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We accompany the learning process of the volunteers through preparation, intermediate and follow-up seminars.

We have trained mentors on site who support the volunteers throughout the year.

We integrate South African and German multipliers into the design of our voluntary service programme.

We process our findings and use them in the further development of our programmes.

Weltwärts is a development volunteer service that enables young people to spend 12 months in a country of the Global South. There, they are to gain important experiences and insights by working in a project and living in a foreign culture. The voluntary service is 75% financed by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The remaining costs are borne by the respective sending organisation. In order to make this possible, the volunteers themselves should try to set up a support group. In doing so, they can also get to know their individual motivation and the background to their voluntary service even better.

In order to do a weltwärts volunteer service in South Africa, you must be 18 to 28 years old at the time of departure. You must have German citizenship or an appropriate residence permit. Furthermore, you need a secondary school leaving certificate with completed vocational training, entrance qualification for studies at universities of applied sciences, general qualification for university entrance as well as a good command of English. You should also be in good health.

To be able to do a weltwärts voluntary service in Germany, you must be 18 to 29 years old at the time of departure. You have completed secondary school or vocational training, have a university degree or are otherwise personally suitable and committed. It is desirable that you have already been active in the local weltwärts partner organisation or other civil society organisations in South Africa. You must be able to show your passport and valid driving licence. You should also be in good health.

Personal requirements

  • Interest in the new culture, openness and ability to integrate
  • Ability to learn and work in a team
  • willingness to be housed in simple living conditions
  • Interest in global learning and the associated development of understanding and empathy for the diverse local and global problems in our networked world
  • Transfer to post-return experience
  • Participation in the financing of the voluntary service through the establishment of a support group

An obligatory part of the voluntary service is the preparation seminar, which covers topics that prepare you for your stay and answers the final questions. These include insurance, the volunteer contract and visa, but also the personal development of each volunteer. Every question will be answered at the seminar, Aluni, mentors, project leaders and board members will introduce themselves. After the seminar, each volunteer will go into the final round of preparation, applying for a visa and finally packing their bags. Above all, the preparation seminar is a great opportunity to get to know each other and to start working together and sharing experiences.

As a relevant topic, the preparatory seminar also discusses global world events and the division of the world, in order to sensitise the volunteers both for their own country and for the country of their stay. Finally, the seminar will also present various media which the volunteers can use to obtain further information. We have also linked some of them HERE.

A year abroad can be an organisational challenge. However, the organisation is taken over by the sending organisation. SAGE Net will take care of setting up a contract, insurance and accommodation. In addition, SAGE Net pays for your return flight, financed by the BMZ and a monthly pocket money, financed by a solidarity fund of the donor groups of all volunteers. You will also be provided with all the documents you need to apply for your visa.
There are mentors on site whom you can turn to if you have any questions or problems and who always work very closely with the volunteers.

Weltwärts is a voluntary service funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. The BMZ covers 75% of the costs incurred by each volunteer.


weltwärts in South Africa

The remaining 25% is contributed in the form of a donor circle.
Every volunteer is called upon to set up such a donor circle (before leaving home). The monthly pocket money and the seminars are financed by the circle of donors. At the seminars you will learn how to set up a donor group, the amount of money needed and how former volunteers can gain insight into their donor groups.


weltwärts in Germany

The remaining 25% is contributed in the form of a donor circle.

Our volunteers

I was immediately fascinated by South Africa and was excited about life in Cape Town from day one. My weltwärts year had a lasting influence on me because it opened my eyes to many global issues such as poverty and inequality.
Tina Papenfuß
North-South volunteer 2013/14
If they ask me about my biggest achievement so far? Being selected as a South African Ambassador by SAGE Net ... I'll forever be greatful for the experience and the growth that came with it.
Nokuthula Lehlongwa
South-North volunteer 2018/19
Spending a year in Germany projected my personal and professional growth exponentially. Going abroad to volunteer as a young professional allowed me to nurture existing skills and develop a whole new set of skills and knowledge base.
Musiegh Madatt
South-North Volunteer 2018/19
When I think back to my voluntary service in South Africa, I feel a lot of joy, happiness and gratitude.
Johanna Gehrmann
North-South volunteer 2016/17