Our South-North Bridge-Building Programme

Volunteering for eight months in Germany

Eine junge Inderin vor Kästen mit Schrauben

Christable Britto volunteered in an institution for disabled people. She was responsible for the final inspection in the assembly group. © Karl Kübel Stiftung/bhb

What Is the Programme About?

From the beginning of the weltwärts programme, stakeholders have been asking for an opening up of the programme in both directions: That means sending volunteers to various countries and also hosting volunteers from various countries.

So the weltwärts South-North programme was established some years after the North-South programme, which has existed since 2008. Since 2013 it has been open to a broad circle of young adults from countries in Asia, Africa and South/Latin America to apply for voluntary service in Germany.

In 2016 Karl Kübel Stiftung in Bensheim started this programme, hosting young people from India. During their volunteer service, they will stay in the region of Darmstadt, Bensheim, and Bergstraße and contribute in different places of assignment.

What Does Volunteering Mean?

Serving where one is needed in German NGOs, e.g. doing routine work at the Darmstädter Tafel, where unsold food is collected and given to people in need, is one example. Supporting teachers and trainers in a home for people with disabilities, an old-age home, or a nature protection centre, is another.

Where Will I Live?

Accommodation is organized in host families. The motivation of the host families is to provide a room and food for a volunteer and have an intercultural exchange.

How Long Will I Stay?

Usually the volunteers stay in Germany from May to December.

Who Can Apply?

To be able to participate in the programme at all, the applicants must be between 18 and 28 years old. For Karl Kübel Foundation the minimum age is 21. Applicants must have a school diploma as well as a completed vocational training or university degree.

Interested young people can directly apply to our partner in India: Karl Kübel Foundation in Coimbatore/Tamil Nadu, email address: kkfweltwaerts@gmail.com

There is a selection process including selection seminars.  After being selected, volunteers are guided by Karl Kübel Foundation to prepare for the volunteer service in Germany.  A preparation seminar will take place in Coimbatore.

What Else Is Required?

To be able to communicate in Germany, the German language is essential. For this reason, knowledge of the German language is required before leaving India. English is not an official national language in Germany; only German has this status. In order to acquire German language skills, the volunteers are asked to take part in German classes in India or find other ways of learning the language. This knowledge will help them to get along in Germany, at their places of assignment, in their host families, and in daily life.

Further criteria for selection are a general interest in other cultures, the desire to learn and experience new things, and being open to different ideas and approaches. Besides intercultural exchange and learning, another aim of the program is for the participants to learn to use the acquired knowledge and their newly expanded horizons to put their recently gained skills to use and bring fresh ideas back to their home countries.