South North continues growing
Just like the German volunteers, the voluntary service of South Africans in Germany, was also strongly affected by the Corona pandemic in 2020. This interim period, without volunteers here in Germany, was very unusual. Usually the past volunteers had replaced the next group. However, this phase also offered the opportunity to continue working together. The project is, to improve the South-North component. We have incorporated a lot of valuable feedback from South-North volunteers from previous years and are continuing to develop the programme.
It quickly became clear that the South-North programme is not only close to the hearts of the alumni who have already been here in Germany. Also many of the North-South volunteers who have been to South Africa themselves want to further improve the volunteering experience for South Africans in Germany. The South-North working group offers an excellent opportunity for South-North and North-South volunteers to stay in touch after their stay in the other country. It quickly became clear that the South-North working group was of interest to both North-South and South-North volunteers. A large group was formed, which is now divided into three further sub-groups. In addition to joint virtual meetings in the large group there are thus also smaller groups that meet more frequently. The three groups are working on finding new volunteer positions, host families and develop a new mentoring concept.
Mentors have always been responsible for accompanying the volunteers on site. With the new concept they should get a more precise idea of weltwärts. So, the South-North programme, as well as the mentors, will get a better overview on their own opportunities for further training.
The search for new volunteer placements serves to further expand the volunteer groups. We want to welcome more South African volunteers to Germany in the future. Host families are also an important new part of the South-North programme. As they can ideally make volunteers feel at home in Germany even faster. SAGE Net is very happy that so many volunteers are involved in the South-North working group. We are still open to new interested people who can imagine joining us!