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weltwärts volunteer service gets high ratings

Report on fifth volunteer survey published

Following the 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 surveys, the fifth survey looked at the weltwärts volunteers who returned from assignment in 2017. The findings corroborate the previous years’ results for the most part, with 94% of volunteers again stating that they were satisfied with their time on the weltwärts programme. 85% were very or quite satisfied with their place of assignment.

Each year, there are more than 3,300 volunteers in service in around 60 host countries, sent there by approximately 160 different organisations. An annual survey by Umfragezentrum Bonn provides a detailed evaluation of their experience on the programme. 2,147 returnees took part in the latest survey, putting the response rate at 58%. The participation rate was again significantly higher than in the previous year when the returning volunteers were also asked to take part in other programme-wide surveys, leading to slightly lower participation in that year’s annual survey.

Volunteers’ overall satisfaction remains high

Overall, the volunteers remain extremely satisfied with their time on the weltwärts programme. The findings of the five surveys so far (from 2013 to 2017) show that the volunteers have been almost consistently positive in their assessment of the weltwärts programme.

Selected findings for 2017

  • 94% were quite satisfied to very satisfied overall with their time on the programme.
  • Two out of three volunteers (67%) were very likely to recommend volunteering on the weltwärts programme to their friends.
  • 94% were positive in their assessment of the preparation they received from their sending organisation.
  • 85% of the volunteers were very or quite satisfied with their place of assignment overall.
  • The seminars (preparatory, mid-term and returnee seminars) offered by the sending and host organisations to accompany the programme were considered (very) useful by the overwhelming majority of the volunteers.
  • The volunteers felt that there was a particularly positive effect on their own openness towards other cultures and people. Three out of four said the programme had a very positive influence in this respect. Most of the volunteers felt that volunteering with weltwärts had an influence on their personal development, with a total of 96% reporting a positive effect.
  • Returning participants are still extremely willing to continue volunteering beyond their weltwärts voluntary service.

As part of the weltwärts quality system, which was introduced in 2013, the volunteer survey helps ensure that the programme constantly evolves as a development learning and exchange service for the volunteers and the partners in the North and South.

The full report can be found on the weltwärts website. It provides a detailed overview of the findings, statistics and the demographics of the respondents in the volunteer survey.