3. Raising awareness of and implementing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in Agenda 2030

    The joint project work carried out by the youth groups is the core of these development-related youth exchanges. Each project deals with one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set out in Agenda 2030 (SDGs). The projects help to raise awareness of the goals and to translate them into practice.
A participant is standing at an exhibition stand, explaining something to a man and a woman. There are posters hanging in the background, showing the development goals and the question, “What does sustainability mean to you?”
weltwärts Exchange Projects promotes action for Agenda 2030.

Agenda 2030

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted by all UN member states in September 2015. It sets out the belief that the challenges facing our globalised world can only be solved in a concerted effort, which is why it applies to all countries in our One World.

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals

At the heart of Agenda 2030 are 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which link the principle of sustainability to economic, ecological and social development and are inspired by the spirit of a new global partnership.

List of projects
Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
17 Sustainable Development Goals

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Agenda 2030
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Agenda 2030


weltwärts Exchange Projects, which was launched in July 2016, focuses on international, extracurricular youth-group exchanges. It is thus different to the other development exchange programmes that Engagement Global runs for individuals and school groups. These are:

  • weltwärts development volunteer service,
  • ASA development and training programme and
  • School Exchange Programme for Development Education, ENSA.

weltwärts Exchange Projects was founded as part of the African-German Youth Initiative (AGYI). The AGYI is a political initiative set up by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) with the aim of encouraging youth exchange between African countries and Germany, particularly in South Africa, Tanzania and Benin. This is why weltwärts Exchange Projects still concentrates on youth exchanges between German and African project partners even today. However, funding is also provided for weltwärts exchange projects between Germany and countries in Asia, Latin America, Oceania and Eastern Europe.