Minister Müller gives send-off to 20,000th volunteer, launches South-North exchange

New South-North component of volunteers service weltwärts: Minister Gerd Müller together with Jan Wenzel, the chair of the German association "Ventao", and the Ambassador of Mozambique, Amadeu Paulo Samuel de Conceiçao, welcomes the first volunteers from Bolivia, Chile, Cameroon, Columbia, Mexico und Mozambique.

20.02.2014 |

Berlin – Today, Minister Gerd Müller gave an official send-off to the 20,000th volunteer serving with the de­vel­op­ment volunteers service weltwärts. 28-year-old Tiffany Jenkins from the German city of Ludwigshafen will be leaving soon for a ten-month assignment in the Philippines. She will be working for the In­ter­national Peace Observers Network, a human rights organisation.

Minister Müller also launched a new component of weltwärts which will allow volunteers from de­vel­op­ing coun­tries and emerging economies to serve in Germany. This is an expansion of the weltwärts programme. For the first time, young people from these coun­tries will be able to gain experience working in non-profit projects in Germany.

"Two-way exchange under the weltwärts programme will foster contacts between young people who want to make a difference, and it shows that de­vel­op­ment policy is not a one-way street. The idea is to meet as partners and learn from each other," Müller said at the launching event at the BMZ.

Together with Jan Wenzel, the chair of the German association "Ventao" (an alliance of exchange organisations with a focus on de­vel­op­ment), and with the Ambassador of Mozambique, Amadeu Paulo Samuel de Conceição, the Minister welcomed the first volunteers from Bolivia, Chile, Cameroon, Colombia, Mexico and Mozambique.

The new South-North component of the weltwärts programme will start with a pilot phase. During the first year, more than thirty host organisations in Germany will be hosting 150 volunteers from Africa, Latin America, Asia and Eastern Europe. They will work in a vast range of areas, for instance environmental projects, social initiatives, and activities related to de­vel­op­ment education.

The weltwärts programme is based on the German government's commitment to foster de­vel­op­ment education. The service, which targets young people aged 18 to 28, was started by the BMZ in 2008. Since that time, more than 3,000 people a year have been able to gain practical experience working in Germany's de­vel­op­ment co­op­er­a­tion partner coun­tries.

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