Weltwaerts south-north is a development volunteer service that addresses all interested young people between the ages of 18 and 27. The focus is on making a concrete contribution to a community project organization (CPO), as well as learning from each other and facilitating intercultural exchange. The south-north component of the Weltwaerts program has the following objectives:
- to allow volunteers to grow personally in an informal learning process through personal interaction, intercultural exchange and the transfer of knowledge and experience;
- to strengthen civil society and especially the partner organizations in the South, which benefit as returned volunteers tell others about their experience and continue to be active in civil society; and
- to provide input and inspiration to development-related work within Germany. Interaction with international volunteers helps to get new target groups interested in development issues.
Gender equality is given much attention during the entire realization of this program.
The Weltwaerts south-north program is a social engagement project: It aims to create a new culture of voluntary involvement in Germany and to enable as many people as possible to commit themselves to the common good. AFS Germany focuses the program on vocational orientation in the non-profit sector.
Playing with children, reading newspapers to senior citizens, looking after biotopes or helping young people appreciate museums or theatres – the range of voluntary assignments are as varied as German society itself. Volunteers do not need any specialist training to become a volunteer. They take on duties that go beyond the core services provided by the public-welfare-oriented place of assignment, for example:
- Social sector: office assistance in the non-profit sector, assistance in social service and seminar centers, assistance in facility work and household chores
- Education: schools and boarding schools: assistance to teachers and students from grade 1 to 12, free-time activities, kindergartens, youth clubs, etc.
- Environment: ecological farms, national parks, information centers, outdoor education, etc.
- Health care: supporting mentally or physically disabled or elderly people in daily and work life