Inspiration, ideas and ways to get involved

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This page brings together various links and resources to help you get started with your post-assignment engagement, find guidance for your activities or simply be inspired by great ideas. You’ll be astounded how many different possibilities there are!

Institutions and organisations in the field of development

Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

The BMZ is a supreme federal authority and responsible for the development cooperation activities of the Federal Republic of Germany. In addition to technical and financial cooperation, the BMZ provides financial support for civil-society engagement in development issues, e.g. through weltwärts.

Engagement Global

Engagement Global offers information and advice on engaging in development activities in Germany and around the world. The organisation provides funding for development projects and is also home to, for example, the weltwärts Coordination Unit.

German Development Institute (GDI)

The German Development Institute is one of the leading research institutes on questions concerning global development and international cooperation. It also runs a prestigious post-graduate programme for those seeking a direct track to a career in global development cooperation.

Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)

GIZ is a federal enterprise that operates globally, offering services in the field of international cooperation to promote sustainable development and international education work. GIZ’s main commissioning party is the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Centre for Rural Development (SLE)

The Centre for Rural Development (SLE) is based at the Albrecht Daniel Thaer Institute of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences, Faculty of Life Sciences, at Humboldt-Universität, Berlin. Among its programmes is the one-year “International Cooperation for Sustainable Development” vocational programme for postgraduate students.

National Network for Civil Society (BBE)

The BBE is a network of players from the realms of civil society, government and industry. Its main goal is to strengthen civil society and active citizenship in all areas of social and political life.

weltwärts bodies and initiatives run by and for returnees

Political representation group for volunteers in international volunteering services (PFIF)

As well as helping to develop weltwärts further and make it fit for the long term, PFIF organises educational and networking meetings to hear what returnees have to say and to represent their interests in dealings with the BMZ and the sending/host organisations.

People for Inclusion

People for Inclusion is a group of returnees who have different disabilities or impairments and campaign for equal participation in voluntary service and in many areas of society.  Its goal is to empower future volunteers who have disabilities or impairments and to encourage implementing organisations to take an inclusive approach.

weltwärts in Color

weltwärts in Color is a group of returnees whose own experience of racial discrimination has led them to call themselves “people of colour” and who campaign for more awareness of issues such as racism and critical whiteness. Their primary goals are to make people of colour a firm part of the weltwärts programme, to empower them and to provide a safe environment in which they can ask questions and share information.

grenzenlos e.V.

grenzenlos is a forum that enables returnees to share their experiences and team up with other returnee associations, organisations and representative groups to campaign at the political level for international volunteers’ rights. Key grenzenlos projects include the “Wandelfibel” guide to change, the annual “undjetzt?!” conferences and its involvement in PFIF.

News and information

D+C Development and cooperation

D+C is a bilingual (English and German) website, which Engagement Global launched in 2012. Its purpose is to foster intense debate, involving partners from around the world, of development issues. New articles are published online almost every day and there is a print magazine every two months, which can be downloaded in PDF format for free.

Masala Magazin

masala – the magazine that builds bridges - was founded by weltwärts returnees in 2014 and is now a grenzenlos project. The magazine’s aim is to break through hierarchical, colonial and racist ways of thinking and challenge stereotypes.

Blog: EineWeltBlabla – Blog on thinking globally and taking action on critical issues

The EineWeltBlabla blog is a collection of posts on global thinking, critical consumption, new campaigns, the environment, industry, culture, digital matters and lots more.

Entwicklungspolitik Online

Entwicklungspolitik Online (Development policy online) is an independent online portal with a wide range of information on international cooperation activities in the German-speaking region. It also has a job board with openings in the development sector in Germany and worldwide.

“Voluntaris – Journal of volunteer services”

Voluntaris is an academic journal with information, discussion and documentation related to volunteer services, providing a platform for academic and practitioner communities to share their views concerning volunteer services.

Global learning

Global learning educators’ kit

This free kit consists of a downloadable PDF packed with ideas to support global learning educators with their content, methods and organisation. It includes tips on preparation, exercises and tools.

Global learning: WUS Germany

The World University Service runs a global learning portal with information on the work done by Germany’s federal states plus education material. It includes information on the “Information Centre Educational Mandate North-South”, the Global Learning microsite (run by EWIK), the “German federal states in development policy” microsite and the European Global Learning Database (ENGLOB).

Think Globally, Act Locally: A handbook for global learning workshops aimed at young people between the ages of 14 and 20

This handbook, which can be downloaded free of charge, is intended for group leaders and other individuals who are interested in teaching people aged between 14 and 20 about global issues.

Getting involved, networking and jobs

undjetzt?!” conferences

The “undjetzt?!” (“andnow?!”) conferences are designed for people looking for new possibilities for civic engagement, sharing ideas and decent and sustainable forms of work. The conferences are a grenzenlos project, organised by returnees. andnow? – take part or help to organise a conference yourself!

“Fairwandler” award

The “Fairwandler” award (a play on the German word “verwandeln” – “to change”) is intended as a form of public recognition of returnee engagement and a way of lending visibility to their work. It encourages, motivates and brings together young change agents.

“Junges Engagement” component of “Bildung trifft Entwicklung”

The “Junges Engagement” (Young Engagement) component of the “Bildung trifft Entwicklung” (Education meets Development) programme supports the global education activities of returnees from development volunteer services by providing them with advice, networking opportunities, training and funding.

“Ideenwerkstatt von morgen”

“Ideenwerkstatt von morgen” is a network for workshops and activities to promote sustainable development. The aim is to illustrate the links between global and economic factors in interactive workshops at schools and with youth groups and to raise public awareness of those links through arts projects.


“Ideen³” (Ideas³) designs spaces for development, where people can meet, see ideas in action and shape the future. Through a range of initiatives and projects, “Ideen³” provides a framework for people to see how social, ecological and economic ideas for a future worth living in can work in practice.


Sustainable living guide

This guide is full of ideas on how to lead a sustainable life and aims to encourage readers to play an active (or more active) role themselves. It features sustainable products, organisations, higher education programmes, books, films and much more.

Flyer on psychosocial support for returnees

This flyer is aimed at returnees who find themselves facing problems they cannot solve on their own. It includes contact details for a range of independent counselling and support services where they can find help quickly and anonymously.

The sustainability app

This app takes a fun approach to sustainability issues. Users can team up to take action for a more sustainable world.

“Mit kolonialen Grüßen” brochure

This brochure from Glokal e.V. is a good starting point for people who want to reflect on whether their perceptions and accounts of the Global South stem from racist and colonial structures (hence the “colonial greetings” in the brochure’s title). It illustrates the powerful impact of language and imagery and highlights some of the narratives often found in people’s accounts of their experiences.

“Das bunte Deck”

“Das bunte Deck” is a pack of playing cards designed to promote equality and tolerance. It’s a fun way of getting people to think and stimulating a new form of debate. This pack of cards endeavours to represent society in all its diversity and dispel stereotypes we see around us every day.

Mapping for Good

This is an interactive online map featuring change initiatives and sustainable businesses. Fair trade, organic farms, shared workshops, alternative economic models, independent education initiatives and, of course, visionary co-living set-ups are just a few of the examples in the “world of tomorrow” shown on the map.

weltwärts recipe book by Globalista

The “Foodstories” recipe book tells the stories of people who work to promote good, local and healthy food and are also fantastic cooks. It was produced in collaboration with weltwärts volunteers, Arbeitsstelle Weltbilder e.V. and LKJ Sachsen-Anhalt e.V.


The Danger of a Single Story – by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

This speech by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie at the TED Global Conference in 2009 has lost none of its significance over time. Essentially, her point was that one single story, one single detail, could lead to prejudice and stereotyping. If we only know small parts of a complex story, much remains hidden to us and restricts our view of things.


In this documentary, people in South Africa, Ghana and Gambia talk about their views of and experiences with German volunteers. Portraying a wide range of perspectives, this is a fascinating film about the diversity and complexity of encounters that come about in the context of volunteer services.

One Year in Germany

Four young people from Tanzania and Cameroon come to Germany as weltwärts volunteers – their first trip to Europe. The film follows the four volunteers during their year in Germany and portrays how their expectations, enthusiasm and challenges differ. The volunteers give personal and diverse accounts of their experiences and views of Germany. A thought-provoking and fascinating look at the volunteer programme.

If you know of other great initiatives, sources of inspiration or projects that should definitely be in this list, please let us know!

weltwärts Coordination Unit at Engagement Global