Offering places on the volunteer service

Criteria for all organisations


weltwärts is as vibrant and varied as the civil-society partner organisations that turn the programme into reality. Each and every placement is only possible thanks to the commitment of and partnership between organisations in Germany and Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe or Oceania.

Some 160 implementing organisations and over 2,000 partners in the Global South are currently part of the weltwärts network. Maintaining and expanding partnerships as a means of joint action for sustainable development is a core objective of the weltwärts programme.

Every year, there is a new weltwärts volunteer cohort bringing something special to the network. Approximately 3,500 young people from Germany complete development volunteer service in countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Oceania or Eastern Europe through the North-South component each year. At the same time, as many as 800 young people come from these regions to Germany to do South-North service.

Partnership-based collaboration between the organisations involved is essential to be able to offer places jointly and conduct the weltwärts programme. This collaboration ranges form joint selection of suitable volunteers to providing education and mentoring for them.

An overhead view of a round table, at which a group is working on some documents together.
Implementing organisations and their partners in the Global South shape the programme together


Only organisations in Germany are entitled to submit applications to the BMZ and thus able to provide the partnership with the German government funding of up to 75 percent of the total costs. As such, the German implementing organisations have a particular responsibility towards the German government. They have to prove the programme is being properly conducted as well as managing and accounting for the public money.

To become weltwärts implementing organisations, German organisations must undergo an assessment by Engagement Global. Approved implementing organisations are then certified every two to three years.

Further information on implementing organisations’ tasks can be found on the following page and in the “Guideline for the development volunteers service ‘weltwärts’”, which sets out the basis for the programme:

Guideline for the development volunteers service “weltwärts”

Becoming an implementing organisation in the weltwärts volunteer service: Process and requirements

What are “partners in the Global South”?

“Partners in the Global South” are the organisations in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Oceania that perform tasks to help run the weltwärts volunteer service. Working together with the German implementing organisations, they organise the placements and support the volunteers.

Becoming a partner

What are implementing organisations?

On the weltwärts programme, “implementing organisations” are the German civil-society organisations that work with partners in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Oceania to run the volunteer service. They will have been successfully assessed as a weltwärts implementing organisation by Engagement Global and are thus entitled to submit applications.

Information concerning the assessment for implementing organisations


Where processes are only relevant to German implementing organisations (who apply for the government funding), the relevant technical information and forms are only available in Germany.

These processes are:

  • Applying for funding: Processes, deadlines and documents for submitting an application as an implementing organisation
  • Setting up placements: Administrative processes, including relevant documents, to register assignments
  • Concluding the on-lending agreement: Processes, deadlines and documents for the conclusion of an agreement with Engagement Global
  • Download section for logo files, including legal information concerning the use thereof Making change requests: Processes and documents for agreeing changes as compared to the original application
  • Making change requests: Processes and documents for agreeing changes as compared to the original application
  • Accounting for funding: Processes and instructions, including deadlines and documents, for providing financial accounts to Engagement Global

If you have any questions about any of these points, please feel free to contact the weltwärts Coordination Unit.

E-Mail: sekretariat@weltwaerts.de

To the processes for German implementing organisations (in German)

Education and mentoring for volunteers

The implementing organisations and their partners in the Global South conclude a written agreement concerning their collaboration on the volunteer service to ensure they give the volunteers the best possible preparation and support for their assignment. A key part of the agreement is the educational plan.

Education and mentoring activities for North-South volunteers

In particular, these activities include:

  • Examination of development-related issues using global learning methods
  • Introduction to life and work in the host country
  • Information on preventive healthcare and the general security situation
  • Language lessons, if applicable
  • Exploration of the volunteer role
  • Reflection on experiences during voluntary service
  • Encouragement of and support for returnee engagement
  • Networking among returnees and between them and appropriate organisations and initiatives


There are 25 seminar days for education and mentoring activities for North-South volunteers:

  • Twelve days of orientation and preparation, of which at least seven in Germany
  • Five days mid-term seminar
  • Five days returnee seminar
  • Three flexible days


The compulsory seminar days do not include language lessons.

Detailed information concerning education and mentoring can be found in the “Guideline for the development volunteers service ‘weltwärts’”

A volunteer standing on a tree trunk across a stream in a forest. A second volunteer holds out his hand to help the first volunteer cross the stream.

Education and mentoring activities for South-North volunteers

The education and mentoring activities for South-North volunteers comprise preparation and follow-up both in their home countries and in Germany. These activities consist of several seminars, the content of which is decided on together by the implementing organisation and its partner in the Global South.

At least 25 seminar days must be held in Germany and five of them must be for the political education seminar.



Preparation takes place both in the volunteers’ home countries and at a welcome seminar at the start of their placement in Germany. It enables the volunteers to develop an understanding of their assignment and living conditions in Germany and to consider global issues. The German implementing organisation can provide administrative and/or content-related support for the preparation activities in the home country.

Accompanying seminars

Accompanying seminars

The accompanying seminars are an opportunity for volunteers to reflect on their experiences, life in Germany and their work at their place of assignment as well as to consider intercultural and development-related issues.

Political education seminar

Political education seminar

Since the weltwärts South-North component is run as part of Germany’s Federal Volunteer Service, the programme always includes a five-day seminar in Germany on political education. This seminar is not conducted by the weltwärts implementing organisations themselves. Instead, they book it with one of the training centres that deliver these seminars. Engagement Global keeps the implementing organisations updated about seminars being offered. The seminar registration forms can be found in the download section.

To the Document Centre

End-of-assignment seminar in Germany

End-of-assignment seminar in Germany

This seminar is an opportunity for volunteers to reflect at the end of their assignment as well as preparing them for their return to their home country and giving them ideas for ways to continue their civic engagement after voluntary service.

Follow-up activities in the home country

End-of-assignment seminar in Germany

After their return, the volunteers receive support from the partners in the Global South. Together, they explore links between the volunteers’ experiences in Germany and their lives in their home country. Another aim is to demonstrate possibilities for civic engagement in community or development-related areas.