German Volunteer Services


The "weltwärts" service (which translates literally as "world-wards") encourages young people aged between 18 and 28 to volunteer for work in developing countries. The programme is implemented through existing structures: German aid agencies and municipal authorities which are actively engaged in development work and already have flexible, uncomplicated procedures in place for assigning young volunteers to work in their projects.

A lot of young people are interested in doing volunteer work in developing countries. Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development therefore created the government-funded volunteer service "weltwärts" in 2008. Since then, about 20,000 young volunteers have worked within their partner organisations in more than 70 countries.

The projects and programmes implemented in Germany’s partner countries directly benefit from the contributions of these highly motivated and dedicated young volunteers. With public funds being made available to support the volunteers service, resources are freed up and can be reallocated by the participating organisations.

For the volunteers, the service provides an opportunity for intercultural dialogue and training in the development field. Young people are encouraged to actively explore future development issues. In addition, the volunteers acquire intercultural skills as valuable assets in an increasingly globalised job market.

Malawi was one of the first countries to receive weltwärts volunteers. There are currently 29 volunteers working with local partner institutions all over the country. The majority of the German volunteers are working in schools, orphanages or kindergartens in order to support disadvantaged children and young people.

For more information about “weltwärts”, please visit: www.weltwä


“kulturweit” international cultural volunteer programme

Enlarge image “kulturweit” is a project of the German Commission for UNESCO with funding from the Federal Foreign Office. It is an international volunteer programme devoted to cultural relations and education policy and is aimed at everyone aged between 18 and 26.

For more information about “kulturweit”, please visit:

SES - Senior Experten Service

SES Senior Experten Service Enlarge image SES Senior Experten Service (© SES Senior Experten Service) The SES is Germany’s leading volunteering organisation for experts and executives who are either retired or taking some time off work. Since 2017 the "30+" initiative offers young professionals the opportunity to join the SES.

The SES works all around the world. Most of its voluntary assignments are completed in developing and emerging countries or in Germany. The main beneficiaries of the SES network’s expertise are small and medium-sized businesses, public authorities, professional and business associations, social and medical facilities, and institutions which provide basic education or vocational training.
All SES assignments follow the principle of helping people to help themselves. Their aim is to share knowledge and experience in order to improve other people’s future prospects.

For more information about “SES”, please visit: SES Senior Experten Service