The implementing organisations implement the weltwärts volunteer service in collaboration with their partners in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Oceania and Eastern Europe. There are various tasks for which the implementing organisations in Germany are responsible: They prepare the volunteers for their assignments, support them during service and are the primary source of information for returnees looking to continue an active civic engagement role. They are also responsible for applying for funding, monitoring how it is spent and drawing up the accounts. Reporting to Engagement Global is another of their tasks.
Tasks of implementing organisations
Implementing organisations that send volunteers on assignment with weltwärts have a particular responsibility towards the BMZ, which supplies the funding for the programme. They must be able to prove that volunteer assignments are implemented in line with the requirements. Essential guidance for doing this comes from the funding guideline, the catalogue of quality standards and the funding guide. The implementing organisations are also responsible for managing the money and drawing up the accounts. The precise tasks to be performed by the implementing organisations are set out in a written agreement with their partners.
In their role as sending organisations, the implementing organisations conduct PR activities to promote the weltwärts volunteer service in Germany as well as organising the application process for volunteer selection. They choose the future volunteers in consultation with their partners and then prepare them for their assignments. In addition to education and information about the assignment, this preparation includes logistics support for such things as insurance, visa applications and flight bookings.
During the volunteer’s period of service, the implementing organisations maintain close contact with their partners and continue to be available to be contacted by volunteers too.
The implementing organisations also hold seminars for returnees and help them continue their active civic engagement after their assignment.
Ensuring correct residence status
It is up to the implementing organisations to make sure that volunteers are in possession of appropriate residence documents that meet the legal requirements of the host country concerned. Implementing organisations may be excluded from the programme if their volunteers have inadequate residence status.
As a means of assisting the organisations and volunteers in the visa application process, Engagement Global issues visa support letters, which can be presented to the relevant embassies in Germany. The letters confirm that the named person’s presence in the country concerned is for a government-funded volunteer assignment.
If it is not possible to apply for a residence and/or work permit before the volunteer arrives in the country of assignment, they enter the country on an entry or tourist visa to start with but they cannot remain without the correct residence documents. Apart from very few exceptions, voluntary service on the weltwärts programme is not permitted if the volunteer only holds a tourist visa.
The implementing organisations take out insurance for the volunteers, covering at least the following:
- International health insurance
- Accident insurance including disability and death
- Liability and repatriation insurance
In addition, all weltwärts volunteers are automatically insured with the German social accident insurance institution for the federal government and railway services (“Unfallversicherung Bund und Bahn”) for all work-related accidents. This is fully paid for by the BMZ.
It is the volunteers’ responsibility to ensure that their health and care insurance in Germany is maintained.
German social accident insurance institution for the federal government and railway services (“Unfallversicherung Bund und Bahn”)
The implementing organisations provide their volunteers with accommodation and meals during their period of service and during educational seminars. They also pay all travel expenses related to the volunteer’s work. This includes travel to and from educational seminars and from their home in Germany to the place of assignment in the host country (and back). In addition, the volunteers receive an allowance from the implementing organisations - usually 100 euros per month. The implementing organisations decide at their own discretion whether to reimburse volunteers for any visa-related costs or expenses for travel to selection seminars.
Up to 75 percent of these costs is paid for by the BMZ from government funds.
Guideline for the development volunteers service “weltwärts” (PDF)