Internetpräsenz weltwärts

The South-North component

Strengthening the cultural exchange

Since 2013 volunteers from developing and emerging countries have also been able to take part in development volunteer service in Germany. This intensifies the exchange between people from these countries and Germany and promotes the networking of all volunteers and partners in the weltwärts programme. Weltwärts continues to be built out as a programme for global learning. The places of assignment benefit from the work of motivated volunteers that can shed new light on things and can also strengthen intercultural understanding.

Many partner organisations that have previously hosted volunteers from Germany thus become sending organisations themselves. This contributes significantly to the strengthening and expansion of the existing partnerships and to equal exchange.

The new programme components should be open to a broad circle of young adults from developing or emerging countries.

Sending international volunteers to Germany

The pilot phase of the South-North component has been extended by three years to the end of 2019. By the end of 2016, a total of about 840 South-North volunteers had completed voluntary service in Germany through weltwärts.

Organisations from Germany can team up with their partner organisations to apply to participate in the South-North component. weltwärts host organisations from Germany can submit their applications for the next programme cycle by 30 September each year.

All sending organisations in partner countries must work together with an approved weltwärts organisation in Germany. Otherwise, it is not possible to send volunteers to Germany. As a rule, the German weltwärts organisations in the South-North component cooperate with proven partners that have been hosting German volunteers in their projects for years.

The number of volunteer assignments to Germany in the South-North component is limited to 800 per year until the end of 2019. Since as many organisations as possible should be given the opportunity to participate in the South-North component, not all host organisations in Germany may currently be able to accommodate their desired number of volunteers. Correspondingly, it is currently and unfortunately not possible for all interested organisations to be able to send volunteers to Germany.

If your organisation is interested in sending volunteers to Germany as part of the South-North component, please either contact your partner organisation in Germany directly or one of the quality associations.

Requirements for sending volunteers to Germany:

  • Basic preparation of the volunteers before their departure in the form of a seminar or a multi-day orientation period.
  • Reasonable publicity work for the promotion of the programme.
  • Selection of volunteers, which can take place jointly with the host organisation, if required. The volunteers should be selected on the basis of the criteria defined in the pedagogical concept.
  • Gender policy expertise and the willingness to learn gender competency.

The application for participation in the South-North component includes a pedagogical concept as well as an application for financial aid from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), which is submitted by the German organisation.

The pedagogical concept should be prepared jointly by the host and sending organisation.

Responsibilities of sending partner organisations

Organisations that send weltwärts volunteers to Germany are expected to

  • do publicity work in order to increase awareness of the programme, particularly among young people, with women and men being considered equally;
  • select applicants and prepare them for development volunteer service in Germany;
  • conduct a pedagogical preparatory and follow-up programme and promote the dedication of returning volunteers;
  • support volunteers in various tasks such as applying for visas.

The sending partner organisations handle their responsibilities in close coordination with the affiliated host organisation in Germany.

It is possible for multiple sending organisations to handle their responsibilities in cooperation. Less experienced organisations can be qualified by more experienced organisations, and parts of their tasks can be assigned to other sending organisations, if necessary. If such cooperation options are not available to a sending organisation, it is possible for them to transfer responsibilities that cannot be handled temporarily to the host organisations in Germany.


The South-North component of the weltwärts programme is 75% financed by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. The remaining 25% must come from the supporting German organisations that participate in the South-North component. For this reason, many of the supporters initially only start the component with a small number of hosts.
The German host organisations also partially involve their partner organisations and German placement locations in the financing. Volunteers may also contribute towards financing the 25% capital e.g. by conducting donation campaigns. However, financial involvement by volunteers is not a prerequisite for participation.